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Specializarea LIMBA ŞI LITERATURA ENGLEZĂ Forma de învăţământ ID - semestrul III
SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE
Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural
LIMBA ŞI LITERATURA ENGLEZĂ
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature
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.
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
184.108.40.206.6.1. 3.3. 3. 4. 220.127.116.11.2.3. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. the 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. 18.104.22.168. 3.2.2. 4.1. 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.3. 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. 4.5. 188.8.131.52. 184.108.40.206. 3.1. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 4.3. 2. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton. 220.127.116.11.4. 4. 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.1. 3.4.8. 126.96.36.199. 3. 4. 3.4.Contents 2.1.2. 2. 188.8.131.52. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 3. 4.3.1. 3.3.1. 2. 3. 2.
4.2. Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.4.3. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.4. 4. 184.108.40.206. 220.127.116.11. 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.5. 5.4. 126.96.36.199.3.4.2. 188.8.131.52. 5. 4.4.6. 5. 5. 5.1.4.Contents 4. 5.1. 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. 5. Gulliver. 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 .7. 5. 5. 4.4.1. 5.5. 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2.2.2. 5. 4.3. 4. 5. 4.4.2. “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. 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3.3. 5.4. 126.96.36.199.2.1.3. 5.2.8. 188.8.131.52.2.
184.108.40.206.3. 6. 6. 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .22.214.171.124. 6.4.2. 6.2. 6.1. 6.3.3. 6.1. 6. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.1.4. 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. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.4.2.4. 6.1.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No.1.4. The Seasons William Cowper. 6. 6. 6. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 126.96.36.199. 6.1. 6. 6.4. 6.4. 6.
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 1 .Introduction INTRODUCTION 1. You are expected and urged to bring to the understanding of this extended literary period the knowledge acquired in your previous study. 3. The double focus of the course – on general aspects of a particular period or doctrine. 2. Before starting your study. by encouraging your response to particular texts. Defoe. Literature is always an important testimony to the evolution of this spirit. Fielding. but also an intimate acquaintance with the spirit of that culture and civilisation. a carrier of values. this course will give you a minimum of contextual detail. Swift. and on certain texts – will hopefully help you to overcome the relatively great temporal and cultural distance separating us from those centuries. the study of the present course will more efficiently contribute to your professional becoming. 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. and to the enrichment of your grasp of the English language. Milton. and will highlight the contributions of their most representative literary personalities. this course aims at enlarging your understanding of British culture and civilisation. Course objectives As already mentioned. it would be helpful if you refreshed your acquaintance with the basic historical and cultural framework of the 17th and 18th centuries. but also to examine more closely particular texts by the most important authors (Shakespeare. such as was presented in your Cultural Studies course. What this course is about This course is a brief introduction to English literature in the 17th and 18th centuries.” at helping you refine your perception of literary phenomena and categories. It also aims at developing your “reading competence. Being concerned with aspects of literary history. It will thus contribute to the consolidation of your knowledge and understanding of British culture and civilisation. How this course can help you The study of this course will widen your perspective on English literature and its evolution. Blake. and an “agent” in the cultural dynamics in a country. It will familiarise you with the defining features of the literary trends and doctrines of these two centuries. In this way. You will be able to build a general picture of the main literary achievements of this period. among others).
lIntroduction This complex aim presupposes your development of certain specific competences. thematic and formal structure in the works of various authors. in its turn. is structured around a series of tasks that you must accomplish – the self-assessing questions (the SAQs). a Glossary. Besides them. the characteristic attitudes and concerns of such cultural-historical-literary movements or periods as the Renaissance.g. in a given text. Each unit. or what makes Blake a Romantic poet) • identify. characterisation. forming a chronological survey of the major literary developments in the 17th and 18th centuries. 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. preRomanticism) • identify such features in the work of a particular author or in a particular text (e. 2 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . identify the features of the baroque sensibility in Shakespeare’s tragedies. a list of key words. 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. a unit contains a series of “auxiliary” sections: a Summary. the Augustan Age. the Baroque. the Restoration. and a Gallery of personalities. as part of your overall assessment. you should therefore be able to: define the distinctive features. The solutions and suggestions for SAQs are provided in a separate section. Some of the units also contain an assignment that you have to do and send to your tutor. or establish what links Fielding’s novels to literary Neoclassicism. • 4. Course content and structure This course is structured in six units of study. By the end of your study of this course.g. Neoclassicism.
S. and they will enable you to work with it in a specific context. and to draw your own conclusions. and Augustan satire. as well as major representatives. and insists on William Blake as both a pre-Romantic and Romantic poet. • 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 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. the periodical essay of the 18th century as an important contribution to Augustan literature. The unit surveys characteristic preRomantic themes and motifs. • Unit 3 (The works of John Milton) emphasises Milton’s Christian humanism. The most common SAQs in this course will require you to: Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 3 . • Unit 4 (The Restoration and the Augustan Age) deals with four major aspects: the comedy of manners during the age of the Restoration. The major authors considered in this unit are Shakespeare and the poets John Donne and Andrew Marvell. hopefully. • 4. The SAQs encourage you to see your course work as more than a simple effort of memory (although the importance of memory in the process of learning must not be underrated). 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. The main focus in this unit is on the imaginative structure and thematic interest of Milton’s masterpiece. but also to your independent thinking and to your imagination. and with the evolution of this genre.1. H. with main focus on Jonathan Swift.2. The variety of these learning tasks will. engage you actively and in diverse ways in the process of study. They appeal not only to your memory. • Unit 5 (The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel) presents the main concerns and the typology of the novel as a dominant genre in the 18th century. You will get acquainted with the contributions of four major novelists – D. Defoe.Introduction 4. the epic poem Paradise Lost. Sterne –. Fielding and L. The self-assessment questions (SAQs) The self-assessment questions in each unit have the role of helping you to structure and organise your study. These tasks will guide you in the process of ordering your knowledge. Richardson. the literary doctrine of Neoclassicism.
of a certain work or a provided fragment • explain the relevance or significance of a certain item (phrase. 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). 4. after you have identified them in/after a provided short description • match a given literary fragment with a given paraphrase.3. so as to obtain synthetic reformulations or rephrasings of relevant details about a literary period. You are given detailed instructions about what is expected from you. You are required to solve these SAQs in the blank spaces provided for each of them in textboxes. match incomplete statements so as to reconstruct an idea or a description • identify true/false sentences. A line in your textboxes is estimated to contain ten words on the average. etc. fragment) • complete sentences. the independent intellectual effort that you are encouraged to put into your learning. the title of a work. narrative technique. with the typological definition of a work. • A self-assessed question (SAQ) is signalled in the course text by this icon accompanying a textbox. symbolic elements. and. at the end of the unit. state its theme • comment on / interpret a given fragment. etc.lIntroduction answer questions about the theme. in the literary text you were asked to work on. and you are advised to read those instructions carefully and to follow them.. etc. The estimated length of your answers will be indicated as number of words / number of lines. Remember that what counts most is the process of thinking that leads you to a particular answer. Do not get discouraged if some of your answers should not come near the suggestions offered at the end. characterisation. 4 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . You are strongly advised to resist the temptation of consulting this section before you have actually tried to do the exercises yourself. Solutions and suggestions for SAQs You can check your answers to each SAQ by going to this section. • paraphrase a given fragment from a studied literary work. summarise its argument. line. an author’s work. so as to re-describe certain important aspects about a literary period or a particular writer’s work • fill in blanks with the features of a certain literary movement or style. if the case may be. stylistic features. Try to analyse your errors and to become aware of everything you have missed in the instructions of the SAQ.
not just Being. Thus. if necessary or desired. in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge. will also appear in Units 5 and 6. Most of the books included there are available in any University library. other instruments meant to assist your study. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to. which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries.3. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. for the Great Chain of Being*. with the pages where you may find relevant information. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. Sometimes. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. Some terms may recur in several units.4. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1. • the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names). the term Enlightenment. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. For instance.3. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities. in Unit 1. For example. at the end.1.1.Introduction 4. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order). in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained. but the phrase of which that word is part. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. • Further reading. which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. The materials indicated in the Further reading section and in the Selective bibliography (see below) offer you supplementary information.
the course contains three send-away assignments (SAAs). 5. A send-away assignment (SAA) is signalled in the text by the icon accompanying this textbox. The three SAAs are placed at the end of units 3. in which the words and phrases supposed to be unknown. The Reader The course is accompanied by a Reader. before you start solving the task.2 will cover units 4 and 5. The Reader provides you with little glossaries for each text. try to read each fragment more than once. As the texts are not very long. or misleadingly familiar to you are explained either in English or in Romanian.lIntroduction 4. the number of tasks. and the weight of each assignment: 6 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . especially the poetry texts. some of these texts might seem difficult to you. which contains the selection of texts you need in order to accomplish some of the course tasks. As we are dealing with 17th and 18th century literature. 1 will assess your knowledge of units 2 and 3. and make sure you understand its general meaning or basic ideas. which will enable your tutor to assess your performance in the course work. The table below represents the place. while SAA no.5. don’t hesitate to use a good dictionary. These first two SAAs will therefore consist in more than one task. Assessment and evaluation Besides the self-assessment questions included in each unit. or one word may be given an explanation/translation different from the one you might be familiar with. If you should find these lexical notes insufficient for your understanding of a particular text. The cumulated weight of these SAAs in your final grade is 40%. The written test that you will sit at the end of the semester will add the other 60%. difficult. 5. The given explanation or translation into Romanian applies only to the respective context. This is why the same word may appear with different explanations/translations in several glossaries. In any case. and 6. this should not take you too much time. SAA no.
Note that a typewritten paper is likely to ease your tutor’s work. 6. 6 hours are allotted to your tutorial meetings. to go through each unit in approximately 4 hours. You may.3 3 5 6 2 3 1 1. your course work may take you more time. find your own rhythm and divide your study time into several sessions. 50% 50% 50% 30% 20% 100% 10% 20% 10% 40% In the assessment of each assignment. Of these hours. 1. clarity. If you have no possibility to type your assignment. and 8 hours to the completion of your SAAs. Your study schedule This course is devised for 42 hours of study. You can reserve two weeks for each unit of learning – which means that you are expected. If your level of proficiency is lower. 1. Your ability to identify and use the knowledge required by a particular situation is part of what is assessed in any test. 3. Most of the time. • the coherence. This is more likely to happen when you are required to work on literary texts. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 7 .2 SAA no. theoretically. at least take care that your handwriting should be fully legible. the tutor will take into account: • the degree to which your answer respects the formulated requirement. As in the case of the SAQs. make sure you understand what is being asked of you in each assignment. Plan your study by taking into account that a semester has 14 weeks. half of the answer is already contained in the question. 28 are meant for individual study of the course material (the solving of the SAQs included). however.Introduction Unit Number of tasks and their weight in each SAA Weight of each SAA in the final assessment SAA no. 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). so pay special attention to the instructions for each task (30%). 2. 2. whose reading may take you some extra time.1 SAA no.
It is structured in six units of study. forms and styles. as well as a list of suggested further reading. along the 17th and 18th centuries in England. a revision of the course material. Each unit includes a series of self-assessing tasks (SAQs).2 SAA no. whose content follows a chronological line. A provisional study schedule may look like this: Week Unit Number of study hours Assignment Number of hours for the SAAs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Introduction Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5 Unit 6 Revision 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 28 SAA no. Summary This course offers you an overview of the literary periods and trends.1 2 Planning your course work is important as it will enable you to send your assignments to the tutor in due time. which you must write and send to your tutor. which you will find in the Reader accompanying the coursebook. which will help you to organise and focus your knowledge.3 3 3 8 SAA no. together. The three assignments will count. You have the possibility to monitor your work by verifying your answers. there are SAAs. as the course provides you with the solutions and suggestions for SAQs at the end of each unit. The course contains several auxiliary sections (summary. according to a pre-established schedule. list of key words. respectively. glossary. as 40% of the final grade. 8 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . of the evolution of literary genres. and 6. Many of these SAQs require your response to a literary text. while the final written test will represent 60 % in your overall evaluation. At the end of Units 3. representative authors. but which also focus on dominant genres and on outstanding. and gallery of personalities). More information about the subjects in each unit is available in the selective bibliography which concludes the coursebook. 5.lIntroduction The first and the last week should be reserved for the Introduction and.
188.8.131.52.4. 1.1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1. 184.108.40.206.3.4. 1.4.5. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 .4.2. 1. 1.1. 1. 1.4.1. 1.2. 220.127.116.11. 1. 1.1.1. 1.
The completion of this transition was to take place during the next age. The growing critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture.1. attitudes and practices. in which the progress of England to modernity was steady in all fields.1. which in England is in fact considered to have started in 1688. radical changes occurred in intellectual habits and preoccupations. The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries constitute a complex period.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. philosophy. the year of the Glorious Revolution*. The victory of Reason over dogmatism. colonial expansion and an extraordinary economic development made England. of philosophical empiricism* determined to a great extent the attitudes to man in his relationship to society. Culturally the two centuries correspond to two movements whose basic tendency was the emancipation of man: the Renaissance* and the Enlightenment*. literature. as well as the faith in progress. the arts – all fields of human endeavour went through crucial transformations during the 17th century. The gradual achievement of political stability. seen as extending up to the Restoration* (1660) were periods of gradual but irreversible changes in modes of thought. science. mentalities. The rise. as the Enlightenment is often described. dramatic and prose genres and their main representatives in their proper literary-historical context within the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Unit objectives 1. 10 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . nature and divinity during the Age of Reason. marked the entrance into modernity. of the Enlightenment. religion.1. a powerful flourishing nation. at the end of this period. Political. The end of “high Renaissance” (the flourishing of the Elizabethan* Age) and the “late Renaissance”. in the latter part of the 17th century. 1. social and economic life. obscurantism and intolerance. The intellectual scene Along the two centuries. 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.
when The Royal Society “for the improving of Natural Knowledge” was founded. The Royal Society endeavoured. a reaction against mysticism and obscurantism. which was left to develop by itself on the basis of these perfect laws. under the patronage of Charles II. It was a rational alternative to religious dogmatism. had important philosophical and theological implications: the universe was now conceived as a perfect mechanism.” God was seen as the prime cause of a harmonious universe. endowed with a sixth sense: the moral sense. to reconcile Reason and Faith. Deism attempted to give a rational foundation to religious thought. to “overcome the mysteries of all the works of Nature” and to apply that knowledge “for the benefit of human life. that human life be enriched by new discoveries and powers. and which encouraged emotional effusion as a way of achieving communion with God. One of the most ardent promoters of the new scientific spirit was Francis Bacon* (1561-1626). the “universal Architect. a religious movement which aimed at reviving the Evangelical spirit and the ideal of Christian life. His well-known maxim “Knowledge is Power” points to the utilitarian conception of the role of science. in 1662. the capacity of distinguishing right from wrong. was an evidence of the creator’s good will.2. Engaging in a variety of original scientific experiments. The scientific discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton*.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Francis Bacon It is also during these two centuries that modern science was born. in a systematic effort. or Natural Religion –. combined the traditional confidence in the divine infinite wisdom with the intellectual spirit of the age. 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. initiated by Isaac Newton and John Locke*. The optimism of the Deists extended to human nature. working according to impersonal laws which testified to the supreme intelligence of the Creator.” This idea will be echoed several decades later. This new faith – Deism. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 11 . which could not offer spiritual comfort to the large masses of the poor and uneducated. and it was essentially optimistic.1. Deists believed that the admirable order of the universe. in particular. In his work Novum Organum (1620) he explicitly states that “The true and lawful goal of the sciences is simply this. It was to be counter-balanced by the Evangelical Revival*.” 1. It was a highly intellectualised religious approach. The moral philosophy of the Deists argued that man was innately good. manifest in its rationally and experimentally discernible laws.
SAQ 1 The following exercise will help you revise some of the more important aspects concerning the intellectual and cultural background of the 17th and 18th centuries. the central concern of the Enlightenment. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling This infusion of emotionalism in spiritual life may be seen as the sign of a certain evolution in the temper of the 18th century. The 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. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. 1. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. continued the project of the Renaissance. the Enlightenment.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. T F 3. 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. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . T F 4. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. The poet Alexander Pope indicated.3. T F 5. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. to superstition and obscurantism. 1. 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. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. appropriately. Circle T (true) or F (false). but also affective and instinctual. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. T F 2. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. for each sentence.1.1. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. The growing spirit of individualism.4.
to 1. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. T F 7. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. and both writers and audiences were. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria.4. It is significant. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. The study and imitation of the great Latin and Greek authors and the concern with literary tradition as a reliable source of models made literature highly conventional.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. including readers of more modest education. It was the main focus of literary attention. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 . Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith.1. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. The division into Elizabethan. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life. symmetry. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. in the orbit of the crown. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. in one way or another. with little or no classical knowledge. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. After 1688. that the notion of reading public emerges now.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. read again subchapters. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. for instance. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned. 1. T F 8.1. for proportion.1. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. regularity. at the end of the unit.2. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. the decrease in the power of the Crown. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality.
” started in the late 17th century. 2. This led to the emergence Neoclassicism* in England. A significant aspect of Augustan literature is the development and importance of literary criticism. with its highly conventional forms and rhetorical style. Racine. Molière)…… d. in which the declining phase of the Renaissance was characterised by a return to the classics. a. Molière. the “Sun King” –: Nicolas Boileau. Complete each sentence in the provided space. SAQ 2 Read the partial statements below and match them. during the Augustan Age*. …… c. This reflects. a new consciousness of the relationship between literary tradition and modernity.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Augustan Age: literary Neoclassicism allusions demonstrated the author’s erudition and required from the readers familiarity with classical learning. …on literary taste and fashions during the Renaissance. so as to obtain complete sentences describing aspects of the general literary picture of the 17th and 18th centuries. 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*. …the Augustan Age. but also to the influence of the French authors of the great classical century – the age of Louis XIV. on the model of the French controversy known as the “Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns. The relationship between tradition and modernity became a matter of literary consciousness during…… 1. The Court was the main source of influence…… b. England’s intellectual and literary exchanges with Catholic France had been suspended during the Civil War*. Pierre Corneille. Much of Renaissance literature. above all. Jean Racine. Corneille. 14 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The mid-seventeenth century was an age of transition. The great French classical authors of the 17th century (Boileau. when the merits of the “Ancients” and the “Moderns” became the object of comparison. English Neoclassicism must be linked not only to the survival of the Renaissance humanism.
Thomas Gray and William Collins (in the latter). by the Romantic poets. If you have failed to make the right match. or his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). you need to revise subchapter 1. concentration. A “metaphysical” strain exists in Shakespeare’s final period of creation. James Thomson. or meditative-descriptive poems like James Thomson’s The Seasons (1726-1730) or William Cowper’s The Task (1785). Other lyric forms endured: the ode. combining classical restraint with force of argument and expressive clarity.2. A remarkable poetic development in the first half of the 17th century was the metaphysical poetry (John Donne. The evolution of poetic forms The lyric. 1. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 15 . which departed from the artificiality and poetry conventionalism of most Elizabethan poetry. The heroic couplet was the perfect verse couplet structure of the Age of Reason. which are illustrative of a pre-Romantic* cross-current. Alexander Pope. 4. Its perfect mastery is illustrated by works like Pope’s didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711). George Herbert. the blank verse* – on the model of Milton in his great Blank verse epic* Paradise Lost (1667) – was extensively used in the 18th century. at the end of the unit. Robert Herrick). Apart from the classical poetic forms that survived into the Restoration and the Augustan Age. Its name refers to a certain Metaphysical expressive strategy.3. and the Puritan Andrew Marvell must also be included here. It appealed both to the intellect and to the emotions. the pastoral* lyric. …addressed itself to learned readers. They approached other themes besides love: e. John Dryden (in the former). The common vehicle for it was the heroic couplet – two rhyming The Augustan heroic lines containing a complete statement. In parallel. It favoured conciseness. in a variety of poetical forms: philosophical poems. The chief model for The sonnet sequence Renaissance soneteers was Petrarch* and his love sonnets to Laura. Andrew Marvell. 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. the sonnet* – dominated Renaissance poetry. or religion and politics – John Milton. Thomas Carew. the ode*. original or translated epics. The sonnet fell into disuse during the late Renaissance and it was revived only towards the end of the 18th century. …influenced English literary Neoclassicism. continued to be used throughout the 17th and 18th centuries: John Milton. acquainted with the great classical authors and works. for instance. religious faith – John Donne.g. but English poets varied the highly conventional form of this kind of poem. in its various forms – the song*. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 3. conveyed by means of a rich variety of rhetorical effects. tight logical coherence and striking imagery. and it made extensive use of wit. The most Renaissance lyric enduring poetic achievements of the early 17th century is the forms sequence of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609).
together with their most outstanding representatives. a brilliant constellation of playwrights founded a dramatic tradition which represents the best and most original expression of the nation’s creative genius. The flourishing of English drama during the Renaissance is a unique phenomenon. 16 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . some of them of popular origin (the song. SAQ 3 Which are the most popular kinds of poems in the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least six of them. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 1. at the end of the unit. In the following units of this course. It was the only form of literature which. 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). in the space left below. 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. Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries The Renaissance was the Golden Age of English drama. the verse satires of Dryden and Pope (Unit 4). revise subchapter 1.4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Towards the end of the century. comparable perhaps only with the rise of the novel in the next century.3. If there should be major differences between them. In little more than half a century (1580-1642). a new appreciation of older poetic forms. and the “poetry of sensibility” which announced the coming of the Romantic Age (Unit 6). through its representation on stage. enjoyed a widely popular appeal.
They saw the theatre as a source of moral corruption through the “idle” pleasure that it offered. drama witnessed a decline. historical drama. 1607). but the spirit of the great tradition was never recaptured. The great age of English drama ended abruptly in 1642. Some dramatic forms went out of fashion. pastoral drama. treachery. The great acting companies were under the patronage of the king. Jacobean and Caroline plays usually represented atrocities on stage. in Paradise Lost. but destroys himself along with his enemies. The dramatic genres popular during the Renaissance were extremely diverse: tragedy and comedy with their varieties. while others changed. Milton’s Satan. as well as John Webster’s heroine in The White Devil. Masters of this genre were the Jacobean dramatists Cyril Tourneur (The Revenger’s Tragedy. They were generally. where bloody deeds were only evoked through an efficient rhetoric of the dramatic discourse. play-houses were reopened. and in the 18th century it was replaced by the novel in popularity. Unlike Senecan plays. 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. the fundamentally evil hero/heroine. rape. 1612) and especially John Webster (The Duchess of Malfi. with the restoration of monarchy. inspired by the plays of the Roman Stoic Seneca*. insanity. with his exploration of the darkness of strange passions. A particular type of protagonist became fashionable in revenge tragedies: the villain. when the Puritans* closed the theatres. 17 Revenge tragedy The villain in revenge tragedy Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . with its audience arranged according to rank. Jacobean tragedy One of the most widespread forms of tragedy was the revenge tragedy. built around the theme of revenge. 1614). each variety of spectator responding to the performance according to his/her education and imagination. etc. Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1601) is the finest illustration of this kind of tragedy.1. murder. Thomas Middleton (Women Beware Women. who usually appears as a ghost on the stage. and the rhetorical manner. 1605-6). 1. John Ford (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. was a miniature of the English society.4. exploiting excessively morbid ingredients like incest. masque*. the sensational plot. From Senecan tragedy. Of the Caroline playwrights. tragi-comedy. to accommodate the tastes of a new public. is the most gifted. On the whole. the wronged hero plans revenge.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Contemporary reconstruction of a Jacobean playhouse The play-house. or Vittoria Corombona (1612) are among the most accomplished portrayals of the villain in drama. In 1660. fascinating through unbounded ambition. and this “unholy alliance” between crown and stage increased the intransigence of the Puritans. 1633). sometimes he rights the wrong done to another. sensational and macabre. Shakespeare’s protagonist in Richard III (1592-3) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth. daring and wit. In such plays. Renaissance playwrights borrowed the five-act structure.
or in Philaster (1609) by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. T F 7. the satirical comedy. His best plays. in miniature. or at least tinged with bitterness. SAQ 4 For a revision of some important features of Renaissance English drama. read again subchapters 1. The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) are social comedies of city life. Renaissance tragedy had four acts – a structure borrowed from Seneca. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic example of domestic tragedy.4. The English play-house during the Renaissance accommodated a diverse audience. reflecting. Comedy in the early 17th century In the field of comedy. a genre which will survive into the 18th century. though each in a different way. 1. Volpone (1606). dealing with middle or lower class life and concentrating on personal and domestic maters – unlike “grand” tragedy.2. at the end of the unit. his comedies become darker. in Paradise Lost. in the last period of creation. Seneca’s tragedies inspired Jacobean and Caroline authors in the representation of atrocities on stage. Shakespeare’s Elizabethan phase included a number of exquisite romantic comedies. Epicoene. read the following statements. The hero of revenge tragedy often destroys himself in his desire to right a wrong done to him or to another. If you have failed to identify the true statements. 18 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . with its noble characters. the hierarchy of English society. intended to correct vices and follies by denouncing them. and 1. but. T F 2. 1. reminds of the fascinating villain-heroes of the Renaissance revenge tragedies by his extraordinary ambition and boldness. T F 3. or The Silent Woman (1609). Milton’s Satan. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson are the great masters. T F Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. whose fall from eminence marks the destruction of an order. T F 6.4. as in All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-3) or Measure for Measure (1604-5).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background A distinct type in late Renaissance drama is domestic tragedy. circle the appropriate letter: T (true) or F (false).1. identifying the four true ones. T F 4. centred on the theme of love. The Jacobean and Caroline authors of revenge tragedies had Seneca as their model. as in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) or The Winter’s Tale (1610-11).4. T F 5. The mixture of serious and comic elements results in tragicomedy. Ben Jonson* illustrates another form. For each sentence.
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.g. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. George Villiers. There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. mocks at certain theatrical conventions.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. or The Mistakes of a Night. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. 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. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. She Stoops to Conquer. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. were a passing extravagance. Duke of Buckingham. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e.g. In The Rehearsal (1671). It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. John Gay. Heroic plays. Henry Fielding). and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. 1665. a stylish and sophisticated world. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. 1722). who demanded models of virtue and decency. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. 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. 1777).3. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. 1775. The School for Scandal. for instance. too. but it appealed to a wide middle class public. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. 1769).4. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . 1773). satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. 1669-70). which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays.4. 1768. and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain.4. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. Under the influence of French tragedies. The Conquest of Granada.
we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. revise subchapters 1. to 1. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4. together with their most outstanding representatives.4.2. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2. at the end of the unit.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.4. If there should be major differences between them.
The development of an aphoristic style*. in political tracts and pamphlets. temptations. The language of prose tended to become plain and transparent. the virtues of common speech permeated the language of all kinds of writings.1. deliberately artificial and intricate. The rhetorical extravagance and ingenuity which had still dominated the early 17th century (not only in prose). The English translation of the Bible – the “Authorised Version” of 1611. contributing essentially to the forging of a more straightforward and simple style. with its trials.5. Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Of the literary forms that contributed significantly to the development of English prose. English as an instrument of literary and intellectual communication still competed with classical Latin. Thomas Hobbes* and John Locke also insisted on the necessity of a language at once flexible and precise. Francis Bacon’s Essays (1597. Francis Bacon was the first notable writer to plead for – and to illustrate – a prose style more suited for intellectual argument. Here. influenced immensely Bunyan’s the language of prose. This allegorical expression of Puritan faith. weaknesses. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 21 . suitable for conveying “the knowledge of things” and intelligible to the average Englishman. on clarity and rationality.5. Influence of Latin on prose style The prose of intellectual argument 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. as the growing complexity of life increased the need for social and intellectual communication. More and more. displaying a variety of styles. gave way to an ideal of prose style more suited to the Age of Common Man. the essay* proved the most flexible. he describes the Christian soul’s search for salvation in the form of an allegorical journey along the path of life. the universal language of the Renaissance. wealth and freshness greatly influenced the language of prose. in which rhetorical figures were subordinated to rational lucidity. blending concision with wit. struggles and William Blake: aspirations. Under the influence of Latin – especially of Cicero* –. Journalism as a form of prose writing emerged during the Civil War and flourished during the 18th century. 1612. 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). Later in the century. prose works written in English displayed a highly rhetorical style. another Latin influence began to mould English prose style: that of Seneca and Tacitus*. with its illustration to simplicity and natural flow of common speech. 1625) are prose classics in English literature. The Pilgrim’s Progress Among the prose forms widely used for intellectual argument. prepared the English language for a variety of uses: in scientific. philosophical and theological writings. a precious and highly ornate language. The evolution of prose style At the beginning of the 17th century. religious writings are particularly important. accomplished under the patronage of James I – established a model of English whose beauty. Sermons were a widely popular form of prose-writing. Gradually.
executed in a witty. another form of prose writing which displayed divergent tendencies in style was the anatomy. Joseph Hall inaugurated the English tradition of this genre. etc. whose purpose was didactic or satirical. delighting in speculation and building the knowledge they explored into an elaborate structure. pamphlets* (e. aphoristic style. A variety of other prose genres developed during the 17th century: historical and geographical accounts (Walter Raleigh. Like drama. Milton’s Areopagitica. 1632 – the most virulent Puritan attack on the theatre. 1644 – a famous defense of the freedom of the press). The character as a prose genre influenced Richard Steele and Joseph Addison in their periodical essays. 1666). the great literary achievement of the 18th century. Anatomies were monuments of learning. spiritual biographies (John Bunyan. Samuel Pepys). To these must be added the character.g. unadorned style. with Characters of Virtue and Vices (1608). with his Life of John Donne among other works of this kind – 1670). “Characters” were miniature portraits of human types. Human character as portrayed in their essays was at the same time typical and individualised.” 1642) are the most outstanding representatives of this genre. the biography as an emerging prose genre. 1621) and Sir Thomas Browne (Religio Medici. 22 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . letters. “The Religion of a Doctor. In the 17th century. Samuel Purchas). exhausting the subjects they dealt with. which analyses the constitution of human society. biographies (Izaak Walton. in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). which anticipates the prose of the Neoclassical period. with its explorations of the complexities of human mind and character. the spiritual autobiography and the “character” were literary expressions of the growing interest in human individuality. a prose genre whose model was provided by the Greek writer Theophrastus*. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. The same encyclopaedic. inclusive character is displayed by Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651).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. but its impressive intellectual architecture is achieved in a simple. William Prynne’s Histriomastix. diaries (John Evelyn. Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy. of remarkable precision and force. This kind of approach had a considerable influence on the realistic novel.
between which there is continuity. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. roughly. at the end of the unit. Within these two centuries. and 1. This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England. in a paragraph of no more than 7 lines / 70 words. Summary This unit has offered you a brief introduction to the intellectual and literary developments of the 17th and 18th centuries.1. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. Within these two centuries. you will learn more about the periodical essay. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 . intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. obscurantism and intolerance. The victory of Reason over dogmatism. while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century. more carefully. modern science was born. as well as the faith in progress.5. these two centuries correspond. the image of the universe was changed.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. If there should be major differences between them.5. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. read again subchapters 1.. Culturally. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.
often by means of paradox. blank verse: unrhymed verse. with new genres accessible to a more inclusive reading public. and the emergence of the Age of Feeling prepared the way to the Romantic sensibility. used to express observations of general truth. 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. Key words • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The Renaissance The Enlightenment The Restoration The Age of Reason The Age of Common Man The Age of Feeling The Augustan Age Neoclassicism modernity tradition change emancipation progress poetry drama prose Glossary • • aphoristic style: (from Greek aphorismos: definition) a style characterised by condensation and precision. of serious action. drama and prose in the 17th and 18th centuries has been meant to offer you a general idea of the literary background of this extremely diverse and dynamic period. From a literary point of view.-14 A. Virgil – were revered models for the English Augustan writers.” The short review of the dominant forms of poetry. Ovid. noble and heroic characters. burlesque: the exaggerated imitation. predominantly middle-class. The Great Latin writers of that age – Horace. of the time of emperor Caesar Augustus (27 B.C. which are reduced to the comically trivial.). however. from a system of genres and styles dominated by classical influences to a more “democratic” tendency. elevated style. in a caricatural spirit. a slow transition took place. The birth of the novel is the most significant literary development of this “Age of Common Man. It is. part of the process of modernisation that the Age of Reason came to acknowledge its own limits.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background modernity. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 24 .D. and a major influence on their aesthetic ideal.
civil rights. The founders of English empiricism were Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and John Locke (1632-1704).C.): “Man is the measure of all things”. the conviction that reality is ordered according to laws that are accessible to human reason). and by the search for a model of society in which man’s rights and duties should be exercised in freedom. pragmatism. The victory of the Parliamentary forces led to the abolition of monarchy in 1649. It is one of the most flexible and adaptable prose forms. Voltaire. The subjects and heroes are taken either from myth. or from history. worth and capacity for self-accomplishment. and contributed to the intellectual preparation of the French Revolution (1789). when it was restored. The open conflict between king and Parliament set the whole nation to war. Tolerance. rejection of arbitrary authority and of absolutism are some of the characteristic attitudes of this age. by the promotion of intellectual emancipation and the belief in social and moral progress. social and moral thought. artistic and literary life of the Renaissance was defined by a revived interest in the classical culture and its ideals. until 1660. • essay: a prose composition of varying length. 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. natural law. which began as an educational programme (the humanities – humaniora) propagating those values in Greek and Latin culture which could be harmonised with Christian values. reconciling a materialist account of reality with a rationalist attitude (i. • classical revival: the intellectual. state church) as a reaction against the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 25 • . Rousseau. This return to the Ancients is the foundation of Renaissance humanism. • Elizabethan: related to the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Concepts like human rights.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. humanism. illustrating the close link between religion and politics in English history.e. social contract. Montesquieu. anti-fanaticism. the folk tradition. • Enlightenment: ideological and cultural movement in the 18th century in Europe and America. In a broader sense. widely used in all ages. Thomas Paine (the United States) are among the great representatives of this movement. The founder of the revival of classical learning was Petrarch (see note below). in which personal opinions and observations are presented in a formal or informal manner. Thinkers like Thomas Hobbes. David Hume (Britain). • epic: long narrative poem celebrating the achievements of heroic personages. characterised by anti-dogmatism and the cult of reason as the supreme guiding principle in human action. John Locke. • Evangelical Revival: a trend which started within the Anglican Church (the official. anti-obscurantism. individual liberty. Thomas Jefferson. it evokes an attitude to life which stresses the individual’s dignity. separation of powers were central to Enlightenment political. Diderot (France). legend. • empiricism: a philosophical orientation which established the primacy of experience in the process of knowledge.
in harmony with nature.) are the great ancient models for English writers. The origins of pastoral are in the work of the Greek poet Theocritus (316-260 B. ode: an extended lyric poem. involving elaborate dialogue. Neoclassicism meant a return to the purity. mystery plays: early popular forms of English drama (13th to 16th century) developed out of the Liturgy of the Church and enacting biblical events. Glorious Revolution: in 1688. an idea. The Greek poet Pindar (522-442 B.C. Its conventions may be found not only in lyric poetry. who was a Catholic. idealising shepherd life and creating a nostalgic image of a peaceful. and soon developed into a distinct religious orientation. but also in Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 26 .C. the marginal sections of society. a person or an object. Neoclassicism: an aesthetic doctrine inspired from classical Antiquity (especially Latin).). and corresponded to the rationalistic spirit of the 18th century. In architecture. restraint. It addressed itself to the poor. to its need for clarity and its aspiration to universality. This religious orientation developed into a church: the Methodist Church. masque: courtly entertainment in dramatic form. singing and dancing. The actors used masks and personified pastoral or mythological figures. In English literature. 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). from the Creation to the Ascension. Neoclassicism flourished in the latter half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. who collaborated with the equally famous architect and stage designer Inigo Jones.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • • • • • • • excessive rationalism in matters of faith. pamphlet: a short prose work on a subject (often political or religious) that the author defends polemically.) and the Latin poet Horace (658 B. simple. whose authors were deeply revered and were recommended as models. expressing lofty sentiments and thoughts regarding an event. uncorrupted life. encouraging a personal experience of conversion. The term also refers to the form in which such a work was published: a booklet with paper covers. decorative art. founded by John Wesley in the 1740s. and harmony of classical art. It was used in order to make a trivial subject seem dignified and impressive. pastoral: a literary composition on a rural theme. the Neoclassic period is taken to cover almost a century (16601780). mock-heroic style: a style mocking the serious grandeur of the epic. of spiritual regeneration by grace. and it was often a device of parody and of burlesque. often of an allegorical nature. painting and sculpture. with an elaborate stanza structure and a dignified. solemn style. was forced to leave the throne and fled to France. spectacular scenic effects. The most famous author of masques in the 17th century (when the genre flourished) was Ben Jonson. sumptuous costumes and settings.C. Jacobean: (from Latin Jacobus) related to the reign of James I Stuart (1603-1625). The basis of this kind of faith was the Gospel (the New Testament) and its revealed truth. James II Stuart.
of the expansion of education. Sir George Etherege. It was characterised by a remarkable flourishing of arts and literature. John Vanbrugh. Ariosto. effort. Desiderius Erasmus (Holland). Shakespeare. They propagated a doctrine of spiritual equality and cultivated a stern morality. The most outstanding of the Restoration Wits (or Court Wits) were George Villiers. centred on integrity. and brilliant accomplishments in scholarship and science. 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. Tasso (Italy). Restoration Wits: the generic name for the Restoration dramatists. 1492). and they continued to be used in the 18th century. Sir Charles Sedley. Puritans: members of a Protestant religious group. From a literary point of view. William Wycherley. tone. industry. which was to play an essential role in the rise of capitalism. It placed emphasis on the individual’s spiritual autonomy and creative potential. Cervantes (Spain). in their view. Francis Bacon (England). The Renaissance was the age of the great geographical discoveries (e. selected according to genre and subject. Prominent figures of the Renaissance are Petrarch. by Columbus. poetic diction: a term that. it was the period of Charles II’s reign (1660-1685). thus. Leonardo da Vinci. it had not fully reformed itself. Raphael. for the Neoclassic writers. of America. and of the awakening of the reformist spirit.g. Boccaccio. Duke of Buckingham. consisting in a tremendous development and transformation in all spheres. It is the period of transition from the Middle Ages and the feudal order to early capitalism. especially their work ethics. Pico della Mirandola. which opened the modern era. which was the ultimate authority in the interpretation of God’s word in the Holy Scriptures. “Wit” designates here the person who displays liveliness and brilliance of spirit. Renaissance: cultural movement which started in Italy in the 14th century and spread to Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. who rejected the authority of the English Church because. 27 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Machiavelli. favoured the growth of individualism. The Puritans insisted on man’s duty of actively serving God and on his responsibility towards his own conscience. “The poetry of sensibility” is another generic term for these pre-Romantic tendencies. It refers to the particular kind of language – vocabulary. of the rebirth of learning. Edmund Spenser. its limits are less well defined. style – used by a poet. on the enlargement of his knowledge of himself and of nature. Thomas More. romance or the novel. Their beliefs and convictions.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • • • • • drama. the sense of purpose. it overlaps with the Augustan Age. Philip Sidney. Restoration: historically. implied the idea that the language of poetry is different in quality from ordinary language. in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is sometimes seen as extending to the end of the 17th century. when monarchy was re-established in England after the Puritan rule (1649-1660). Romantic: the Romantic Age in England is usually considered to extend from the end of the 18th century to the 1830s. Lope de Vega.
philosopher and writer. He started his literary career as a playwright. Gallery of personalities • Bacon. His famous political speeches and writings Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 28 . the founder of modern rationalist materialism. and a writer. wit: intellectual brilliance and ingenuity. choleric and melancholic – were seen as the result of the dominance of one of these humours. with various rhyme patterns. Amoretti. Cicero. 1591. the quality of a writing that displays this capacity. with or without musical accompaniment. the four “humours” (i. one of the most influential literary voices of his age. in the 17th century it came to mean fancy or liveliness of thought and imagination. Marcus Tullius (106-43 B. Edmund Spenser. The tradition survived into the 18th century.C. The New Atlantis (published in 1627). the capacity or talent of making unexpected. it meant intelligence or wisdom. In mediaeval and Renaissance physiology and pathology. The Romantic spirit is usually associated with the championship of progressive social and political causes. the promoter of the new scientific spirit. phlegm.e. according to a dominating inclination or passion. phlegmatic. Romanticism reacted against the rationalist empiricism of the Enlightenment by an intense idealism and the cult of Imagination as man’s supreme faculty of the mind. surprising associations. Renaissance dramatists used songs in their plays to create a particular atmosphere. Ben (1572-1637): dramatist. 1591-1595). The sonnet sequence/cycle was frequently used during the Renaissance (Sir Philip Sidney. This theory had a great influence on the conception of character in the 16th and 17th century comedy.): Roman statesman. The four traditional temperaments – sanguine. and a firm believer in man’s creative potential. His literary work includes a series of essays on a wide variety of subjects. and black bile – or melancholy) were believed to determine a person’s disposition and character. and with the French Revolution (1789). The assertion of the self. sonnet: a poem consisting of 14 lines. in which the characters act. the emphasis on the spontaneity of poetic inspiration are also among distinctive features of Romanticism. He was also an eminent statesman. fluids) of the body (blood. which emerged in Britain in the context of the sympathy with the struggle of the American colonies for independence from British domination (1775-1781). Sometimes.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • Romanticism is a European cultural and literary movement. Jonson. in which he anticipates many of the later conquests of modern science. Francis (1561-1626): the most influential thinker of the English Renaissance. independently of circumstances. the belief in the spiritual correspondence between man and nature. poet and scholar. as well as an unfinished utopia. with Every Man in His Humour (1598) and Every Man Out of His Humour (1599). two fine examples of comedy of humours. During the Renaissance. orator. song: a poem composed for singing. yellow bile – or choler. Astrophil and Stella.
Isaac (1642-1727): English physicist. Ecclesiastical and Civil (1651). economics. In his work of moral and political philosophy Leviathan. He laid the foundations of the differential calculus.): Roman 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. politics.D.-65 A. the laws and regulations of human society imitate the laws of nature: the “great Leviathan” is the State. besides the Characters. Lucius Annaeus (4 B. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 29 .The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • • • • • on rhetoric and style provided a model of eloquence in prose. humanity in the state of nature is driven by aggressive competition. Man. John (1632-1704): considered the “father” of English empiricism. For Hobbes. Newton. Form and Power of a Commonwealth. Publius Cornelius (55-120 A. Locke was a firm supporter of the Glorious Revolution and of constitutional monarchy. whose concise and trenchant style inspired 17th century English prose writers. Seneca. but he was interested in a variety of intellectual fields: philosophy. in a kind of social contract. Theophrastus (372-287 B. the initiator of the revival of the study of ancient Greek and Latin literature. the “body politic” created in perfect analogy with the “body natural” of “that rational and most excellent work of nature. Tacitus. made important discoveries in the field of optics.): Greek philosopher and naturalist. Locke studied medicine.D. ethics. Both Hobbes and Locke can be seen as the initiators of the “social contract” theory. the instinct of self-preservation. insists on man’s perfect freedom in the state of nature. greatly influenced by Hobbes. chief figure of the scientific revolution of the 17th century. must guarantee man’s natural right to liberty and life. and Hobbes describes this generalised state of war by the famous formula “homo homini lupus” (“man is wolf to man”). author. unlike that of Hobbes. According to him. for instance. Petrarch: Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374).C.” A fundamental problem for Hobbes is that of the foundation of the social and political order. the latter. It is fear of death. whose conceptions were profoundly influenced by the development of physics and mathematics. Locke. or the Matter.): Roman historian and statesman.C. Locke insists on the mutual obligations of the individual and the instituted authority. writer and statesman. and man’s agreement to submit to a governing authority is an expression of that freedom. Thomas (1588-1679): materialist philosopher. astronomer and philosopher. of the first treatise of ancient philosophy. His political philosophy. Hobbes. which was central to Enlightenment thought. and his political doctrine inspired the American constitution. that determines man to surrender part of his natural rights to the authority of a civil government. mathematician. religion. Italian poet and humanist.
F. the sonnet: Shakespeare. Cornelia. 3. 6. Sir George Etherege.F.). Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers. Cowley.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. Dryden. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele. 5. Milton the pastoral: Milton. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne. English Literature and Civilisation. Preda. Marvell. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson.2. William Wycherley. Thomson. artificial.3.F. 5. Turcu. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style.T. The Literature of the Beginnings. John Vanbrugh). 9-32) 2. 4. Duke of Buckingham. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson. 6. 7-49) 3.4. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general. 7. precision. Pope. Milton. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. Macsiniuc. b.T SAQ 2 a. Donne. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. there was a tendency towards simplicity. 1983 (pp.T.T. Editura Universităţii Suceava.T. 4. Editura Universităţii Suceava. d. 2003 (pp. Goldsmith. Collins. Sir George Sedley.T. . Herrick. The English Eighteenth Century. Marvell satire: Dryden. Fielding.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1. 2. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech. Dryden. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. John Gay Further reading 1. 2003 (pp. Herbert. 8. The Novel in Its Beginnings.F. c.T. Pope. Carew. 2.T.T. Blake the ode: Marvell. Ioan-Aurel (ed. Goldsmith. Luminiţa Elena. 3.
2.3. 2. 2.7.3. 2.1. 2.1. 18.104.22.168.12.2.1. 2. 2. 2. 22.214.171.124.2. 2. 126.96.36.199. 188.8.131.52. 2.2.3. 2. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius.4. 2. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs.1. 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 .3. 184.108.40.206.3.10.3. 2.8. 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168. 22.214.171.124. 2.3.2. 2.2. 2. 2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.5.
with its sense of confidence and optimism.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 the perception of man as a bundle of contradictions and the view of the universe as threatened by instability. The spirit that dominated this age was typical of the Renaissance. The Elizabethan age: the English high Renaissance Features of the high Renaissance spirit 32 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the enormous vitality nourished by the trust in man’s powers – these are general features of the high Renaissance spirit that found their expression in literature as well. this spirit declined under the pressure of certain historical events* and cultural tendencies. Increasingly prosperous and powerful owing to colonial expansion and economic progress. and Edmund Spenser* complete the literary picture of the glorious Elizabethan Age. The emergence of the baroque sensibility The early and high Renaissance* in England developed under the Tudor monarchs*. In the late Renaissance. Renaissance England reached the climax in its flourishing. Philip Sydney*. but the outstanding achievements of writers like Thomas Kyd*.1. stable and modern state. High Renaissance English literature has its most accomplished expression in Shakespeare’s work. The vision of a harmonious. The former expansiveness. Under Queen Elizabeth I. the sense of tradition as a guarantee for order. idealism and confidence gave way to a growing sense of disorder and violence. Christopher Marlowe*. during whose reign England developed into a strong. to scepticism. Elizabethan England also witnessed an explosion of creative energies in the field of letters and arts. anxiety and even pessimism. well-ordered universe.
life and death. 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. reason and superstition. of confusing or transgressing limits. sensualism and mysticism. St. both in its themes and motifs. splendour. and Christopher Marlowe’s characters. and. the difficult – often irregular – rhythms. The unexpected. capable of rendering its 33 Revenge tragedy Metaphysical poetry Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. Even the Elizabethan dramatists cultivated elements which announced the Baroque. and in its dramatic conception.1. Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry The essence of the baroque sensibility is conflict and tension. Although very diverse. a tendency commonly associated with the baroque is represented by the Metaphysical Poets of the 17th century. the tragic divisions in man’s soul. The baroque vision of experience of the Metaphysical Poets required a new kind of poetic language. of man’s limitations and the inevitability of death. they are the supreme dramatic achievement of late Renaissance. contrasts with the baroque taste for the extravagant. but also to pomp. but his great tragedies belong not only chronologically to the Jacobean age: as embodiments of the baroque spirit. Paul’s Cathedral in London (16751708): an example of baroque architecture 2. The Jacobean and Caroline drama* is essentially baroque. refinement and cruelty. The Renaissance cult of rational order. with its abundance of bloody deaths. to the macabre.2. irony and ambiguity. ornamental rhetoric and preference for convention and artifice. the extensive use of paradox. destroyed by the monstrous excess of their ambition.1.” these poets distinguish themselves by the ingenuity with which they force the limits of language. in literature. wisdom and madness. the spectacular and the sumptuous. The Baroque displays attraction to obscurity and melancholy. the paradoxes and contrasts which make up man’s mixed nature. and not properly forming a “school. The best examples are Thomas Kyd’s revenge tragedy. In lyric poetry. Characteristic baroque themes were those of life as dream and life as theatre. or the world as stage. The Renaissance celebrated Nature and life with its joys. with the tendency of breaking proportions. the Baroque displayed a sharp consciousness of life’s ephemerality. Characteristic of the baroque spirit are the sense of ethical relativism and the exploration of the borderline between truth and illusion. grandeur. the concentration of expression in their poems stand in contrast with the Elizabethan smooth and orderly patterns of versification. nothing reflects better its emergence than drama. its sense of form. proportion and symmetry. for excess. Shakespeare’s early comedies and history plays* are Elizabethan in spirit. striking imagery. on which the “show” of life must end.1.
with the two most relevant accomplishments of the late Renaissance English literature: William Shakespeare’s great tragedies (Hamlet. The Tempest. 34 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . complicated feeling and analytical detachment. you will be acquainted. as expressions of the baroque spirit of the age. and it is appealing simultaneously to the sensibility and the intellect of the reader.The late Renaissance and the Baroque complexities. SAQ 1 Fill in the spaces left below with those features of the Baroque (B) which contrast with the following features of the high Renaissance (R): 1. R: vision of the world as harmonious and well-ordered B: 2. optimism. Othello and Macbeth) and his last romance play. read again the preceding subchapters. R: celebration of life’s joys B: 3. R: cult for order and symmetry. King Lear. Metaphysical poetry blends passion and reason. sense of form B: 4. exuberance B: Compare your answers to those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be major differences. R: confidence. classical balance. at the end of this unit. respectively. as well as some of the metaphysical poems of John Donne and Andrew Marvell. In the following two subchapters.
aspirations and interests. irrespective of the register in which they are conceived – tragic or comic. but his enduring preeminence has been insured by his extraordinary insight into human nature. there is an astonishing variety of styles and registers. moral attitudes. to the prose speech of simple folk. A wide range of feelings. conflicts. In his last period of creation (1608-1611). in which every character – major or minor – has a consistent individuality and is animated by passions. It ranges from the sublime accents of pure poetry. as well as in the tragic grandeur of the inner conflicts that they portray. They are always credible. King Lear and Macbeth (1605). friendship. among other features. envy. In Shakespeare’s whole work. and a perfect adequacy of the language to the character’s moral nature and to the dramatised experience or emotion. romantic or trivial. and experiences are given dramatic shape in his plays: love. medieval and contemporary sources – English.2. gratitude and ingratitude. These plays may be seen as strongly influenced by the emerging baroque sensibility in their themes. language. from the variety of his work. The beginning of the 17th century is also the beginning of his second phase (1600-1608). His later plays Shakespeare’s greatness as a dramatist comes. sometimes even trivial. states of mind. Italian. sublime or burlesque. The richness and profundity of his comprehensive creation establish him as a universal genius. According to the dramatic necessity. which brought him enormous success during his lifetime. hate. all of them are re-workings and adaptations of subjects taken from a variety of ancient. in the great blank verse* soliloquies*. search for truth. but in the creation of characters and the exploration of their mind and heart. so that it displays a similar variety. where the lyrical and dramatic elements are in perfect fusion.” Shakespeare’s work is conventionally divided into several phases. Shakespeare’s genius. Shakespeare modulates the language in each play. Othello (1604). motifs and imagery. and French. 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 . devotion. He was a master of every contemporary dramatic form. A whole human universe inhabits Shakespeare’s plays. when his artistic maturity and depth of vision produced his four monumental tragedies: Hamlet (1601). all mastered with supreme art. transcending the artistic hierarchy of his age and consecrating him as always “our contemporary. Shakespeare had a natural instinct for the stage. jealousy. struggle for power. He was not original in the use of his subjects: with a few exceptions. or periods of creation.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. His inventiveness and imagination were invested not in the intrigues. loyalty and betrayal. rendered accurately in their poetic truth. etc. His characters emerge from the dramatic situation with an unsurpassed force of conviction. and the range of his subjects is extremely diverse. Shakespeare’s whole work is a synthesis of the concerns and convictions of the Renaissance. in plain. craftsmen or servants. his deep understanding of humanity. and a culmination of its literary art.
with the consequences of imperfect knowledge and self-blindness. with the restoration of order. basically.2. the downfall of the tragic hero is accompanied by the destruction of a natural order. 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. but he adds to it philosophical and ethical implications of the deepest significance. by the chaos arising from the corruption and collapse of values. as far as his approach to character is concerned? 2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque The last period: the romance plays tragedies. What does Shakespeare’s greatness consist in. with the sense of hope overcoming spiritual desolation. In these plays. but they deal. at the end of the unit. common in the Renaissance. If they should differ significantly. are also tributary to the spirit of the Baroque.1. with the human endeavour to understand if suffering is part of the 36 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The issues that are explored dramatically in Shakespeare’s later tragedies reflect the spirit of uncertainty and increasing scepticism of a baroque age. with the effects of evil on innocence. of which The Tempest (1611) is the crowning achievement. 2. SAQ 2 Answer the following questions. in no more than 4 lines / 40 words each: 1. read again the preceding subchapter. His romance plays. The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s tragedies Shakespeare’s tragedies preserve the pattern of the “fall of princes”*. with innocence and vitality triumphing over evil and death. between truth and falsehood. He is concerned here with the paradoxes in the relationship between reality and appearance.
with a poisoned sword. Hamlet learns that Ophelia. the first in this series of masterpieces. bringing in the prospect of renewal and of the restoration of order. Laertes. has drowned herself. in the confusions of the final scene. the Norwegian prince and glorious military hero. Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility Hamlet has been seen as the embodiment of the ideal Renaissance prince – refined and cultivated. which represents a similar scene of murder. he has the occasion to kill Claudius. who was now the new king and who had married Gertrude. when Fortinbras. Back to the castle. brave. Shakespeare deals with his great tragic themes in the frame of a revenge tragedy. 2.2. who had really gone mad. rejected by Hamlet in spite of their mutual affection. generous and brilliantly intelligent. who suspects him of aspiring to take his throne. he kills Polonius. Hamlet feels all his certainties destroyed. It is in these four great tragedies that Shakespeare gives the full proof of his artistic genius. In another scene. At one point. the intensity of poetic expression – especially in the soliloquies – are features that rank these plays highest in the whole history of the genre. as he now sees in her only another embodiment of woman’s frailty. the play ends on a note of hope. Upon his return to Denmark from his university studies.The late Renaissance and the Baroque natural order of things or if it betrays the indifference of Nature – or God – towards man. Hamlet hides his terrible grief behind the mask of madness. In spite of this bloody outcome. sensitive and idealistic. takes over the rule of Denmark. Claudius’s guilty conscience betrays him. His Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 37 .2. a courtier. The enlargement of meaning through consistent patterns of imagery running throughout each play. absorbed more and more by his consciousness of the paradoxes of his difficult task of exposing the truth. but refrains from doing it as the latter was in prayer. all the main protagonists find their death. and continually delays the act of revenge. but the plot escapes their control and. mistaking him for Claudius. Young Hamlet is thus confronted with the horrors of fratricide and incest. Her brother.3. Polonius is the father of beautiful Ophelia. During the play. that he had actually been poisoned by his brother. Hamlet arranges a play to be performed at court. and with the immense burden of revenge. young prince Hamlet learns from the ghost of his recently dead father. Sir Laurence Olivier in Hamlet (1948) 2. required by his dead father.2. the masterful treatment of highly complex characters. the widow queen. Claudius. Hamlet escapes a criminal plot set up by Claudius. In order to find confirmation for the ghost’s story. Confronted with the moral corruption around him. Sent on a diplomatic mission to England. accepts Claudius’s treacherous plan of killing Hamlet during a duel. old king Hamlet. Hamlet: a revenge play In Hamlet.
the balance and confidence of the Renaissance man have been replaced by scepticism and mistrust. which is only partly dissimulated. It allows the hero to take distance from the corrupt order of the “prison” that Denmark has become for him. at the end of the unit. What is the essence of this divided view? Formulate your answer in the space left below. his obsessive quest for truth and certainty. The sign of this confusion is the typically baroque motif of Hamlet’s madness. read again the preceding subchapter. SAQ 3 Text 2. in which all the values on which he had relied have lost their meaning. If they should differ significantly.The late Renaissance and the Baroque new consciousness that “something’s rotten in Denmark” plunges him into a nightmare. revealing Hamlet’s dualistic vision. and this makes him now aware of the ironies and ambiguities inherent in the discrepancy between what is and what seems. Hamlet: the philosopher vs. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words.1. 2.4.2. is eminently a philosopher’s effort. the man of action Hamlet’s penetrating spirit has discerned a reality of human nature that he had not suspected. as well as the indicated fragment. 38 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In Hamlet’s tormented soul. Madness becomes the refuge of the sensitive conscience from moral chaos. His effort to see beyond the veil of illusion. from the Reader contains a short meditation on man and the universe. and this may explain his indefinite postponing of the revenge. Compare your answer with the suggestions offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.
if there is a purpose for its existence in the world of man. of setting right again the “time” which is “out of joint. who is disguised as a lunatic beggar. to the themes of knowledge and self-knowledge. of truth and illusion. Edgar. The earl of Gloucester joins them. and the Fool’s comments. after his eyes have been put out for having helped Lear.” 2. which helps him endure his suffering. both of them prove to be the loyal. Lear becomes the victim of the ingratitude of his two elder daughters. The storm outside matches the storm in Lear’s hurt soul. unconditionally loving ones. Goneril and Reagan. Lear strives to understand the roots of evil. and he is thus reunited with his son without knowing it.The late Renaissance and the Baroque The delay of Hamlet’s revenge his incapacity to act. The motif of madness. starts with a folk tale motif: old Lear plans to leave his kingdom to his three daughters if he is pleased with their declarations of love. through paradox. of human suffering. Cordelia. who deprive him of all prerogatives and turn him out of their castles. which hide much wisdom under the appearance of playful nonsense. Edgar. is also an exile from his own family. like Lear’s daughter Cordelia. which is that of restoring a lost order. on the other hand. and. 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 . which has been interpreted in innumerable ways. Tragically. in reality. there is madness in nature itself. is the victim of a staged play of appearances. are skilfully brought together and create a new ironic dimension in the play.2. whom he disinherits.5. a bastard. Maddened with grief. to believe him a traitor and usurper. Disappointed by the reticence of his youngest daughter. as his father has been deceived by his other son Edmund. like that of blindness. Hamlet feels overwhelmed by the real task that he is called to fulfil. as in Hamlet. questioning side is exacerbated by the irruption of evil in a universe that he had thought well-ordered. son of Lear’s loyal supporter. an outburst of violence which evokes to Lear the cruelty of his daughters. which would not undo the past. he is wondering: “Is there a cause in nature that makes these hard hearts?” Edgar’s disguised madness. the Earl of Gloucester. Hamlet’s introspective. The storm scenes in the play contain the highest symbolic concentration. Lear’s own madness. is closely linked. marks in fact a growth in his moral understanding. another “fall of princes” tragedy. King Lear: the madness of tragic grief King Lear. He is also accompanied by the faithful Earl of Kent in disguise and by the Court Fool. exiled Lear wanders in a terrible storm in the company of Edgar. the quest for higher meanings. His intellectual energies are now concentrated in his search for the meaning of the ultimate questions of life and death. These explorations become more important than the technical matter of revenge.
and the tragic disaster shows how the play of appearances can dissolve firm moral opposites like truth/lie. a brave and honest general of the Venetian republic. the bond of a love marriage is the frame in which Shakespeare explores the theme of evil in connection with that of appearance vs. Desdemona.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Evil as destruction of the “natural” order unnatural acts which violate this order. unfaithful.2. and its outburst is always accompanied by the awakening of the tragic hero’s consciousness of the divorce between seeming and being. innocence/guilt. Othello kills her and takes his own life when her innocence is proved to him. Shakespeare gives a special intensity to this theme by dealing with evil in the context of the most natural of human relationships: kinship (relations by blood or by marriage). is led by Iago to believe his wife.6. faithfulness/betrayal. 2. In Othello. Evil is that which destroys Nature. As a result of Iago’s manipulations. evil succeeds precisely because of the perfection of Desdemona’s purity and Othello’s trusting nature. With his mind poisoned by a false evidence of Desdemona’s infidelity. acting against it. essence. Othello is thrown into the terrible agony of suspecting that beauty and innocence might disguise corruption. The noble protagonist. Scene from Othello. and this destroys his confidence in a moral order. Claudius’s fratricide and the cruelty of Lear’s daughters are transgressions which turn the tragic hero’s world upside down. To be or to seem: Othello Evil coming from those who are naturally closest to us is intolerable. In Othello. painted by James Graham (early 17th century) 40 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Othello.
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. The baroque motif of madness is. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. at the instigation of his wife. underlining the theme of knowledge. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. one of Duncan’s sons. The protagonist. it bleeds.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience.2. innocence and corruption. at the end of the unit. to 2. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. 2. 1. you need to revise subchapters 2. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. but. ____________________ 4. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. paradoxically. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. ____________________ 2. he multiples his crimes.6. disorder. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. illusion and truth. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 .7. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). If any of your solutions should not correspond.2. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. ____________________ 5. kinsman and guest.2. / It weeps. who has a trusting nature. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. and unmotivated violence and cruelty. ____________________ 3. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment.2. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. Macbeth. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order.
His words to Lady Macbeth render his first thoughts after the murder. in no more than 120 words / 12 lines.The late Renaissance and the Baroque burden of sin. Compare your answer with the one offered at the end of the unit. 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. Macbeth’s heroic strength of will enables him to survive the terrible inner torments. How can we interpret Macbeth’s hallucination about the voice crying “Sleep no more. 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. 42 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. / Macbeth does murder sleep. If there should be significant differences. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. from which the ultimate relief is suicide.” heard immediately after he has committed the murder? What does sleep represent for Macbeth here? Answer in the space left below. Text 2. who ends up by losing the belief in any meaning of life. reveals how soon the abominable crime has begun to work on his spirit. Macbeth joins his wife after he has killed Duncan. from the Reader. read the fragment once more. and he meets his punishment in the final battle. extracted from this scene. scene 2. SAQ 5 In Act II.
the fairy-tale atmosphere. a creature whose beastly nature is beyond Prospero’s attempt of educating him. these plays offer patterns of reconciliation and positive solutions to life’s contradictions.9. Shakespeare’s last plays Shakespeare’s four plays belonging to his last period of creation (1608-1611) – Pericles. Miranda. the jester. Alonzo. and Sebastian. involving the shipwrecked characters. Prospero is the former and legitimate duke of Milan.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. a drunken servant. magic. and his supernatural powers have given him control over both the natural elements and the spirits. his faithful spiritservant. to take his throne. the choice of a remote setting. Sebastian and Ferdinand – Alonzo’s brother and son. In its opening scene. but his plan is prevented by Ariel’s music. The Winter’s Tale.8. their plots contain characteristic ingredients like dangers which are finally avoided. the long journey. Trinculo. Caliban hates and fears Prospero. owing to the improbability of the action. usurped by his brother Antonio and forced into exile twelve years before. the sense of a benevolent providential design. of exile and return). as well as other passengers. One of these sub-plots involves the courtiers: Antonio persuades Sebastian to kill his sleeping brother. the theme of loss and recovery. who instantly fall in love with each other. In a plot-line that parallels and parodies the latter. 2. while for physical labour he uses Caliban. by his powers. the pronounced elements of the supernatural. are encouraged by Caliban to kill Prospero and take over the rule of the island. Cymbeline. Another sub-plot brings together Ferdinand and Miranda. who. and certain themes and motifs (e. on which he lives alone with his daughter. a storm wrecks the ship carrying Antonio.2. duke of Milan. myth. They may also be described as romance plays. the shipwreck. or tension and suspense followed by happy reversals – features that make them tragi-comedies. It is also in these last plays that Shakespeare’s dramatic imagination relies to a greater extent on symbolism.2. We soon find out that the storm and shipwreck have been magically provoked by Prospero. respectively –. Three lines of action develop. 43 John William Waterhouse: Miranda –The Tempest (1916) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Alonzo. separated from each other in various parts of the island and all believing the others dead.g. marvelous. The plot of The Tempest Of these four plays. the master of an island. He had long studied the arts of magic. His acts of magic are fulfilled through Ariel. The Tempest (1611). is considered the finest. and The Tempest – are described either as tragi-comedies or as romance plays. has turned him into a slave. After the tragedies. They mix serious and comic action. the last expression of Shakespeare’s mature genius. king of Naples.
“neglecting worldly ends. Prospero. and then to Milan. influenced by Ariel. at the end. represents pure spirit. The power of innocence to redeem evil and restore order and the values of humanity is another important theme. whose youth and innocence are the premises for the undoing of the wrongs of the past. At the opposite pole. 2. he learns. While Caliban and the plotting courtiers and servants demonstrate that both nature and society are capable of corruption.” claiming his throne. His act of forgiveness is the highest demonstration of princely power. he regains his authority and learns again the arts of power. Prospero plans a safe return to Naples for the wedding of Miranda and Ferdinand. On the island.” who can be controlled only by the art of magic. he has a change of heart and sees in the union of the lovers a possibility of reconciliation and of a new beginning. education] can never stick. for the emergence of a regenerated world.” “on whose nature / Nurture [i. The grossest instincts of human nature and a fundamental viciousness are symbolically embodied in the grotesque figure of Caliban. who reveals himself to them as “the wronged duke of Milan. Ariel. Major themes An important theme in The Tempest is that of the nature of power. evil Elizabeth Green – Ariel: The Tempest (1922) 44 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Ariel is commanded to bring all the characters before Prospero. He forgives his treacherous brother and those involved in his usurpation.e.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Prospero’s initial plan had been revenge.2. assumes a certain responsibility for his own dethronement: absorbed in his studies. now. to break his staff (symbol of supernatural power) and to drown his book (symbol of supernatural knowledge). Caliban Innocence vs. In the final act. and to return to the world in his full humanity.10.” he had also failed to see his brother’s true character. the scholar-magician. Evil is not absent in The Tempest: there are echoes of Shakespeare’s previous plays in the motif of the usurping brother planning murder. and it is significant that this act is accompanied by his decision to abandon his magic. The theme of power Ariel vs. who now repent. to master himself. or of the wickedness of the servant turning against his master. the control of intelligence over nature. the personification of Prospero’s imagination. more importantly. in Ferdinand and Miranda civilisation and nature are united in their most innocent forms. but. a “thing of darkness. one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating creations. Prospero’s project acquires a wider dimension through the union of Ferdinand and Miranda.
Compare your answer with the one offered at the end of the unit. Act I. Caliban answers that the only benefit of being able to speak is that he can now curse Prospero. Prospero reminds Caliban that he did his best to raise him from his animal condition. Full of resentment. Here. of the role of language in acquiring knowledge. read the fragment again. scene 2. extracted from The Tempest.4..The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 6 Read Text 2. for instance. If there should be major differences. by teaching him to speak. or in developing self-identity. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 45 . in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Formulate your answer in 150 words / 15 lines. What implications can you find in their exchange of replies? You may think. more carefully.
but an important symbolic ingredient in its major events. manipulates the characters and prescribes the ending.2. or to impose upon it. Ariel – illustration to the 1873 edition of The Works of Shakespeare 46 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . order and harmony. and it even contains (like Hamlet) a play within the play: a masque* performed as a celebration of Ferdinand and Miranda’s engagement. and it is constantly associated with the magic actions of Ariel. Shakespeare’s last masterpiece seems to suggest that if life is transient like a theatre performance. the association of life with the insubstantiality and briefness of a theatre show. This emphasis on spectacle and its power to reveal truths by its illusion constitutes a baroque element in The Tempest. is frequent in Shakespeare’s plays. The play-metaphor The action in The Tempest is practically managed by Prospero.” The sea-journey Music 2. comforts Ferdinand’s despair when he thinks his father dead. a profound spiritual transformation and growth.12. then at least man should strive to discern in it.2. The miraculous survival of the ship’s passengers. the same features as those of the Renaissance aesthetic ideal: beauty. Prospero also needs “some heavenly music” to accomplish the final act of his plan. The sea-journey and shipwreck are the symbols of a “sea change”*. The whole play insists on the idea of spectacle. and prevents the wicked plots of both the courtiers and the drunken servants. which “delight and hurt not.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. The title itself points to the importance of the symbolism of the sea-journey. Another pervading symbol is that of music. whose magic art controls every incident. Symbols in The Tempest Several symbolic elements contribute to the treatment of the themes in The Tempest. Even Caliban seems to be responsive to the “sounds and sweet airs” of the island. music suggests harmony and the power of the spirit to purify human nature.11. The playmetaphor. suggests the victory of life over death and of spirit over the elemental power of nature. In opposition with the convulsions and dangers of the tempest. It is through music that he calms down the fury of the waters. of performance. It is through the perfection of Ariel’s art that Prospero re-establishes the moral law in the world to which he can now return. Music is not only a necessary element in the spectacular quality of The Tempest. sublimating its primitive energies.
in his own way. T F 7. 1.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. but each of them. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. except that of terrifying him. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. revise subchapters2. T F 3. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century. T F 5. T F 4.9 to 2. 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. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 . You must find them among the following statements.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. at the end of the unit.12. The power of music has no effect on Caliban.2. was first intended to bring discredit on them. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If any of your choices should be wrong. of which three are false. 2.2.3. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence. Their styles are different. T F 6. T F 2.
Characteristics of metaphysical poetry Metaphysical poetry displayed a new quality of writing. As extended comparisons. The reader is expected to approach such a poem with an active mind.e. that the poet detaches himself from his own feelings in order to better understand and analyse them.2. and to unify diverse and even discordant aspects of inner and outer reality into a single experience. a metaphysical poem is not a piece of abstract thinking. a metaphor or an analogy. by the ingenuity with which they forced the perception of similarity in the most unexpected elements. meant to surprise and delight the reader by their wit*. with patterns of rhythms closer to those of spoken language than to the requirements of literary tradition. and which blended expressive conciseness with density of meaning. and almost always such a poem starts from a very personal situation. a demand for “more matter and less words.3. from a most ordinary circumstance. argumentative quality. linked. In spite of its logical. The impression is that this experience. “More matter and less words” 2. secret] resemblances in things apparently unlike. The metaphysical conceit The poetic device by which such opposites are brought together and reconciled is the conceit. which helps the poet to develop his subject. This is an elaborate figurative device.” as “the most heterogeneous ideas yoked [i. to bring not only his imagination and emotion into play. often extended by the use of hyperbole* or oxymoron*. which was in fact the expression of a new spiritual context. is contemplated from a certain distance. the poet was able to reconcile contradictory states of mind and feeling.1. A poem in this tradition is usually focused on an idea or line of argument. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Discordia concors 48 .” A new kind of poetry emerged.e. The thought goes hand in hand with the feeling. There is always a connection between the abstract and the concrete. which is developed through the exploitation of an image in all its possible implications. conceits were abundant in Elizabethan dramatic and lyrical poetry. Starting with the last decade of the 16th century. Irrespective of the kind of experience they endeavour to render.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. a cold intellectual exercise. all metaphysical poets are self-conscious and analytic. writers had to face a new exigency. regardless of the subject of the poem. but also his reason. hidden. which starts from a comparison. Samuel Johnson* was to describe (in 1779) the kind of wit which characterised a metaphysical conceit as discordia concors*. By means of conceits. as well as in ordering and mastering intense emotion. but metaphysical conceits were far-fetched* comparisons. and the emotions involved.3. 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 main features of metaphysical poetry are concentration and logical coherence. Dr. or discovery of occult [i. as “a combination of dissimilar images.
and the same realistic force. 2. pastoral* conventions. at the end of the unit. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry .3. Use the space left below.3.3. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. and allegory.3. and 2. its decorative use of classical mythology. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words.1. revise subchapters 2. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. and a highly original one. In the treatment of both themes. In the following subchapters. If they should differ considerably. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith.
His love poetry is revolutionary in its rejection of the Petrarchan* conventions of courtly love*.” “tear-floods”). he pleads that she should abandon the intransigence of the chaste. which. Donne is highly playful in this poem. Donne changes this conventional vision of love.” He tries to persuade his mistress not to kill the flea. superior – woman was an object of never fulfilled desire. 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. their love being so great and “refined. beautiful. carrying the lover’s witty arguments to their logical extremes. sometimes presenting woman as inconstant and unfaithful. unattainable lady and enjoy the pleasures of sensuality. though greater. Their superior love is founded on spiritual union and is not dependent on physical presence for its survival. he resorts to the extravagant identification of a flea that has bitten both of them with their “marriage bed” and a “marriage temple. sometimes speaking frankly of his erotic desire. in which their blood is now mixed. The poem celebrates the stability and comfort of a secure relationship. The various comparisons and analogies by which he describes their love function as arguments in his plea. and often emphasising the need for mutual love. A famous poem celebrating shared love is A Valediction*: Forbidding Mourning. Donne adopts a wide range of tones and attitudes. shocking the reader by the unexpected analogy developed in the central conceit (the flea as symbolic marriage bed). Donne’s love poems In his love poems. 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. according to which woman was always an unattainable ideal. are however harmless to man. He also suggests sometimes that physical union. Mingling the trivial with the mystical sublime. Chaste.” their separation must be seen in analogy with cosmic disturbances (“the trepidation of the spheres”). and all that the faithful lover could hope for were symbolic rewards and favours for his constancy and humble submission. as this would be a triple “sin. This is a seduction poem. Another powerful example of Donne’s use of logical argument in a poem about love is The Flea. but.” In fact. dealing with profound personal feeling and emotion from the distance of intellectual argument. in which the speaker brings all his argumentative skill in support of his attempt to convince the woman to accept physical intimacy. from cynicism and playfulness to passionate sincerity and the celebration of both physical love and spiritual union.3. Donne’s rejection of the Petrarchan tradition A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning The Flea: seduction and wit 50 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . when accompanied by genuine feeling.4. 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.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. and he seems to amuse himself.
2. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 51 . as well. Explain the surprising analogy that he makes in order to speak about mutual love.6. Here. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 9 Read Donne’s poem (Text 2. at the end of the unit. he develops one of his most famous conceits.. If they should differ significantly. in no more than 18 lines / 180 words. you need to revise subchapter 2. which explains what a metaphysical conceit is. Read the poem again.3. Formulate your answer in the space left below. in the Reader). paying special attention to the last three stanzas.
paradoxical aspects of the experience of love. divine judgement.5. in his religious poems the mystery of faith is often explored in erotic terms.3. If love is often a holy mystery for Donne. gives this sonnet a particular dramatic intensity. between idealised passion and erotic desire. Actually. Donne’s religious poems often develop an analogy between sexual love and divine love. He fights against his own sense of sin and guilt.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. Donne’s religious poems Donne’s baroque sensibility is evident in his love poems in the tension between conflicting. Donne’s focus is on his deep sense of sin. which parallel those in his love poetry. resurrection and salvation. on death. in the exercise of reason. in which the delight in witty logical argumentation. clashes with the poet’s scepticism that the mystery of faith can be penetrated intellectually. The most eloquent example is the sonnet Batter My Heart. this need is expressed by means of several conceits. which makes him a prisoner of God’s enemy. in which the poet expresses his deep need for a close relationship with God. on the paradoxes of freedom and captivity. The insistence on violence and struggle. one of Donne’s nineteen Holy Sonnets. In his religious meditations in verse. comparable to that of Shakespeare. of loyalty and betrayal. for the divine saving grace. In Batter My Heart. Batter My Heart Portrait of John Donne (1572-1631) (author unknown) 52 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Tension and paradox are also explored in his religious poems. Satan. as if suggesting that the experience of erotic union is the only way of understanding our relationship with God. in which the poet’s desire to abandon himself to God’s love is rendered through paradoxical images. between the need for permanence and the need for variety. These poems usually display contrary impulses.
and love of country. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. according to some critics. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*.3. at the end of the unit.6. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. As a Puritan* patriot. revise subchapter 2.5. In the last six lines.3. Marvell left. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. and read the poem again. 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. If there should be significant differences. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650).The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. Donne suggests his contradictory. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. nature.7. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. from the Reader. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . 2. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape.
He rather sees the events and the fate of the two rulers in the context of a providential history. He showed a deep love for the countryside. which begins with a most accurate description of a dew-drop on a rose petal. 2.3. for fear that it might grow] impure. 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. His nature poems have usually a mystical tendency. Just as the dew-drop is “trembling. The most illustrative poem. in which the speaker develops an ingenious argument in order to persuade his mistress to give up her coyness [i. Marvell often sees.e. in which both of them act according to a divine order. reveals thus its symbolic dimension to the poet’s contemplative mind. Gifted with a sharp sense of observation of natural detail. Marvell does not portray Oliver Cromwell and his opponent. behaving with royal grace in his last minute. and many of his poems reveal his delight in the contemplation of rural nature.e. on the scaffold. in this respect.” so the Christian Soul denies the earth and its “impure” pleasures. The theme of love in Marvell’s poetry Of Marvell’s love poems. anticipating the early Romantic attitude to nature.7. The carpe diem* motif was popular in Renaissance poetry.3. in contrasting colours. and thus he can find reason to praise both of them. as if Nature itself were a “mystic book. It is a seduction poem.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. developed then into a complex analogy with the pure Christian soul and its relation with earth and with heaven. these details as emblems of a transcendent reality. Although loyal to the Puritan cause. Nature as “mystic book” Another side of Marvell’s poetic personality is illustrated by his nature poetry. a masterpiece of metaphysical wit. the most accomplished is To His Coy Mistress.e. On a Drop of Dew 2. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Carpe diem 54 .” and finally dissolves itself “into the glories of the almighty Sun. King Charles I Stuart. aspiring to union with almighty God. Marvell emphasises the dignity with which the defeated king met his fate.” associated with his mistress’s preference for a prolonged courtship. What begins as a nature poem is extended into a religious poem by means of a metaphysical conceit. A natural detail. is On a Drop of Dew. however. On the other hand. pictured with remarkable precision. lest it grow [i.8. The speaker’s argument opposes the “deserts of vast eternity.” whose visible beauties are the key to spiritual truths. shyness] and accept his passionate love. which illustrates the poet’s skill in combining the playful and the serious. to change the form of ruling power). but Marvell’s poem extends it into a meditation on time.
What are the main ideas corresponding to these three steps? Formulate them succinctly in the space left below. which has the structure If…. Love can suspend the inexorable laws of nature.8.8. SAQ 11 Read Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress (Text 2. is presented as the only way of transcending our mortality. in the Reader). read the poem again. If the difference is considerable. Do not exceed 12 lines / 120 words in all. at the end of the unit. If… But… Therefore… Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in its sexual fulfillment.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque to the imperative of conquering time by the intensity of sensual enjoyment. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 55 . more carefully. after revising subchapter 2. Love. then (therefore)…. but…. paying attention to the logic of the argument. it can arrest the inevitable course towards physical extinction by a moment of ecstatic pleasure.
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.
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 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
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural
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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usually between highly dissimilar elements. “The innocent sleep” is the symbol of moral integrity. Hamlet. unable to find peace once it has been corrupted by evil. passion and reason. which organises and “manages” intense feeling and emotion. Prospero seemed also to think that Caliban could be socialised through speech. 5. Othello. Hamlet. From Prospero’s point of view. Hamlet.g. SAQ 6 Prospero might have better controlled Caliban in his “brutish” state. As “chief nourisher in life’s feast. made of two moving legs articulated at one end. by keeping one foot fixed and moving the other round this centre. unexpected. the abstract and the concrete. 2. T. 5.e. 2. this hallucination proves Macbeth’s strong imagination. and the horrible crime has immediate effects on his conscience. F. This instrument. etc. SAQ 7 1. Perfect circles (symbolising perfect love) may be traced by means of the compasses. Macbeth’s feeling that he has lost this privilege of nature reflects his awareness that his “unnatural” deed is a violation of moral law (which is “natural”). T. 3. complicated line of argument. By 60 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3. As a truly superior being. From Caliban’s point of view. King Lear.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 4 1. which he resents. however. T. T SAQ 8 1. through language (knowing his “own meaning”). 4. the development of conscience. endowed with speech.g. King Lear. “Sleep no more” anticipates the torments of Macbeth’s conscience. He is not a cold-blooded killer. which remain perfectly united. concise expression and density of meaning 2. 7. to blend contraries (e. is a suitable emblem for their souls. of a clean mind. F. he chose to raise Caliban to the condition of a rational creature. F. innocent conscience) is part of the natural order of man’s existence. because the latter’s nature was hopelessly evil. 6. 4. surprising associations) 3. analytical detachment from emotion 4. He thus expected Caliban to overcome his primitive impulses and to develop more civilised tendencies (“purposes”). make his purposes known through words). Othello.) SAQ 9 The poet associates mutual love with the way in which a pair of compasses works. led to his awareness of his condition as a slave. he failed in his effort to enlighten Caliban. which would have enabled him to communicate (e. attempt to reconcile contradictory or discordant experiences.” sleep (i. use of conceits (extended comparisons. even if physically the lovers must be apart. of his own sense of self. King Lear SAQ 5 In the first place. guided by rational will.
The late Renaissance and the Baroque analogy. in fact. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. The speaker tries thus to persuade his mistress of his own constancy of feeling. 1983 (pp. so let us devour Time with the intensity of our desire. Ioan-Aurel (coord. A Critical History of English Literature. 34-40. 130-140) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 61 .” so there is always the certainty of reunion for the lovers. 1991 (pp. but the implication is that his will and reason are too weak to defend his faith. But I know time is merciless. David. your beauty will fade and my songs of praise will have no object when you lie in your grave. 302-305) 3. the inclination of the fixed leg may vary – it seems to “lean after” the moving leg. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). Therefore let us enjoy each other while we are still young and you are beautiful. while rape presupposes the violation of one’s will.). the metaphor of the speaker’s “marriage” to God’s enemy suggests his sense of sin. in the absence of joy. Boris (ed. Daiches. 1969 (pp. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. 267-283. will long for him.” which only God can effect.” Depending on the distance from the centre to the circumference. Penguin Books Ltd. vol. instead of letting it devour us slowly. waiting for her departed lover. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. English Literature and Civilisation.. 97-105. 3. Your own passion “transpires” in the blush of your skin. which would restore the purity of his faith (being “chaste”). He loves God. the poet’s love depends on the certainty of his mistress’s faithfulness and constancy: “Thy firmness makes my circle just. 246-249. because your charms deserve such praise. SAQ 11 If we had time enough and the world were all ours. Ford. vol. your virginity will then be worth nothing. Preda. Taking him by force – by the force of the divine grace –. Paradoxically. I would spend ages in praising every part of your body. since only worms will “enjoy” it. God would set him free for a complete experience of religious devotion. and which would resemble rape. Further reading 1.). however.. consent and legality. The only way out of his loveless “marriage” to sin is a “divorce. just as the mistress. SAQ 10 Marriage is associated with love. as the moving leg will “come home” and join its “twin. 273-287) 2. But.
4. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3.2. 3.2. 126.96.36.199.1.5.4. 3.1. 3. 3. 3.4. 188.8.131.52. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan.4. 184.108.40.206. 3. 3.5.3. 3. 220.127.116.11.5.4. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3.1.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3.2. 3.2. 3. 3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.3.1. 3.4.
family. recommended him for the office of Latin Secretary to the Council of State. religion. His enormous learning. baroque* vision. Christian faith and classical formal perfection. 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. In his prose essays and pamphlets*.g. the greatest epic poem in English literature. 63 John Milton (1608-1674) A man of impressive learning The Puritan patriot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . he went on a trip to Italy. Milton. He lived and created in an age of historical turbulence and profound change. and he made up his mind about his own position in the conflicts that agitated his country. Paradise Lost. etc. At Cambridge (1625-1629). he studied Latin. He returned to England when the troubles which were to lead to the Civil War* started. accumulating an impressive knowledge in a diversity of fields (e. he continued to read intensively. etc. which exerted a huge influence on many generations of poets. written in English and in Latin. He devoted himself heart and soul to the cause defended by the Puritans*. religious and civil debates of his age. geography. music. and his acquaintance with the great artistic achievements of that country and with prominent personalities enriched his education and contributed to his erudition. Greek and Hebrew. After that. the Christian humanist Milton is one of the most prominent figures of the 17th century. mathematics. theology. the author of a work which represents a highly original synthesis of Renaissance humanism*. such as education.1. he approached a diversity of subjects. Milton had from an early age the conviction of his poetic vocation.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. and he dedicated long years of study and preparation to his accomplishment as a creator. and the course of his literary career was consistently marked by his involvement in the political. His education was eminently that of a Christian humanist. the freedom of the press. as a publicist.). as well as his moral inflexibility. and for almost twenty years he served their ideal of a truly reformed England. Milton’s enduring reputation is ensured by his masterpiece. rhetoric and the great works of the classics. politics. In 1638.
or the two sides of the poet’s soul. these two sides are usually kept apart in these poems. Milton’s first important poem in English on a religious theme was written in 1629: On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity. As his poetic personality gained in self-confidence. In some of them. etc. he started to move away from themes and concerns which were defining for the classicist spirit of the Renaissance. Milton follows Ovid in the emphasis on sensuous enjoyment. the pastoral* image of the shepherd becomes a metaphor for the poet-priest engaged in the exploration of high Christian themes. as it is also an ambitious assertion of Milton’s own literary birth as a “poet-priest. in the perfect integration of classical allusion and pagan mythology with Christian spirituality. his political hopes ended. in the treatment of the theme of love and the use of Greek mythology. by his aspiration to be a Christian epic* poet. However. like a priest.). approaching the great religious themes that enabled him to assert his genius. the Nativity Ode* is a landmark in his creation. for instance. to whose excellence he aspired to rise. Milton wrote with the same ease and grace both in English and in Latin. He sought inspiration in biblical mythology. However. This poem was intended as the first in a series about the significant moments of the Christian year. On the other hand. who.2. but Milton did not complete his plan. in these poems Milton appears highly preoccupied by his poetic vocation. In the Sixth elegy. His models were the great Greek and Latin poets (Homer*. in the optimism and exuberance accompanying the contemplation of reviving nature. which are in fact complementary: L’Allegro [“the cheerful man”] and Il Penseroso [“the pensive/melancholy man”]. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso To Milton’s long years of preparation for the fulfilment of his vocation belong also two poems. and he was perfect master of a variety of styles. Milton’s early poems Milton started writing poetry very early. which already displayed the ambivalence in Milton’s poetic identity as both Christian poet and classicist humanist. L’Allegro describes a day – from morning till sunset – in the life of the cheerful man. with its pastoral delights. Milton’s Christian humanism consists in this fusion of classical form and Christian themes. Virgil*. but his maturity and experience enabled him to bring to fulfilment the most important part of his poetic work. Ovid*. and his first notable poems were seven Latin elegies*. Milton places emphasis on the dignity of agricultural labour and the 64 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” The Latin elegies The Nativity Ode 3.1. They deal with contrasting moods of poetic inspiration.The works of John Milton The Christian humanist poet a position that he occupied from 1649 until 1660. With the Restoration*. As a poet.2. As in other poems. celebrating the birth (the “nativity”) of Christ and its inauguration of a new order for humanity. is in touch with divine secrets. 3.
gives way to the mystic exaltation of the poet-student listening to religious music. in L’Allegro. the crowing of the cock. b. In the latter. the diversity of subjects in his prose essays and pamphlets. he expects to discern in the heavenly notes a spiritual truth. Milton’s literary ambition was a.The works of John Milton satisfactions that it offers. polyphonic sounds of the organ.” in which the studious poet finds the gratification of intellectual experience.1. b. and 3. to become a great epic poet of the Christian age. 3. appropriate mythological allusions contribute to the creation of the atmosphere. c. revise subchapters 3. 1. In Il Penseroso. are complementary poems about poetic inspiration and creative moods.2. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If your choices should be wrong. the integration. Are Milton’s first poems in English which deal with a Christian theme. the poet emphasises the blessings of the “pensive.” contemplative mood. in Il Penseroso. his constant preoccupation with his own poetic becoming. Milton’s Christian humanism is reflected in a. and on the happiness of rural life. the song of the milkmaid) contrasts with the deep. there is a strong emphasis on music. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 65 . In each poem. at the end of the unit. c. of classical erudition with biblical themes. but the “natural” music of L’Allegro (the song of the lark. you will thus review some aspects of Milton’s literary personality. in his poetic work. There is both parallelism and contrast between the two poems. In both poems. The final part of Il Penseroso expresses the poet’s aspiration of attaining visionary power. to master a variety of styles. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso a. 2. c. the poet hopes to hear “more than is meant to meet the ear” – i. The diurnal activities and the cheerfulness of L’Allegro are replaced here by the nocturnal peace and quiet of the “lonely tower. SAQ 1 Make the right choice to continue each of the three beginning statements. with its simple pleasures. The secular* pleasures of common life. celebrate the diurnal pleasures of pastoral life and its activities.e. b. to rival the classics in his perfect mastery of Latin.
preparing himself seriously for becoming a priest. The death of a promising young man makes the poet meditate on existential problems. in a heavenly pastoral world. The answer to such questions enlarges the frame of the pastoral elegy: the true reward for both merit and vice is in heaven.The works of John Milton 3. Lycidas – a pastoral elegy In the same year with L’Allegro and Il Penseroso (1637).2. written at the death of a fellow-student at Cambridge. 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. uses again the pastoral frame. 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. Confronted with the tragic inevitability of death. again. or occasional and complimentary compositions. 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. in two of his sonnets he reveals these anxieties in a direct. not on earth. Milton adds a contemporary Christian relevance to the classical pastoral convention when he reflects on the corruption of the church. Milton’s sonnets Milton revived the tradition of the sonnet*. 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. 66 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. He wrote sonnets intermittently throughout his life. Milton composed another poem in which. representing both himself and his dead mate as shepherds. Milton’s sonnets demonstrate a remarkable flexibility. he defines his poetic ambition in terms which are both Christian and classical-humanist. may appear unjust in a world in which corrupt priests prosper and accede to high offices. and they were either testimonies of personal experience and feeling. which had known a period of decline since the Elizabethan age*. personal manner. The elegy Lycidas.” Lycidas shows Milton again preoccupied by his own becoming a poet. The death of the dedicated young man. Milton’s concern with his poetic fulfilment 3. to fresh woods and pastures new. the shepherdpoet’s consolation is in his own sense of purpose.3. in his determination to carry on with his task and do each day’s work: “Tomorrow. 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. Irrespective of their nature.
other young men have demonstrated “inward ripeness. and the theme of blindness was to accompany the great themes of his coming masterpieces.1. A sad biographical circumstance increased Milton’s anxiety in this respect: he was going blind. If he is to transcend time by literary fame. with a certain sadness.” that they are “timely happy spirits”. To prevent such a complaint. but he had not fulfilled his great poetic promise. Milton meditates on his loss of sight.” “mean or high” as it may be. in which the accumulation of knowledge was meant to create a solid foundation for his future great work. Lamenting the loss making his political and religious views known in a series of influential of his eyesight essays. When he wrote Sonet XVII. since. Since for God time is in fact eternity (“All is…as ever” in God’s eye). by the acceptance of one’s fortune – of God’s “mild yoke. he had asserted himself as a successful publicist. but of God’s eternal will. that. 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. he admits. angels). In the first part of the sonnet.3. light denied?”). written in 1631.e. Sonnet XVII After almost twenty years. they have been fortunately able to prove their maturity at the right time. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 67 . who carry out the divine his daughters will. it does not matter if this task is fulfilled soon or late. The life of study and leisure that the poet had been leading was a period of prolonged apprenticeship*.3. he must admit. and that the passing of the time will eventually confirm if he is destined for glory. in another poem of this kind (Sonnet XVII). patiently. as King of Heaven. He has reached the age of twenty four. Milton laments the passing of his youth without any sign of poetic ripeness. Patient and dignified waiting for God’s will to be fulfilled is also a way of serving Him. God: the poet’s “great taskmaster” 3. As a Christian poet. In Sonnet XVII. Patience – a Christian virtue – teaches him that God is served not only by actions. Milton has the strong sense that his poetic accomplishment is a task imposed by God (his “great task-master”). at his age.” It would be arrogance to think that God needs “either man’s Milton dictating work or gift” to assert His greatness. The only thing that matters is that he should have “grace to use it so. confessing his temptation to ask.2.The works of John Milton 3. that the unfolding of his poetic destiny is not only a matter of time. but also by Christian humility. Milton’s eye-sight was definitively compromised. in 1652. but finds consolation in his faith in Providence. i.” By this time. foolishly: how can God expect him to fulfill his task if He has decided to make him blind? (“Doth God exact daylabour.” to carry out the task in such a way as to make his achievement count in eternity. Milton was still invoking Patience to avoid the anxiety caused by his feeling of “unripeness.” with no “bud or blossom” to promise ripe fruit. Sonnet VII In Sonnet VII (“How soon hath time”). he Paradise Lost to commands “thousands” (of spirits.
As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. Virgil. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. when he was already blind. in the Reader). made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza).The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. and the two sonnets.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. and he worked at it over several years. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. read again subchapter 3.3. at the end of the unit. Dante* –. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. and of leaving to posterity an undying work.2. 3.4.2. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . If there should be significant differences.1. and 3. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. respectively. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation.
in which man’s fall. brought about by his disobedience. enemy]” who “holds the tyranny of Heaven.4. an evil which is turned to good in God’s overall plan for the history of creation.” full of the bitterness of defeat.” and the central theme of his poem is that of felix culpa* – the fortunate mistake. He interprets poetically the biblical events. Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The poem begins in conventional epic manner. to “illumine” what is “dark” in him. The twelve books which make up Paradise Lost unfold an impressive epic action.1. obedience and rebellion. “to justify the ways of God to men. 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. is presented as a necessary moment in the “Eternal Providence*”. the fault with The Felix culpa happy consequences. is subordinated to the poetic intensification or clarification of the main theme. and of Adam and Eve Lost from Paradise. in fact. whose main moments are the fall of the rebel angels. accumulated throughout his life. original epic scenario. Satan is determined to wage “eternal war” to his “grand Foe [i. predestination*. of Lucifer* from Heaven. he decided on the subject of the Fall – the theme of Paradise double fall. etc. (divine) love and (Satanic) hatred.The works of John Milton more penetrating understanding of spiritual truths. but by Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 69 . happiness and peace they had enjoyed in Heaven. The “lost Archangel. declares his hatred against God and his intention to regain Heaven. Incapable of accepting the thought of submission and of his imprisonment in Hell. Its Christian frame absorbs and integrates Milton’s astonishing learning. with the poet’s invocation of the Muse. These problems may be summarised by the alternative freedom vs. and his loss of Paradise. the poem develops an implicit debate on such contraries as freedom and tyranny. Milton approached in his grandiose epic problems which provoked heated polemics in his time. the creation of the world and of man. but his erudition. knowledge and ignorance/innocence. over the years. Paradise Lost defines Milton best as a Christian humanist. Starting from the dualism good/evil. Finally.” forever deprived of the glory. of many possible subjects for his capital work – subjects inspired either from British or from The subject and biblical history. His work is encyclopaedic. which is never ornamental. are gathered to listen to Satan.” He suggests to his followers that their “work” should no longer be done by force – since that is the attribute of the Almighty –. the greatest synthesis of the Western literary tradition. as he stated in the opening Invocation. Milton’s ambition was. Milton had thought. Then the reader is plunged into the middle of the action: the fallen angels in Hell. in theme a daring. and thus to enable him to attain indeed to a “prophetic strain. burning in the “darkness visible” of those “regions of sorrow. man’s temptation and fall into sin. 3.e.” as he anticipated in Il Penseroso.
” Meanwhile. and so “Heavenly love shall outdo [i. is rendered in one of the most highly poetic passages in the poem. i. Chaos and Chance. explains to His Son the reason for his allowing this to happen. cunning]. the overwhelming discord of the elements of a yet uncreated world.e.e. to seek the newly created Earth.e. whose setting is in Heaven. assumes the danger of trying to break free from the formidable prison of Hell. Milton displays here at his best his gift of evoking vast spaces and general chaos. set him free from sin. concentrates the doctrinal argument of the poem. 3. and plans to “excite their minds / With more desire to know. in which his success was due to deceit and dissimulation. and he flies away. Satan. surpass] hellish hate.” God anticipates the event of His Son’s incarnation. Man’s sin of disobedience must be punished justly.4. Satan has reached the Garden of Eden. the “wild abyss” governed by Night. The accepted solution is to reach the new world created by God. God’s Son offers to pay this price for the reconciliation of man to his heavenly Father. The corruption of God’s creation was thought better than any kind of revenge. whose splendour is described more effectively through Satan’s jealous eyes. and He commands His angels to adore and celebrate man’s Saviour and “universal king. and the only way to satisfy divine justice is a sacrificial death that would redeem man. death and resurrection.The works of John Milton The council of the fallen angels “fraud or guile [i.2. to find the weakness of man and to seduce him to join their party. Satan also tells his companions of a prophecy according to which a new world and a new kind of creature were to be brought into being by God. by virtue of his leading position. The fallen angels are all called to a council in Satan’s infernal palace. Satan is prevented from carrying out his design by the angels guarding Paradise.” and to make them transgress God’s interdiction of tasting the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.” He thus anticipates the moment of the Temptation. Divine justice and mercy Book IV: Satan’s arrival in the Garden of Eden 70 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Pandemonium*. The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Book III. God. and their discussions are rendered in Book II. knowing in advance that Satan will be successful in his attempt to “pervert” man. the ascension from darkness to the light of his “native seat” – now forbidden to him –. His voyage through the great gulf separating Hell from Heaven. He contemplates with envy the beauty and the innocent happiness of Adam and Eve.
in the Reader. What is God’s argument. read again the text.4. which contains God’s justification for allowing man to fall. more carefully. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 71 . Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and what are its implications? Answer in no more than 15 lines/150 words.The works of John Milton SAQ 3 Read Text 3. at the end of the unit. If there should be major differences.
sweetness. Raphael’s warning to Adam In Book V. he tells him about his own experiences after he was created. space]” left by the fallen angels. in Book VII. and. 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. not before repeating his warning. Milton displays an extraordinary evocative power.” Man himself was created as a “better race. King Anointed*”. The six days of the biblical Genesis are developed by Milton into an impressive poetic vision. Adam admits that. and most evident in the treatment of the fall of Adam and Eve. and in the description of more familiar details of earthly Nature. that cannot change]. and about his perfect happiness in the company of “divinely fair” Eve. both in the large-scale description of the making of celestial bodies or in the sublime picture of the primal waters. in order to prolong his guest’s visit. Blake: The downfall of the his own power and pre-eminence. In Book VIII.” to fill in the “vacant room [i.” Raphael leaves them.” and that this happiness depends on his free will. and wishes to know more about the celestial motions. The creation of the world Raphael also tells Adam the story of the creation of the world and of man.The works of John Milton 3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural The divine creation: Good coming out of Evil 72 .e. innocence and “virgin modesty. Raphael once again advises him against trying to penetrate the secrets of the “great Architect.4.e. in Milton’s poem. Adam asks Raphael to tell him the story of the fallen angels. as this diminished W. It is interesting that. The idea of Good coming out of Evil is central to Paradise Lost. sent by God. with her “absolute” loveliness and grace. The rest of Book V and Book VI are a retrospective account of the war in Heaven.4. Adam is grateful to Raphael.3.” He explains to Adam that true wisdom lies in the desire to know those things which directly concern one’s own being. visits Adam in Paradise to warn him about the danger from Satan. not immutable [i.” for the evocation of the making of the world. so that he may know more about his enemy. Raphael tries to restrain Adam’s curiosity about “things above this world. the divine creation took place after the fall of Lucifer. after the defeat of the rebel angels. without aspiring to know things above his power of understanding. and he explicitly warns Adam: “remember. in the multitude of its phenomena and living forms.4. He draws Adam’s attention that God has made him “perfect. whose pride had been hurt when God proclaimed His Son the “Messiah. 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. In Milton’s interpretation. and its impulse was God’s desire to create “good out of evil.” and reminds him that obedience to his Maker means enjoying the present happy state. instigated by Lucifer. the “divine historian. the angel Raphael. Satan. and fear to transgress!” 3.
Blake: Urizen as the creator of the material world (from the poem Europe. the first moments in the creation of the world: the making of heavens and skies. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. What does Milton suggest by the image of God using his “golden compasses”? Answer in the space below. through Raphael’s words.7. at the end of the unit. in the Reader presents. more carefully. in no more than 10 lines/100 words. W. If your answer should differ significantly from the offered suggestions. 1794) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 73 . A Prophecy.The works of John Milton SAQ 4 Text 3. and the “Spirit of God” infusing life into the primal ocean. read the fragment again.
but he regains the strength of his hate and appears to Eve (1808) her in the splendid shape of the Serpent. The seduction of Eve Book IX presents the great scene of Eve’s seduction by Satan. Meanwhile. most subtle*] beast of all the field. Blake: Satan finds Eve alone. Their former innocent sensuality is now replaced by guilty lust and the feeling of shame. the thundering skies weep. since the “link of nature” is so strong between them that he cannot imagine living without her. Book IX: Eve and the Serpent (illustration by John Martin. their inward the fall on Nature peace.” she is finally seduced by his promise of higher knowledge and by his assurance that there is no sin in such aspiration. whose spirit has entered the body of a serpent. W.e. suspicion. 1827) 74 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . while Adam tries to convince her that together they would be more safe from harm. certain that the proud tempter will not be successful. Eve is amazed at the miracle of a beast capable of speech and. is now troubled by the “higher winds” of negative passions – “anger. her argument wins: she is willing to put her innocence to trial. and. for a moment. Satan gives voice again to his torments and to his ambition of destroying God’s creation. The “calm region” of their state of mind. discord” – which make reason and will helpless. Adam and Eve have a difference of opinion: Eve insists that they should divide their daily labour and work in different places. flattered by his praise of her “celestial beauty. the “subtlest [i. The disaster of the original sin shakes the foundations of the natural order: Earth trembles. he is disarmed by her Satan with Adam and angelic grace. and all harmony between them is destroyed by bitter reciprocal accusations.5.The works of John Milton 3. hate / Mistrust.4.” but to “open eyes” and bring those who taste closer to the condition of a god. Credulous Eve tastes from the forbidden fruit and tries to convince Adam that its effect is not to open the way to “evil unknown. Adam is chilled with horror at Eve’s irresponsible mistake but decides to share her fate. and all The effects of Nature is in pain. At last.” Back to guarded Paradise in this disguise.
This emphasises the idea that Satan’s victory is not final. at last. The world after the Fall In the next books. hoping to arouse her pride. a.The works of John Milton SAQ 5 Text 3.4. He tries to introduce into Eve’s mind the doubt about God’s being “the author of all things. in the Reader contains four fragments from Book IX.6. _______ c. in the middle of this speech. He flatters Eve. _______ b. but he also adds symbolic episodes. or fragments. in which these moves are illustrated. He tries to dispel Eve’s fear of death. _______ e. _______ d. the whole assembly of fallen angels are temporarily turned into monstrous hissing snakes and dragons. He denigrates God. He tempts Eve with the promise of absolute knowledge. He tries to arouse Eve’s suspicion that God’s reason for His interdiction may not be man’s own good. the consequences of man’s original sin are unfolded in episodes of great poetic and emotional intensity. but His fear that His power might be weakened if His creatures equalled him in knowledge. the destined “restorer of Mankind*. 75 Book X: the world open to Sin and Death Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” _______ g. as God himself predicts: His Son. on a separate sheet. He tries to awaken in Eve the spirit of defiance and insubordination. accusing Him of keeping Adam and Eve ignorant so that He may hold them in a state of servitude. _______ Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Match these sentences with the fragment.” is the one who will. Write the number(s) of the corresponding fragment(s) in the indicated space. Seduced by the illusion of the Tree of Knowledge. at the end of the unit. and he proudly boasts of it in the Pandemonium. _______ f. which marks the conquest of the world by Satan. from the speech by which Satan tempts Eve into disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. they taste its fruit. Satan’s victory seems complete. which will bring her close to the condition of God. Milton continues to expand moments of the biblical Genesis. 3. at the end of each sentence.8. The sentences below describe various moves in Satan’s strategy of seduction. annihilate Sin and Death. If any of your matches should be wrong. read once more the indicated text and do the exercise again. but are terribly humiliated to find that they are tasting only dust and ashes. but. by inciting her to disbelieve God’s threat. such as the building of a huge bridge across chaos by Sin and Death.
The promise of where the central episode is the promised birth of God’s Son. In Book X. his suffering. who can see the “many shapes of Death” and the many ways that lead to it. God sends Him to communicate the divine punishment to Adam and Eve. intemperance. etc. the emphasis on the presence and role of the Son of God increases. but of sadness. faith and good deeds. changed drastically after Adam’s fall. evil will finally be turned to good makes Adam and Eve’s exile from Paradise more tolerable. through Christ. the Son of God acts as a mediator between the sinful humans and His Father. asking God to accept their prayers and sincere repentance. death. from Heaven Before they leave Paradise. God consents. pride. from man’s own vices – violence. In Book XI. redemption*: Jesus. resurrection and ascension to the coming of Heaven. and the poem closes not on a note of despair.” founded on love. 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. but He decides that Adam and Eve may no longer live in Paradise. Moments of the biblical history are unfolded before Adam’s eyes. but Michael comforts him. an anticipation of the effects of the original sin on the following generations. combining thus justice with mercy. The vision is replaced by Michael’s narrative in Book XII. and offering to pay the price of His own death for the peace between God and mankind. The certainty that. – to the hostility of Nature. and He sends the archangel Michael to God decides Adam and Eve’s expulsion show them out. 1827) 76 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Adam suffers deeply for the loss of his native place and of God’s proximity. Book XII: Adam and Eve leaving Paradise (illustration by John Martin. Michael shows Adam a vision of the future.The works of John Milton After the story of man’s fall.
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 77 . which they fully assume. The heroes of Paradise Lost Many critics have remarked the paradox that the heroic spirit of Milton’s epic is embodied in Satan. 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. more carefully. in the Reader represents the ending of Paradise Lost.5. 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. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If they should differ in major points.9. read the fragment again.The works of John Milton SAQ 6 Text 3. 3. It may be argued. while Adam has more in common with a tragic hero. however.
he is envious of God’s omnipotence.” as he cannot help comparing their bliss with his own condition in Hell. He displays majesty and grandeur even in his fallen condition.” He instigates the other angels to rebellion in the name of freedom from servitude.e. 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. William Blake remarked that Satan is Milton’s most accomplished creation. where there is “neither joy nor love. and his extraordinary courage “never to submit or yield” inspires his followers. Satan knows how to inflame again their ambition of re-ascending and their thirst for revenge. he had been the first Archangel. and his great ambition is “to reign. unwilling to serve a power that he considered tyrannical. “great in power / In favour and pre-eminence. Pride is one of Satan’s most prominent features in Pride and ambition Paradise Lost. He is envious Envy and hate of God’s Son and His title as King of Heaven. and that Milton gave the full measure of his literary genius in the character of Satan because he instinctively supported the idea of freedom. This is why he is in a continual state of frustration and anger. in whom they saw an embodiment of the spirit of freedom and of resistance to tyrannical oppression.1. the Romantic poets were to establish the view that Satan is actually the main hero. and his longing for the delights of his former existence torments him like an inner hell. Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell The most fascinating of Milton’s heroes is undoubtedly Satan. made happy in their innocent love. but for him freedom does not mean equality: among the rebel angels.5. but he also knows that this freedom is a form of punishment. Before his fall. which is itself a paradise. Over a century after the poem’s publication. In moments when the fallen angels feel despair at having lost Heaven. From the beginning of the poem. Satan seems to comfort himself with the thought that at least he is free. he naturally assumes the role of a leader. since it is accompanied by suffering and torment. In Hell. This sight is for him “hateful” and “tormenting.The works of John Milton 3.” Envy accompanies Satan’s thirst for power.” only the pain of longing and unfulfilled desire. “Imparadised in one another’s arms” – i. 78 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and he finds inner strength only in the intensity of his hatred. Satan appears indeed as a champion of freedom.
” and the “Enemy of Mankind. Satan is The Tempter.” in whose destruction he finds complete satisfaction for his hurt pride. He is determined “to do ill” – which is “the contrary to his high will” – or to pervert the good done by God.” 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 . but by the evil subtlety of his mind and the corrupting power of his word. Satan’s greatness as a character comes from the sublime intensity of his negative passions.5. and “out of good still to find means of evil. he is the promoter of suspicion and doubt.” He is “the author of all ill. the destroyer of faith. Satan can assert his freedom of action only in the sphere of evil.The works of John Milton 3.” seeming reasonable and true. that he determines Eve to break the divine interdiction. Awakening in man the impulse to question. It is also with “persuasive* words. As God’s absolute antagonist. and his power of seduction comes from the mastery of a very efficient rhetoric. Satan represents the negation of the creative power of the divine Word: his revenge is accomplished not by force. but the epic poet insistently underlines their manipulative intentions. Milton insists on the fact that they abandoned “the eternal splendours of Heaven” and followed Satan seduced by his promises of freedom and greatness. Satan’s speeches have an impressive convincing force. and he invests all his titanic energies in his destructive plan.2. Satan. 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. His “immortal hate” makes revenge his only aim. The temptation of Eve is in fact the repetition of the earlier act of persuading the angels to join him in his rebellion. It is with “high words.
3.5.. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A. revise subchapters 3.5. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. If there are significant differences. at the end of the unit.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. “and “The mind is its own place. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. and read the indicated fragment again. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell. “A mind not to be changed by time or place.2.) B. Read the whole fragment carefully.1. in Hell. and 3.
Milton is the heir of the Renaissance in his glorification of man and his virtues. Satan’s torments in Hell. man has paid a terrible price for the wisdom of not imitating Satan. precursor]. Adam is called Sire* of Men. in spite of the fascination and seductive power with which he is invested. the sorrow of the fallen humans at their own weakness and their final recognition of their fault entitles them to God’s mercy. Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Poetically. Although Paradise has become a forbidden place for them.” but also “our credulous mother. The consequences of their fall are great because their virtues – so tragically tested – are great. are set against Adam and Eve’s lamentations after the fall. 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 –. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 81 . the protagonists of Milton’s ambitious epic leave it not in hopeless disgrace. of their wrong use of the freedom given by God.” The insistent use of the adjective “our” suggests Milton’s invitation to the reader to join him in his identification. ancestor.5. there is not any doubt left about his fundamental evil. He is now more aware of his freedom and his potentiality. in Book XII. Fallen man is not a hateful creature. Blake: The expulsion from Milton deals with it as one of the central paradoxes of the human condition. as well as his identification with them in their condition of creatures that have fallen. the titanic dimension of his suffering. Both Adam and Eve display a certain Satanic fascination with the possibility of overcoming their condition through knowledge. As a humanist. but W. As a Christian. and Milton expresses both admiration and compassion for them.” “Our great Progenitor [i. The way in which Milton refers to Adam and Eve throughout the poem points out his reverence to the original pair. Created in God’s image. but armed with the wisdom of faith. the character of Satan is Milton’s greatest achievement in Paradise Lost. Adam’s enlarged understanding emerges in perfect fusion with his strengthened faith. Milton depicts Adam and Eve’s fall not as the result of depravity.” “mother of human race. In his last conversation with Michael. but as a consequence of their wrong choices. of turning all evil into good by the supreme act of divine grace: the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for man.3.” Eve is the “Mother of Mankind. But it is an evidence of Milton’s genius that. he justifies “the ways of God to men” by showing the necessity of the divine grace. deprived of worth. He is now able to understand God’s final purpose.e. While Satan’s pain is always accompanied by the proud defiance of God.” “Patriarch of Mankind.” “our general mother. but who can hope for redemption*. of understanding and accepting his limits.The works of John Milton 3.” “Our Author. There is a tragic combination of greatness and weakness in their portrayal.
the Nativity Ode. Read this fragment and summarise its argument. Some of Milton’s earlier works display this obsessive concern with his becoming a great poet. Convinced also of his poetic vocation. and the twin poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso. contains a fragment from God’s speech in Book III. you have been acquainted with some aspects of the prominent literary personality of John Milton. in the Reader. one of the greatest English poets. Milton was deeply involved in the religious and political debates of mid-17th century.5. Devoted to the Puritan cause during the Civil War. Subchapter 3. Compare your answer with that offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. at the end of the unit. he prepared himself for it during long years. His work is that of a Christian humanist: his astonishing classical erudition and his aspiration to the formal perfection of his classical models combine with his interest in religious themes. If there should be major differences. a necessary part of His design. presents some of his notable early compositions – the Latin elegies. in no more than 8 lines/80 words. The same obsession with poetic ripeness may be found 82 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in which he explains to His Son why the fall of man was inevitable. the pastoral elegy Lycidas. Summary In this unit. you are recommended a more careful reading of the indicated text.The works of John Milton SAQ 8 Text 3.
apprenticeship: the training for a trade or for any kind of activity.3. In Milton’s vision of the original sin. Civil War: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. The declared aim of Milton’s epic is “to justify the ways of God to men. his love of freedom. which interprets poetically key moments in biblical history and elements of biblical mythology. Subchapter 3. Baroque: see the Glossary in Unit 2. offers a brief presentation of the subject and structure of the poem. His destructive energy represents a negation of the creative power of the divine word. Satan is dominated by powerful negative passions which keep him the prisoner of an inner hell. the most fascinating and complex creation is Satan – Lucifer in his fallen condition. however. and the culmination of his poetic achievement as a Christian humanist. his courage and majesty. put in the service of evil. 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. but also in which man may. in which divine grace will eventually turn all evil into good. and with the Christian compassion for their unhappy choice. as a sign of consecration or sanctification. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 83 . be tested for the responsibility which must accompany the exercise of his free will. the creation of the world and of man. Milton’s impressive epic poem Paradise Lost (1667) is the fruit of his mature vision. presented in subchapter 3.4. Adam and Eve are treated both with the typical Renaissance admiration for man’s potential and virtues. the fall of man and the loss of Paradise. The central events in Milton’s epic are the fall of Lucifer and of the rebel angels. which are.” and its great Christian theme is that of felix culpa. Milton emphasises his fortitude and strength of will. Subchapter 3. concerns itself with Milton’s heroes in Paradise Lost. at any time.The works of John Milton in two of his sonnets. Undoubtedly. and the promise of man’s reconciliation with God through the sacrifice of Christ.5. Milton justifies the fall of man and his exile from Paradise in the context of a providential history.
pastoral: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. to whom are attributed the great epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 84 . epic: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. the one who sets man free from sin). to cause to believe). to a place of wild confusion. benevolent care or protection of his creatures. author of La Divina Commedia. Italian poet. difficult to detect (or analyse). sonnet: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Pandemonium: a word coined by Milton (from Greek pan: all. every. formerly used when speaking to a king. persuasive: having the power or ability to persuade (i. Man’s sin/fault was “happy” because its reward was Christ. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. predestination: from a theological point of view. by extension. whose works include the poem on love Ars Amatoria and the poem on myths Metamorphoses. guided by Virgil and his idealised love Beatrice. Sire: a respectful term of address. Homer: Greek poet (c. redemption: the deliverance (the rescuing) of man from sin through the incarnation. and daimon: demon) – the place where all demons gathered. suffering and death of Christ. subtle: not immediately evident. Purgatory and Paradise. Providence: God’s kindness.” After the fall from Heaven. pamphlet: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. or some tragic event. felix culpa: this phrase comes from a line in the Latin version of the Catholic religious service held on Easter Sunday. the allegorical account of the poet’s journey through Hell.The works of John Milton • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • elegy: a meditative poem lamenting the death of someone.D. It may also mean cunning. not concerned with or related to religion. It means “the carrier of light.-17 A. 800 B. Puritans: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Lucifer: the name of the archangel who led the rebel angels.). to convince. noise and chaos. In classical literature. the range of subjects in an elegy was wider. humanism: see classical revival in the Glossary in Unit 1. The word may refer. Restorer of Mankind: Christ as the one who will return (restore) man to God’s grace and to his original condition.). foreknowledge: knowledge of something before it happens.C. secular: related to worldly things (as opposed to sacred).e. Ovid: Publius Ovidius Nasso (43 B. ode: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.e. he is called Satan.C. clever in using tricks. the act by which God determines in advance the events and their course. the “great and good redeemer” (i. Roman poet. Gallery of personalities • Dante: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321).
romantic in The Tempest –. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. 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. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B.4. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). before the final battle. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. and thus of destroying man. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. and 2. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. in which he explores his inner hell. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. At the beginning of Book IV. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan.6. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. 2. at the end of the play. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul.). • Read attentively this fragment. Texts 2.5.C.1. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death.2. A revision of subchapter 3. 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.. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth.3. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. one of the greatest Roman poets. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. In both of them. 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 . God’s creation. and the last paragraph of 2.1.. 1. Text 3. Send-away assignment no. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest.2. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy.2.
responsible for his choices. 2.. SAQ 2 In the first section (the octave). in grading your paper. rational spirit of the Creator (he refers to Him elsewhere as “the great 86 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 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. like that of the angels. his blindness. not God.a. i. SAQ 3 God’s whole argument is based on the idea of freedom. Remember that. clarity. SAA no. Both man and the rebel angels are “authors to themselves in all. the “instrument” by which to exercise his free will. is thus not attributable to God. comforting himself with the faith that his poetic destiny is in God’s hands. however.b. the divine punishment is compensated by mercy (the sending of Jesus as mankind’s saviour).c. The paradox of freedom.” man shared the perfection of the angels (“the Ethereal Powers and Spirits”) and their complete freedom of will and judgment. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). since that would mean the “revocation” of His own “high decree” by which man was made free. Created “just and right. or reason. God cannot use His infinite power and knowledge to prevent the errors of those who are free to choose. The latter part of both sonnets (the sestet) changes the mood to one of patient confidence. as man’s wrong choice was not the pure result of his free will.. 3. is that one may choose right or wrong. • the coherence.” In the case of man. 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. Milton emphasises the geometrical. both sonnets deal with the theme of loss (the poet’s sense of the passing of time. and reason makes man.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%. 1 will count as 10% in your final assessment. The implication is that God gave man conscience. respectively) and with the anxiety that poetic fulfilment is late to come. but the consequence of evil influence. The poet places his trust in Providence. The fall of man. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task.e.
London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. SAQ 8 God cannot be pleased with blind submission. vol. If Hell is a space of freedom. A Critical History of English Literature.e.The works of John Milton Architect”). 153-163) 3. but at least they have the mutual comfort of their love.3. 2. i. Editura Universităţii Suceava. e. The same rational spirit separates what is vital from what is “adverse to life” (the “infernal dregs”). of the responsibility that accompanies freedom. 2003 (pp. and the image of the terrible gates. Incapable of obedience to God. He wants man’s obedience to be the result of an act of free choice. These lines suggest Satan’s formidable strength of will and the independence of his indestructible spirit. who draws a firm line between the formed and the formless (chaos). 1969 (pp. 2. the intelligible and the unintelligible (the dark void). 3. and for him servitude in Heaven is the real hell. 1. Ioan-Aurel (coord. SAQ 5 a. under the guidance of Providence. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică.). is meant to keep alive the memory of their transgression. Luminiţa Elena. Satan is willing to exchange the happiness of Heaven for the torments in Hell.. i. 141-152) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 87 .e. then it is like Heaven for a spirit that cannot accept constraints. to be dictated by Reason. Preda. His gift of Reason to man has no justification (it is “useless and vain”). 4 SAQ 6 For Adam and Eve. SAQ 7 1.4. d. Daiches. David. 1. c. It is his will and desire that give value to things around. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. 1983 (pp. English Literature and Civilisation. with passive virtue. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost.4. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). Paradise is now a forbidden place. Further reading 1. Man is not a free creature. b. as God has made him. 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. g. 2. Their hesitant steps suggest their awareness of the difficulty of all choice. guarded by fear-inspiring armed angels. Forced to look ahead. unless he is put in the situation of making choices. 435-449) 2. Satan feels God’s absolute power as a limitation to his enormous ambition. comforting himself that he exchanged submission for sovereignty. This line illustrates both his aspiration to complete independence and his ambition. Turcu. unless he exercises his will and reason. faith and love untested. f. of human solidarity. 2. The Literature of the Beginnings. If God leaves man’s loyalty.
18.104.22.168.3. 4. 4.4. 4.2. 4.4. 4.2.4. 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.7.3.4. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 4.2. 4.2 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1.5. 4. 4. 4.1.1. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 4.1.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.4.1. 188.8.131.52. 4.3. 184.108.40.206.4. 4.4. 4. 4. 4. Gulliver. 4. 4. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.3.
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. was attended by a strong anti-Puritan reaction. Significant changes took place in the theatre: the stage became closed on three sides.1. and Jonathan Swift. Human nature. drama holds a place apart. Restoration drama marked a clear split between popular and aristocratic standards of taste. The Renaissance tradition of the theatre as popular entertainment. Alexander Pope. From a literary point of view. under the influence of French theatres. The Puritans had closed theatres in 1642. ♦ establish a relation between the spirit of Restoration comedy and the cultural-historical circumstances in which it emerged. clarity and elegant restraint. ♦ identify the main concerns of literary Neoclassicism. it was a period of transition as well. Unit objectives 4. and of considerable diversity. its audience being restricted to the fashionable circles gravitating around the Crown. and their re-opening in 1660. grandiose and extravagant in tragedies –. 4. under the patronage of king Charles II. ♦ 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. the cast of actors included women. Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment In the heterogeneous literary picture of the Restoration. 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. ♦ explain the relevance of concepts like Art. with spectators no longer allowed to sit on it. and. 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.1. addressing itself to an inclusive public. Nature. Charles II Stuart (reign: 1660-1685) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 89 . ♦ specify the main targets of satire in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. central to the Neoclassic poetics of the Augustan Age. ♦ describe satirical devices used by John Dryden. the scenery became more elaborate – more “realistic” in comedies. of increasing rationalism and secularisation.1.
The range of character types in Restoration comedy was very diverse. fashionable manners. and satirised the aspiration of social climbing and the ideal of virtue and respectability of the middle classes. were essential for the true man of the world. Dominant forms in Restoration drama The main kinds of drama were heroic tragedy and comedy of manners. and the characteristic theme was the conflict between love and honour. betrayal and mockery were recurrent motives in the comic plots of Restoration drama. and. both of them highly conventional forms. Sensational turns of situation. on the other. exotic places. or in the survival of love over the criminal machinations of the villains.2. Restoration comedy and its character types Restoration comedy was “class drama. The conception of character in Restoration comedy was indebted to the Renaissance comedy of humours*. above all. Conquest and seduction. but they were loveless marriages and love affairs without warmth and affection. and the plays of the Restoration Wits*. the cynicism. It made fun of the people from the countryside. an artificial. The highest achievement of this kind of baroque theatre was provided by John Dryden’s plays*. A certain coarseness of feeling. The action was usually set in remote. One of the most common types was the rake – the libertine. the licentiousness* and frivolity characterising Restoration comedy were accompanied by a cult for elegance. ending in Heroic tragedy the death of the hero or heroine or both and the triumph of honour. with characters conventionally distributed into fabulously valiant heroes and virtuous beautiful heroines. refinement and sophistication.1. of incredible cruelty and perfidy.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. sumptuous costumes. on the one hand. Restoration comedies dealt primarily with sexual intrigue and the pursuit of pleasure – including the pleasure of cynical manipulation of others. the 90 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . lust.1.3. Gallantry. Restoration comedy was a mirror of the Comedy of manners environment in which it developed. grandiloquent declamations and sentimental exaltation. ridiculing their crude manners and lack of sophistication. Marriage and the games of love were a prevailing theme. although each in its own way and for different reasons. The Puritan rigidity and austerity of the former period were repudiated. and absolute villains. Another dominant dramatic form during the Restoration was the comedy of manners. wit*. adultery. Heroic tragedy* was a dramatic development from the epic poem. or Court Wits. and its audience was restricted to the exclusive and fashionable circles in London. jealousy. magnificent settings. reflected the hedonism* and promiscuity encouraged at court by Charles II himself (nicknamed “the Merry Monarch” for his pleasure-loving way of life). 4. 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.” reflecting the aristocratic ethos of the time.
young or old. cynical. the scheming valet. If characters were usually static. etc. selfish and manipulative. but whose affectation* became the object of irony and satire. whose generosity and kindness are satirised as weaknesses.” without scruples. the lusty widow. whose simplicity and ingenuousness made her a perfect prey to the sophisticated seducer. and the trusting husband as dupe. one of the first actresses and the mistress of Charles II William Hogarth* Detail from The Rake’s Progresss (1735) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 91 . aspiring to the perfect adventure. more concerned for his reputation as a wit than for honour. usually an unprincipled and heartless married woman. the ingénue. who tried to imitate fashionable manners. pleasure-seeking. with several subplots and with action developing at a fast pace. deliberately superficial in construction. despising marriage. the plot of Restoration comedy was usually highly complicated. lacking complexity. Contrasting types were the coquette.The Restoration and the Augustan Age “young-man-about-town. the country squire*. Nell Gwynn (1650-1687). or fool. Another frequent type was the fop*. Other common character types in Restoration comedy were the country girl.
The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness.4. T F 9. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. Read the statements below and identify five true ones.1. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. at the end of the unit.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. read again subchapters 4. William Congreve. frivolity. 4. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. 1. hedonism and amorality at Court.1. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). T F 4.3. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. T F 5.1.1. refinement and sophistication. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. by doing the exercise that follows. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. T F 8. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It displays typical Restoration characters. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. Restoration comedy praised wit. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. T F 3. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. such as the impoverished gallant. T F 2. simple action. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. T F 6. T F 7. to 4. elegance.
but they were now clearly intended for a middle class audience. when Augustan* England was seeking for social stability and cohesion. and the shifting relationships and alliances.The Restoration and the Augustan Age William Congreve (1679-1723) his creditors. the awkward country-girl. half-sad. He is the most gifted of the Restoration dramatists. bringing it to perfection. hate and disgust) give this play an equivocal tone. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 93 . consistent characters. perfectly aware of each other’s faults and playing various games which keep them on the border between independence and surrender. disapproved of the licentiousness of Restoration comedy. the dramatic productions still preserved characteristic farcical elements and something of the brilliant artificiality of Restoration comedy. the witty and resourceful servant. half-amused. restore his fortunes and win the love of his mistress. Congreve’s finest comedy is The Way of the World (1700). is extremely complex. The new audience in the theatres. the pair of witty lovers. 4. admiration. It has a sophisticated plot containing several strands of action and centering on the relation between Mirabell and beautiful Millamant. The indecencies and blasphemous spirit of earlier Restoration comedy became the object of severe condemnation by public opinion. The situation. affection. etc. Towards the end of the 17 th century. and it had to take into account the general concern for the improvement of manners that developed in the late 17th century. and friendship to jealousy.5. Congreve’s merit is to have turned stereotypical characters into credible. the ambivalent motivations and feelings (ranging from love. He gave grace to the conventions of a highly artificial form of drama. and were not interested in the rituals and games of fashionable life or in the sparkling wit duels. psychologically subtle and complex. involving a multitude of characters. A shift in taste was taking place in the context of social change – the rise of a prosperous class of merchants. increasingly middle class. The rise of sentimental comedy* Congreve belongs to a period of transition in the evolution of comedy. which reminds of some of Shakespeare’s comedies. mixed marriages between aristocracy and the newly rich. with a rare concern for the accuracy and elegance of expression and for the balance of sentences. as these were remote from their experience.1. Drama was changing under the pressure of middle class taste. adopting a moralising tone and recommending virtue and sensibility above refinement and wit.
but she accepts Mirabell's marriage proposal on certain conditions." Presenting their expectations from each other in a half-joking way. What is the idea of marriage that her conditions suggest? Answer in the space below. Read Text 4. they seem to be playing a game.1.4. as well as the indicated fragment. at the end of the unit.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 2 In Congreve's play The Way of the World. in no more than 15 lines / 150 words. Mirabell is a reformed rake. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Millamant is also in love.1. in Act IV.. which presents Millamant's demands. who is sincerely in love with Millamant and wishes to marry her. under the appearance of frivolity. 94 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In a witty dialogue. However. their agreement has serious implications. they establish and agree on the terms of a "contract. If there should be significant differences. read again subchapter 4..
Oliver Goldsmith* and Samuel Johnson*. 4. other great writers who were influenced by Neoclassicism or defended its doctrine were Jonathan Swift*.2. Besides Dryden and Pope. or of the heroic couplet* over blank verse*.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. His didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711) is the most outstanding literary manifesto of English Neoclassicism. 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. English literary Neoclassicism* The Neoclassic aspiration for order. balance. 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*. In both cases. In it. John Dryden illustrated with masterpieces all contemporary literary genres. and Alexander Pope* in the 18 th . and he laid the foundations of modern literary criticism. of the elegant French classical drama over English Renaissance drama. such as the superiority of the Ancients over the Moderns. Pope presents the basic concepts and theses of this literary orientation in a poetic form of remarkable elegance and clarity. a society exhausted by civil wars was expressing its need for stability and moderation. The dialogue form of this essay allows Dryden to avoid being dogmatic and to look with healthy scepticism at a wide range of critical issues. elegance. but it represents the quintessence of the Augustan literary ideal. His main critical work is An Essay on Dramatic Poesy (1668). in a series of essays and prefaces where he discussed matters of literary composition and taste and defended his own literary practice. Alexander Pope brought to perfection Dryden’s achievements in poetic style and technique. and propriety would favour the spirit of social unity and order and would contribute to the protection of the achievements of civilisation. His work doesn’t equal in variety that of his predecessor and master.2. and harmony extended beyond literature. John Dryden (1631-1700) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 95 . in which he systematises his Neoclassic view on literary art. Joseph Addison*.1. Augustan England believed that a cultural idea of balance. The excellence of their literary work and the elegance and force of their critical arguments made them central figures of the Augustan Age.
since it dealt with noble characters and actions. It was the existence of this rule of decorum that enabled Neoclassic authors to derive great effects from its deliberate. The study of human nature in its individual aspects. A poet’s innate talent needed training. Nature and Reason According to the Neoclassic doctrine. skill. Epic and tragedy.2. in satirical or burlesque* works. who respected no particular rules and followed no particular models. and he could master the secrets of poetic art by the study and imitation of the works of ancient authors. of infinite variety. the emphasis on discipline in art. and the poet might disregard them. lacking ornament. i. by which the Augustans meant most frequently Human Nature. 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. i. yet achieve great beauty. The most eloquent example.e. Sometimes rules might be too constraining for this natural gift. was expected to use a common. on the other hand. which usually presented ordinary people and actions. for instance. would lead to the revelation of the typical and universal features. and whose creative power was a matter of intuitive genius and not of acquired art. but a general intellectual tendency in the age. skilful transgression. to make form and substance adequate to each other. The quest for patterns of general significance through the study of particulars was not only a literary precept.3. comedy. which referred to the writer’s obligation to use those elements of diction* and composition which were considered proper for each genre. Following Nature presupposed first of all its understanding. was Shakespeare.. This was the case of the genius. required an elevated style. and to those patterns of behaviour. the main source of inspiration for the writer was Nature*. Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics One of the most important features of literary Neoclassicism was the concern with rules and norms. the most valuable store of literary experience. The concept of Human Nature referred to those features of human character and experience.2. whose imagination had nothing to do with training or learning.e. The Neoclassic emphasis on the principles and rules that guided successful creation did not mean blind adherence to them. which in turn required good judgment and common sense. humble style.2. The belief in order and correctness was reflected in the neoclassic principle of decorum [from Latin: propriety]. and in order to do that accurately he was supposed to follow Reason as the main guide. The rule of decorum 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. a dignified diction. that it was an inborn gift that made a poet. which were seen as common to all humanity and as permanent and unchanging. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Human Nature 96 . for the Augustans.
at the end of the unit.The Restoration and the Augustan Age A rationalist poetics All the faculties involved in the process of creation were seen as subordinated to Reason. SAQ 3 Text 4. or art*.g. and what Neoclassic conviction do they imply? Answer in the space below. to those of Nicolas Boileau*. in the Reader represents a fragment from Samuel Johnson’s Preface to his 1765 edition of Shakespeare’s works. and the indicated fragment. What are the main ideas in this fragment. If there should be significant differences. and beauty was the result of the balanced combination of talent and inspiration with skill. in a paragraph of no more than 4 complex sentences (80-100 words / 8-10 lines). but also to imported French ideas – e.3.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 97 .2. a combination achieved through reason. The rationalist poetics* of Neoclassicism owed greatly to Horace*. read again subchapter 4. Emotion was supposed to be filtered and controlled by reason. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.
affectation were rejected. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity. unnecessary ornament. its effects were considerable on prose. 4.5.4. refinement with wisdom. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style.2. manners and taste. where nothing seems to be studied. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour. but to be a functional part of the community. of quick accumulation of information. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama.” Augustan wit 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled. The writer's art was a form of social communication. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*. “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. of critical debate in every field. of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility. Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity. and of the increase and diversification of the reading public. as Oliver Goldsmith defined it. or. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature. In the context of general progress. Ostentation. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). precision and clarity. 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.3.2. It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure. too. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason. “grace and strength united. and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace. eloquence with restraint.
at a time when political tension in the country and the events of war on the Continent engaged public attention to a high degree. and to offer intellectual enlightenment to a wide audience. Journalism and coffee houses* were the main instruments by which people’s curiosity was satisfied. meant to provide guidance in matters of manners and morals. th Edward Lloyd’s coffee house. Many periodical essays were dedicated to the dissemination of philosophical and scientific notions. at cultivating their minds. or to the discussion of literary matters.The Restoration and the Augustan Age It developed in the late 17 and early 18th centuries. they created an alternative kind of periodical publication. merchants and ship owners 17th century coffee house in Covent Garden Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 99 . for a clientele of ships' captains. Essay periodicals were usually the work of a single author.” that ignorance is a source of evil. The periodical essay constituted a chronicle of contemporary manners and an effective instrument of moral and social criticism. The reflections on both modern and ancient works. They believed. the enlightenment and the improvement of taste of its widest section. with Alexander Pope. that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. consisting in essays on a variety of topics. and they were published with varying regularity. In order to counterbalance this tendency. contributing significantly to the “polite” education. the middle class readers. as a reaction to the ever greater demand for political news and gossip. the debate on a variety of critical and aesthetic issues made the latter familiar to the public. Some writers felt that this popular avidity for political news might inflame partisanship and favour a spirit of social discord. dominantly middle class. some of them being issued daily. the periodical essayists aimed at broadening the intellectual horizon of their readers. opened in 1688. At the same time.
only] a single day sprouts up* in follies that are only to be killed by an assiduous culture. 100 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 4 In one of his periodical essays. Think of present relevance of this remark. and by far the most popular ones. The Tatler and The Spectator. 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). To increase the efficiency of their undertaking. collected in book form. and Joseph Addison’s The Spectator (1711-1714).1. 4. think again and try to do the exercise once more. on a separate sheet. in no more than 12 lines / 120 words. at the end of the unit. whose essays were published several times in the century.3. “The Spectator’s Club” Among the most important periodical essayists.e. they tried to make their essays not only instructive but also attractive and amusing. were Richard Steele*’s The Tatler* (1709-1711). Like other writers. Joseph Addison wrote: The mind that lies fallow* but [i. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Explain the analogy that his observation invites us to develop. If they are significantly different.
in his county. “a very philosophic man.e. “a person of indefatigable industry*.” and “his familiarity with the customs.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Joseph Addison (1672-1719) For example.e. rather than a merit. bravery in battle]. modest and commonsensical person. and sloth [i. who had to quit the military profession because his strict honesty proved to be an obstacle to the advancement of his career. • A gentleman who.e. and the reflections of “Mr. taciturn and with “no interest in this world. an embodiment of its energies and enterprising spirit. Many essays presented little stories about incidents in their daily lives.” of wide learning.” but whose life constitutes an eloquent example of moral integrity. as his father had intended for him. steady effort] makes more lasting acquisitions than valour [i. Sir Andrew Freeport’s convictions are those of an enlightened middle class. wit and understanding. He believes.” • Captain Sentry. for instance. His character is the first notable literary representation of the merchant class in a serious and dignified way. no longer as repulsively materialistic and greedy. but their good breeding qualifies them both for the same society of gentlemen.e. he is a somewhat old-fashioned gentleman. He is a man of “great probity. ready to take responsibility for the progress of the nation. laziness. His wisdom and gravity are set against the frivolous interests of Will Honeycombe. 101 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . who had spent a turbulent youth in the company of the Restoration Wits. He is the prototype for the character of the country squire in many 18th century novels. 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. He is a pleasant company for his acquaintances in town. a middle-aged squire. a man of the world. instead of pursuing the career of a lawyer.” He thus embodies the Augustan humanist view that true knowledge of human nature comes from a combination of first hand experience and learning. for The Spectator. and great experience. a rich London merchant. idleness] has ruined more nations than the sword. a gallant. a courageous. manners. and his harmless eccentricities are accompanied by a natural benevolence that endears him to everybody.” He is a worthy representative of the middle class.” or that “diligence [i. • A clergyman. in which they collaborated. that “it is stupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by arms. interested in his appearance and displaying a certain affectation in behaviour. a competent justice of the peace*. for true power is to be got by arts [i. Spectator” on their opinions and behaviour in a variety of circumstances constituted real lessons in manners and morals. strong reason. The six members of The Spectator’s Club were: • Sir Roger de Coverley. Steele and Addison invented The Spectator’s Club. Now. a group of six fictional characters “engaged in different ways of life” and representing various social and human types. an expert in fashion and gossip. hard work and skill. a model of honesty. • Will Honeycomb. otherwise harmless and a well-bred gentleman. • Sir Andrew Freeport. generous and cheerful. skills] and industry.
a cultivated mind and superior understanding. 7. 4. and write them in the indicated spaces below. 2. common sense. 5. which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration. 3. 6.1. the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. If there should be major discrepancies. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . read again subchapter 4. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 8.The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. 1. SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. more carefully. at the end of the unit.3. cheerful disposition. Identify at least eight such features. it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues.
and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden.4. The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682). 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 . Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. a passionate. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets. from political and social life. 4. its cult of reason and common sense. admiration and condemnation. and satire became their formidable weapon. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force. The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time. It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. Pope.4. 15-18). to religious debates and literary practices. and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury. king David. folly. in which Dryden’s praise and criticism.1. struggle for power and profit.2. the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart.4. Samuel. the Duke of Monmouth. hypocrisy.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. intrigues. with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation. Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. disloyal and excessively ambitious. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness. Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son. selfishness. stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. greed. brave and fearless man. The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. often touched by ironic humour. Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. are mingled: the evil conspirator. turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions. The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury. 1743). Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence. contradictions and dark aspects. Political and religious dissensions. Bayes*. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion. appears also as a stormy spirit. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. genuinely gifted for leadership. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne. 4. at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II.
and skill in the use of parody and the burlesque. Here.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Alexander Pope (1688-1744) critics who aspire to undeserved fame.4. Truth. The empire of Dulness finally extends to the whole universe of the spirit. SAQ 6 Text 4. imaginative inventiveness. imagination). in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. he reflects on the art of the satirist. Explain this analogy. Religion. Science. Its implications. 104 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . pointing out the Augustan conception of satire. are more disturbing than entertaining. that the corruption of the spirit (which follows from the corruption of the word) leads to the crumbling of all order. and the satire ends with the apocalyptic extinction of the enemies of Dulness: Fancy (i. Philosophy. in a paragraph not exceeding 12 lines / 120 words. Art. as it betrays Pope’s fear that civilisation and its conquests are vulnerable to unreason. drawing an analogy between satire and a public execution. 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. read the fragment again. Compare your answer with the suggestions provided at the end of the unit.2. and Morality.e. concerning satire. more attentively. If it should be significantly different. and revise subchapter 4. in the Reader represents a fragment from one of John Dryden’s essays. Pope’s satirical allegory displays unequalled comic virtuosity and wit. however.
Jonathan Swift. Gulliver’s Travels pretends to be the record of the most astonishing experiences of an average man. Gulliver is cast on the shore of a country inhabited by the Houyhnhnms. Balnibarbi. he is shown the Academy of Lagado (a burlesque of the Royal Society). In his last voyage. whose admirable society is built entirely on rational principles. whose adventures as a surgeon and then the captain of several ships take him through the most unusual places. His hurt sensitivity and disillusionment are conveyed in a series of prose satires which cover a wide range of issues – political. justice and freedom. Gulliver is finally expelled. an uncompromising defender of truth. and literary. Back in England. because he is perceived as a Yahoo endowed with “a rudiment of reason. Luggnagg and Japan IV.4. The most powerful expression of Swift’s satirical genius is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World “by Lemuel Gulliver. In it.4. appear in the utmost state of degeneracy. with elements of the marvelous or fantastic fable. combining the conventions of utopia* and of the imaginary voyage.3. is inhabited by impractical intellectuals. It is an allegorical satirical travel book. curious and resourceful. absorbed in mathematical speculations and music.A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” a work which Swift published anonymously in 1726. social and intellectual realities. In Luggnagg. is one of the greatest satirists in world literature. the Yahoos.” therefore a potential threat to that civilisation. From this last country. building houses starting from the roof. philosophical. as well as an unequalled master of satirical wit and irony. In his third voyage he visits several strange places. but the significance of his work may be extended to the philosophical question of the human condition itself. the flying island.4. popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. intelligent speaking horses. Jonathan Swift Pope’s friend. In Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Gulliver finds himself among people who are twelve times smaller and. Laputa. Like many of his contemporaries. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 4. Swift alludes satirically to a multitude of aspects from the contemporary political. and the disappointment and anger at seeing reason so often abused. a hater of pedantry and pretence. In Balnibarbi. religious. The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Consisting of four books.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.A Voyage to Laputa. Glubbdubdrib. and where human creatures. Gulliver can’t help seeing his fellow humans as disgusting Yahoos. a race of immortal people whose eternal life is in fact a curse of endless decay. Swift was divided between the idealist confidence in man’s capacity of selfimprovement. he learns about the Struldbruggs. where mad scientists are engaged in phantasmagoric projects. bigger than himself. These satires have established his reputation as a champion of moral virtue. and his nostalgia for the perfect world of the 105 I. economic.A Voyage to Lilliput II. respectively. like extracting sunshine from cucumbers.A Voyage to Brodingnag III. in his potential as a rational creature. or softening marble to make pincushions. with a sharp sense of observation.
5. read the fragment carefully once more. If none of the features mentioned there corresponds with your answers. 4. 2. at the end of the unit. who is thus forced to examine itself in a distorting mirror. four features which humans and Yahoos are found to share. from the Reader. 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). Each answer should be limited to 3 lines / 30 words. and he prefers now the company of horses. His initial curiosity and openness to the diversity of human nature turns into madness and misanthropy. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 1. 3. incapable of suffering the proximity of humans.The Restoration and the Augustan Age rational horses alienates him completely from his own kind. 106 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and he also re-interprets attitudes observed in the Yahoos in the light of the information received from Gulliver about human customs and institutions. The parallel results in a grotesque image of humankind. in Text 4. Find.
etc. Gulliver’s failure to accept the mixed essence of man. governed only by reason. his vulnerability increases. ruled by an enlightened monarch. Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia In the first two books of Gulliver’s Travels. the frustrated idealist After the comic-disturbing examples of unreason witnessed in his third voyage. In spite of Gulliver’s dimensions (an allegorical representation of his complex of superiority). or between those who break a boiled egg at the round end – the "Big Endians" – and those who break it at the pointed end). in his last adventure. by dancing on a rope. means de-humanisation.). its thirst for war – the endless conflict with France. The Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms are a double mirror for Gulliver. jumping over or creeping under a stick. physical size indicates allegorically features of human nature. In the Yahoos. with its religious controversies among Anglicans. issues or figures. The Lilliputians’ physical smallness is accompanied by moral flaws – they prove to be mean. These comic details are satirical allusions to contemporary or recent events. Dissenters and Catholics. and he realises how far man is from moral perfection. he is actually physically vulnerable in this world. Gulliver in Brobdingnag 4. In Brobdingnag. Gulliver is confronted. from which he chooses to leave. with the hardest dilemma and the deepest humiliation. Political corruption is institutionalised (for example. However. its political parties – Whigs and Tories –. and they constitute a miniature picture of England.6. In the Houyhnhnms. the highest offices in the state are obtained by those who know how to entertain the king best. He is no longer certain of the essence of his own nature. etc. between those who wear shoes with high heels and with low heels. but their universe is completely deprived of emotion and feeling.5. and his position in that strange land is highly ambiguous. he contemplates with shame and despair all the imperfections of the human race. his real humiliation is caused by the unflattering contrast between his own race and civilisation. of the capacity for affection. Their society is deeply divided by absurd dissensions: for example.4. Their non-human shape suggests that the absence of passion. vain. ambitious. Gulliver. he sees ideal creatures.4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. 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. to integrate Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 107 . The fourth voyage. forgetting that man holds a middle place in the Great Chain of Being*. The error of Gulliver* is that he adopts an impossible deal of perfection. cruel and hypocritical. and the utopian commonwealth of Brobdingnag. as he is in permanent danger from creatures so much larger than him. The Houyhnhnms may be an allegorical embodiment of moral perfection attained through the exercise of pure reason.
the Yahoos would stand for the essentially corrupt nature of man. an image which earned Swift the reputation of a misanthrope. For many readers. The Houyhnhms and the Yahoos have also been seen as allegorical representations of Reason and Instinct. Illustration from an early nineteenth century abridged editions (for children): Gulliver entertaining and being entertained by the tiny Lilliputians. Houyhnhnm and Yahoo . makes him a frustrated idealist.illustration from a 1947 edition of Gulliver’s Travels 108 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the Yahoos embodied Swift’s own vision of mankind as hopelessly degraded. and he ultimately becomes the target of Swift’s irony. or as opposite caricatural views of man in the state of nature. In a “theological” perspective. unteachable and ungovernable. while the Houyhnhms would represent man who has escaped the consequences of the original sin. The last book of Gulliver’s Travels has been given a multitude of interpretations.The Restoration and the Augustan Age reason with feeling and instinct. filthy.
however. For Gulliver. The careful reader will.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. more carefully. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . you need to read the fragment again.6. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia. If there should be major differences. from the Reader. and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable. and to revise subchapter 4.6. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4. find anti-utopian elements in it.
The latter’s eminently rationalist poetics placed emphasis on clarity and elegance in style and composition. the pressure of the taste of the rising middle class replaced it with sentimental comedy. comedy was licentious and cynical. Congreve. Addison. and recommended as a model the literary wisdom of the Ancients. dominantly middle class. Johnson are central figures of the Augustan Age.7. and by means of it. including that of Reason itself. and he used every weapon in the satirist’s arsenal to awaken man from his selfcomplacency: biting irony. Summary The Restoration is a historical and a literary period. Dryden. Goldsmith. One of the literary forms that developed during this period was the periodical essay (Addison. was another characteristic genre. both in verse (Dryden.g. caricature. a masterpiece of irony which places under scrutiny many of the myths of the Enlightenment. Swift’s allegorical satire Gulliver’s Travels is the most accomplished exploration of the contradictions of the Age of Reason. It was a chronicle of manners and an instrument of social and moral criticism. a wide public. which contributed greatly to the development of a modern prose style.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. He intended to “vex the world” in order to “mend” it. the belief in progress and improvement in an age which was also that of the Enlightenment. on the rule of decorum. but also an enduring achievement of the enlightened spirit. his learning and sense of literary tradition. inflated ideal of heroism and virtue. reason was not to be taken for granted: man was only a creature capable of reason. grotesque. therefore also capable of error. Dryden). Swift’s extraordinary inventiveness and narrative gift. The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Gulliver’s Travels is the expression of Swift’s indignation and anger at man’s foolishness. and his brilliant wit make Gulliver’s Travels not only a landmark in Augustan literature. Steele. this highly artificial and conventional form was an expression of the taste of the Court aristocracy. and. generally. While heroic drama sustained an impossible. Pope) and in prose (Swift). on expressive restraint and skilfully controlled wit. Its flourishing in the Augustan Age reflects the integration of literature with social life. placing wit above virtue. Dryden. Gradually.). For Swift. It is an age of transition. The period of the Restoration overlaps with the emerging Augustan Age. parody. accommodating a diversity of literary forms and traditions – old and new. It cultivated the idea of the “marriage” of Art and Nature. arrogant ignorance and unfounded pride in his reason. 110 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Like heroic tragedy (e. on Reason and common sense in aesthetic choice. Pope.4. narrow-sightedness. A representative literary genre for this age is the comedy of manners (Etherege. Steele). the writers’ sense of responsibility towards the values of their civilisation. etc. Satire. was enlightened in matters of literary taste and intellectual achievements. when literary Neoclassicism developed. Swift.
political or religious orientation. “Will’s Coffee House. For instance. or escort. profession or interest. 111 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the acquired competence of the writer. in the 2nd Book of Kings (verses 15-18). Augustan: see Augustan Age in the Glossary in Unit 1. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1. In her empire of darkness and confusion. they were convenient places for socialising and for the dissemination of news. greatly concerned with appearances. art: in the Neoclassic doctrine. or human skill (as contrasted to the work of Nature).” where Dryden would come regularly. it may also refer to a woman’s lover. Anarch: a personification of anarchy. achieved by training and practice. admirer.1. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. his craftsmanship.1. beaux: plural of beau (“handsome” in French). well-dressed man. Dulness as “Great Anarch” is the ruler of spiritual chaos. They were usually frequented by people of the same social rank. affectation: a manner of speech. which designated a fashionable. acquiring quickly the status of real “institutions” of opinion.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. Art may generally refer to the work of man. baroque: see again subchapter 2. and the Glossary in Unit 2. gathered people of the literary profession or interested in literary matters. coffee houses: since the 1650s. In Pope’s satire. dress or behaviour which is not natural. all the acquisitions of the human spirit become meaningless. but is intended to impress others.
referring not only to external nature. “Mr. Bayes. the bay-leaf crown was the ancient emblem of fame. heroic tragedy: see again subchapter 1. In Pope’s satire.” another word for “laurel”.e. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. Great Chain of Being: an ancient world-picture. Mr. surviving through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the 18th century.” diction : see poetic diction in the Glossary in Unit 1. Dunciad: the title is coined after The Iliad.” a “force inertly strong” which corrupts understanding and confuses the mind. dulness: in a strict sense.3 in Unit 1 (heroic drama).4. In this kind of comedy. industry: the quality of being hard-working or of being always employed usefully. hedonism: a lifestyle devoted to the seeking of sensual pleasure. figuratively: undeveloped or inactive. to deceive). mock-heroic epic: see mock-heroic style and epic in the Glossary in Unit 1. the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 112 . a word designating a person who is stupid or slow to learn. In the 1743 version of The Dunciad. from dunce. shortness of sight or imperfect sense of things.3 in Unit 1. landscape. and distinction. Dryden himself had been attacked several times as “Mr. stupidity. fop: a man who is excessively concerned with fashion and elegance.” Nature: an inclusive concept. justice of the peace: a person appointed by the crown to judge less serious cases in small courts of law. a strictly ordered hierarchical system. boring. It derives from “bay. Bayes: a name which was frequently applied satirically to a writer. or “humour. fallow: (about land) left unplanted or unseeded. Bayes” refers to Lewis Theobald. in which the destruction of one “link” would bring chaos. which conceived of every being in nature as having its well-established place in an uninterrupted chain of increasing degrees of complexity. Gulliver: the name sounds very similar to the adjective “gullible. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. but to the whole of created reality. who in 1730 had become Poet Laureate. unexciting. honour. Pope uses the word in the enlarged sense of “all slowness of apprehension. “Dull” also means uninteresting. slowness in thinking and learning. licentiousness: uncontrolled sexual behaviour.” which means easy to fool or persuade to believe something (from “to gull”: to cheat. who had criticised Pope for his edition of Shakespeare (1725). trait . inclination.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • comedy of humours: see Jonson in the Glossary in Unit 1. Pope replaced Theobald by Colley Cibber. characters were constructed on the basis of a particular disposition. i.
Gallery of personalities • • • Addison.4. essays and dramatic works. for the notion of sentimentalism. founder of literary journalism. He was equally successful as an author of heroic dramas (see again subchapter 1. sprout up: to begin to grow or develop.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • cosmic harmony and order manifested in the appearances of this world. of imagination and originality. especially the main landowner in a village.” from Greek u = not. the conception about literature and the creative act of a certain literary school or writer.1. polite learning: the knowledge acquired through classical education (polite: refined. Pope’s satire warns thus about the dangers of lowering literary standards. i. Neoclassicism: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.3 in Unit 1) and of comedies of manners. He established the periodical essay as a literary genre. squire: a country gentleman. of taste or skill. Marriage à la Mode (1672) distinguishes itself by its brilliant wit combats and effective social satire.4. 113 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . John (1637-1700): one of the most outstanding figures of the Restoration and the Augustan Age. perfect society (literally: “no place. poetics: the system of principles and conventions which govern a certain literary form. Tatler: a “tattler” is a person who gossips. and he was the pioneer of modern English literary criticism. uncreated word: with reference to the literary world. and sentimental novel in subchapter 5. He excelled in all literary genres of his time. wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. author of poems. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.3 in Unit 5. Joseph (1672-1719): representative of English literary Neoclassicisn. he translated from ancient authors. Dryden. and topos = place). this phrase suggests the lack of inspiration. whose poem L’art poétique (1674) established the canons of taste and the standards of literary judgement for European Neoclassicism. or who chats or talks idly. and he contributed significantly to the dissemination of the values of the Enlightenment in England. Restoration Wits: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. in which he outlines the features of an ideal.e. Nicolas (1636-1711): outstanding French poet and critic. making literature “dull.4 in Unit 1. polished). sentimental comedy see again subchapter 1. elegant. Among the latter.” utopia: a genre in fiction whose name comes from Sir Thomas More’s work Utopia (1516). or literature in general. Boileau.
William (1697-1764): painter and engraver. Wycherley. Richard (1672-1725): Augustan essayist and dramatist (he established sentimental comedy on the English stage). Among various other works. he endeavoured to lift Latin literature to the level of Greek literature. an unequalled master of irony and wit. or Sir Fopling Flutter (1676). Steele. and of the influential critical work Ars Poetica. Latin poet of the time of Caesar Augustus. who called him a “comic history-painter. Virgil. His works include the philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). George (1634-1691): a member of the group of Restoration Wits. of Irish origin. Goldsmith. author of odes. satires and epistles. Thomas (1635-1713): mathematician and writer. His best comedies are She Would If She Could (1668). he contributed to the spreading of Enlightenment ideas. as well as to the forging of a polished literary prose style. member of the Royal Society. Sprat. 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. a masterpiece of 18th century fiction. Alexander (1688-1744): the most illustrious representative of English literary Neoclassicism.C. and a major representative of English sentimentalism. and The Man of Mode. preoccupied by the cultivation of an English style that should be simple. Hogarth. 114 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a bitter satire in defense of the Irish people. Samuel: see the Gallery of personalities in Unit 2. he argues for the superiority of the Ancients over modern authors. William (1640-1716): one of the Restoration Wits. extremely popular owing to his “modern moral subjects” – a series of paintings or engravings which tell a story and constitute a comment on social. Swift. his works include A Tale of a Tub (1704). concise and flexible. Johnson.). Besides his famous Gulliver’s Travels.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • Etherege. Like his friend. he is the author of the novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766). Together with Addison. Jonathan (1667-1745): the greatest English satirist. as well as the mock-heroic poem The Rape of the Lock (1712). He was a friend of the novelist Henry Fielding. political and moral vices. in which he is the optimistic spokesman of the Age of Reason. clear. Oliver (1728-1774): upholder of the Neoclassic standards of style and composition.” Horace: Quintus Horatius Flavius (65-8 B. and A Modest Proposal (1729). Pope. which contains an allegorical satire on the division of the Christian Church. In the mock-heroic allegory The Battle of the Books (1704).
and she proposes to reject the social rituals and fashions that would require them to wear masks. because he succeeded in rendering the general “truths” of human nature. Addison’s observation reflects the faith in man’s intellectual and moral perfectibility through responsible education – an attitude characteristic of the Enlightenment. 2. the refusal to make a public show of their affection. She also refuses to see marriage as a limitation of the woman’s freedom. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 115 . so the mind which is not assiduously and constantly cultivated – i.e. 7. 3. Culture is thus seen as an improvement of nature. in an analogous sense. common to all humanity – is greater than the pleasure of “sudden wonder” procured by the depiction of “particular manners” and by “fanciful invention. furnished with ideas. sense of responsibility. SAQ 5 honesty. of Human nature.” Just as weeds (i. Civilised reserve in society. a way of protecting their intimacy and their feelings. is. reasonableness. His characters embody the fundamental human passions which will always move mankind. 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. of those features which are universal. 9. She wishes for a sincere and authentic relationship. each partner should accept and respect the other’s wishes. and should not try to impose his/her habits on the other. common sense. good breeding. diligence.T. by the standards of her social environment.F.” Shakespeare will appeal to readers across the ages. for sophisticated Millamant. benevolence. good judgment. integrity.F. SAQ 3 The pleasure of contemplating representations of “general nature” – i.T. industry. abdicating from reason. and she rejects the idea of the wife’s subordination. SAQ 6 Satire is the art of pointing at people’s faults without resorting to insult or calumny. regardless of their particular condition. In marriage.e. Johnson implies that an author’s greatness depend on his insight into Human Nature. SAQ 4 Addison builds an analogy between the human mind and a field. Dryden makes an analogy between the sharp blade of the executioner’s sword and the sharp irony and wit of the satirist.T.T. 6.T. opinions and tastes.F SAQ 2 Millamant has an unconventional view of marriage.F. 8. 4. educated to think – will employ itself with trifles. good sense. and. modesty. open-mindedness. wild plants growing where they are not wanted) will invade an uncultivated field.e. which may be cultivated or left to “lie fallow. 5.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. or judgment.
the rulers’ habit of surrounding themselves by favourites whose role is to flatter and to encourage them in their abuses.). and no personal choice in the matter of marriage.. the silly behaviour of women determined to draw attention to themselves. the “fineness. Preda. and the hierarchy of their society is based on racial discrimination (“inferior” Houyhnhnms will fatally be servants). which makes social progress inconceivable. The irrational greed and avarice. David. vol. 1969 (pp.” SAQ 7 1. The tyranny of reason also rules out affection and emotion: they have no particular feelings for their own offspring. Anti-utopian aspects: the absolutisation of reason.33-66) 116 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which are the literary equivalent of a man’s “slovenly butchering. which breeds imaginary ills. The Houyhnhms are not divided by quarrels. 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. The civilised art of satire is opposed to the coarseness and brutality of personal attack and insult. 2.” the subtlety of his accusations. The English Eighteenth Century. Editura Universităţii Suceava. The art of the accomplished satirist consists in the elegance. which is meant only for procreation. They practice population control. so the satirist is merciless in his denouncing human flaws. Ioan-Aurel (coord. A Critical History of English Literature. SAQ 8 Utopian aspects: The cultivation and exercise of reason. Macsiniuc. Cornelia. only the species counts. English Literature and Civilisation. Daiches. and the equal education of males and females was a progressive Enlightenment ideal. Womankind’s lustfulness and inclination to coquetry. 2003 (pp. 180-187) 3. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. 537-550) 2. the jealousy (envy) and the aggressiveness towards one’s fellows. Further reading 1. 3. the ability of the worst to set themselves as leaders. The spirit of competition. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. The individual is of no importance. the “unnatural appetite” for things whose value doesn’t justify the effort and energy spent in their acquisition and preservation. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. deprives their thinking of flexibility and nuance. The tendency to idleness. the education in the spirit of moderation and industry. The Novel in Its Beginnings. 4. the exclusion of opinion. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). ultimately of imagination. civility and friendship become a cold and superficial form of social relationship. In the absence of affective attachment. the generalises extension of friendship and benevolence. 5. Both of them need skill – or “art” – to do this in a satisfactory way. conflict and self-interest. decency and civility are certainly desiderata of any civilisation. 1983 (pp.
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. 220.127.116.11. 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5.6.1. Unit objectives The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.4. 18.104.22.168.5.4. 5.8.6. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5.2.4. 22.214.171.124.3. 5.3. 5.1. 126.96.36.199.4.1. 5.3. 188.8.131.52. 5.2.2. 5.2.1. 184.108.40.206.1.3. 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. 5.4.4. 5. 220.127.116.11. 5. 5.2. 18.104.22.168.
Romances were long narratives combining heroic adventure and passionate love. a certain tendency to women’s emancipation. This new literary form embodied the democratic and revolutionary impulse of a century in which the issues of individual liberty. Background and main concerns The novel’s emergence is commonly associated with the aspiration of the middle classes to overcome cultural marginality. Women’s education was beginning to be encouraged. but there was a considerable amount of novels written by women. in various aspects of the novels discussed in this unit. in the early years of the 18 th century. exotic settings. The late 17 th century had seen a flourishing of this kind of fiction. 5. of a genre which became the main rival of the novel: the romance. A significant part of this new reading public consisted in women. and generally about women. and whose protagonists were of noble stock. Such tales gratified the fantasies of a class of readers who were still barred from public self-assertion. the rise of the middle classes.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ identify. 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. tolerance. more inclusive reading public. Not only were women the most numerous “consumers” of novels. in the light of the author’s aesthetic principles ♦ describe the peculiarities of the narrative technique and style used by the studied authors ♦ define the concept of metafiction and describe metafictional strategies in Sterne’s novel Unit objectives 5. whose action was often set in remote. Novel and romance in the 18th century The dominance of female readership explains the enduring popularity. whose vast majority was middle-class. and there is a connection between. natural rights. mostly imitations of French models. The general growth of literacy* in the 18 th century led to the rise of a new. confined to the 118 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . emancipation and progress received unprecedented prominence and were vital for the self-assertion of the new class.1. and their involvement with literary life was increasing.1.1. and the development of the novel.
The knights and princesses of romances were replaced. but from contemporary life. the novel’s didactic vocation. The novel proposed norms of moral conduct and standards of social integration. by common people. Thus. socially and materially dependent on men. or previous literature. in the novel. The represented experience was meant to engage the reader’s interest both because it was familiar and because of its uniqueness. a reality that was close to the average reader’s experience became a source of imaginative interest. with entertainment frequently subordinated to the instructive aim. the province of the novel was the familiar. It attempted to correct morals and educate manners by censuring vice and folly.2. Characters are no longer idealised. The novelist no longer drew his plots from mythology.1. On the one hand. By contrast. because the depicted experience and universe were more or less familiar to them. 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. Realism – or. The ordinary aspects of life. history. moral or psychological detail.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel domestic universe. their common denominator was the attempt to convey an impression of authentic experience. In spite of the great diversity of novels in the 18th century. shows its assumed responsibility towards contemporary civilisation. 5. The readers of novels could identify themselves with the characters. realised with an unprecedented wealth of social. Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Whereas the basic aim of romance was to entertain. a double tendency of the Age of the Enlightenment. whose province was the spectacular and the extraordinary. the novel’s aspiration was to fulfil the double mission of all Augustan literature: to entertain (to divert) and to instruct (to edify). the novel reflected the general critical spirit of the Age of the Enlightenment and participated in its project of emancipation through education. in Augustan terms. but distinct individualities. to their relevance for the reader’s aspirations and possibilities. truth to Nature – is what primarily distinguished the novel from romance. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 119 . 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. its normality. its endeavour to propagate a certain moral and social code. On the other hand. its emphasis on individual experience is the literary expression of the spirit of individualism associated with the growing importance of the middle classes. its determination to participate in the general Augustan quest for an ideal of social harmony. The novel reflects. vague and abstract figures. in its concerns. legend. For most women.
Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century. If there should be major differences.1.1. … 4. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . at the end of the unit. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment.1. The rise of the middle classes … 2. and public/social norms and conventions. 1. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. and 5. 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. on the one hand. on the other.2. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. Women were … 3. read again subchapters 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century.
This makes the 18th century novel rather difficult to classify. The comic novel in the 18th century is inscribed in a long tradition of deflation of romance. The comic novel is an opportunity for writers to display a critical attitude not only to reality. Many novels cut across divisions. Typology of the novel in the 18th century The novel as a genre had no authoritative. exposing their irrelevance and unreality. the comic vision is always in the service of social and moral criticism. but they differ from romances in their attention to realistic detail. and its beginnings are defined by a tendency to “sponge” on other literary forms. confusion. loosely structured. Richardson). and the world represented in such novels is open. classic models to follow. i. Sentimentalism became a literary fashion. forms of expression. The most popular kinds of novels in the 18th century were: Adventure novels share with romances an emphasis on action. in imitation of the descriptive accuracy of travel literature. irony and burlesque*.e.g. on events. the romance). and the hero’s various encounters are. • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 121 . misfortune to the solution of all conflicts and the integration of the protagonist in a social structure. a wide variety of influences went into its making. romance is trivialised through parody*. • Picaresque* novels may be considered a special case of adventure novels. They invariably contain the motif of the journey. since this kind of fiction subverts the prestige of older genres (the epic. • • The novel of manners submits to the reader’s judgements various types of social behaviour. patterns and motifs. and which emphasised the importance of feeling and its close connection with moral virtue. • The sentimental novel is the literary manifestation of that cross-current within the Age of the Enlightenment which placed value in emotional response rather than in reason. The characteristic comic plot presupposes the passage from disorder. The motif of the travel is central. an opportunity for comprehensive social criticism. therefore an ally to realism. The analysis of sentimental response was meant to elicit from the reader an empathic understanding. The sentimental hero/heroine unites a remarkably acute sensibility with spotless virtue and a deep sense of honour. popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.3. It may either offer a comprehensive mirror of the social diversity of the age (e.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. but also in poetry and in drama.g. Instead. for the author. in which the action is episodic.1. Fielding). from which it borrowed devices. On the other hand. or explore personal conflicts which involve different sets of values (e. and extremely diverse. but to literature as well. their distance from the every day experience of common readers. repetitious. examining the conflicts between private morality and public expectation. which claim the reader’s attention more than the characters do. displayed not only in fiction. inclusive. belonging to several categories at once.
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. usually with supernatural ingredients. 3. mocking their elevated style by applying it to common.3. in their confrontation with moral choice.1. and his/her experiences provide a satirical survey of the contemporary society. after each sentence. It centres on intellectual debate and confrontation of ideas. read again subchapter 5. It explores the diversity of social manners and their articulation with moral values. trivial subjects. at the end of the unit. 122 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . ________________________ 5. in an atmosphere of gloom. ________________________ 8. this illustrates the concern of the Enlightenment with the development of the individual as a social being. It is concerned with the individual’s full assertion as a social being. It offers more delight in ________________________ action than in character. ________________________ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. • SAQ 2 What kinds of novels do the following sentences describe? Write the answer in the space indicated by the continuous line. ________________________ 7. If you have failed to match any of the descriptions with the right type of novel. ________________________ 4. ________________________ 2. at the end of a process in which he/she learns to accord private impulse with social expectation. ________________________ 6.. It presents a tale of mystery and horror. The achievement of maturity leads to the hero’s satisfactory social integration. deliberately reducing the importance of plot or emotional conflict. Its hero is a marginal figure who aspires to social success. It defines itself in contrast with the “serious” narrative genres. Two of these descriptions do not match any of the types of novels described in the subchapter above. It explores the labyrinth of emotion and feeling. 1.
Richardson focuses on the inner world of thought and feeling. several adventure novels. They were all stories of success. Both of them enjoyed enormous popularity not only in England. Features of Defoe’s heroes Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 123 . in the next years. Their novels are the literary reflection of the spirit of individualism that characterised the age. the power to hold attention and keep curiosity awake.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. They share a middle class. in circumstantial details. on his fiction. and both of them focus on the individual in his/her struggle of securing a legitimate position in the social structure. Their rise to social respectability and wealth. resourcefulness and capacity for adjustment and survival. This confers vividness to their narratives. and their adventures show the individual victorious over circumstances and environment (physical or social). They are pragmatic. the constant striving towards accuracy of description. They differ in the objects of their “realistic” approach: whereas Defoe’s interest is invested in the external world of fact. This aspect in Defoe’s novels points to his Puritan background.2. of such non-fictional kinds of writing as the spiritual autobiography or didactic religious treatises. Puritan* background.2.1. but also on the Continent. on the movements of consciousness and the emotional response to moral problems. when the writer was almost sixty. to the influence. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. 5. Its tremendous success encouraged Defoe to produce. cast in a picaresque form. is invariably accompanied by moral reformation. His heroes are remarkable in their vitality. Mariner. dynamic and versatile. in actions. published in 1719. Defoe and Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Each of these two novelists had an essential contribution to the rise of the novel. on the individual’s striving towards some form of personal achievement. establishing it as the most popular literary genre in the 18th century. Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Defoe’s career as a novelist started with his masterpiece. Both Defoe and Richardson display in their narratives a remarkable faithfulness to detail. their social insertion. and tracing the protagonists’ struggles to achieve material prosperity as a condition of a stable social position.
he turns from a reckless.” without “any appearance of fiction in it. Robinson settles in Brazil where he becomes a relatively prosperous plantation owner. After 26 years. the desire for adventure and for “seeing the world. He marries. romantic youth into a realistic. he rescues a savage from his fellow cannibals. Robinson becomes engaged in a heroic struggle for survival. Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Robinson Crusoe is recommended as “a just history of fact. has three children. as well by the more recent case of a sailor who had lived in complete solitude for five years on an uninhabited island. to buy slaves. prudent and calculating mature man. such an experience became an archetypal one. struggling to impose on an alien space his middle class idea of order. The subject is inspired by 17th century stories of castaways on desert islands. Wyeth . but during a terrible storm he is shipwrecked on a desert island. On his return to England. Under Defoe’s pen. Illustration to the first edition (1719) Robinson on the beach (illustration by N. in soon left a widower.” He disregards his father’s advice of continuing the family trade and keeping within the limits of his “middle station in life.” as he came to call his novels – the attempt to inculcate religion and morality through a gripping story which has the appearance of authenticity.” It is. Son of a successful German merchant settled in England. In the hope of increasing his wealth. C.” and leaves home on board a ship.1920) 124 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. he learns that his prospering business in Brazil has made him a rich man. The only survivor. a celebration of man’s power of spiritual endurance in adversity. After several misadventures at sea.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. one of Defoe’s “honest cheats. in fact. not only physical but also spiritual. names him Friday and turns him into his loyal servant and receptive pupil.2. In the 28 years of solitary life. Providence helps him finally leave the island. he starts a voyage to Africa. of his moral strength to carry on against all obstacles. where he has established a colony. and the book ends with his promise of further accounts of his island. Robinson displays from a young age the romantic inclination of wandering.
In his initial struggle with despair. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. and 5. Gradually. as a political or economic utopia. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. In this light.2. Isolation is no longer a misfortune. at the end of the unit. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases.” 5. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition.2.2. If it should differ considerably. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness.3. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. read again subchapters 5.. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions.1. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. 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.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. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. to the awakening of religious conscience. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 .2.
He takes pleasure in his work). Changed in his “notion of things. 4. 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall. at least four features of the hero’s character as they are illustrated by this description. if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience. g..” However. in the space below. its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress. 2. Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value. as well as the fragment in the Reader. If you should fail to find any of the features mentioned there.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The celebration of homo faber characteristic Puritan tendency to self-scrutiny and introspection.” desires and “delights. at the end of the unit. perseverance.3. or by a sentence (e. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour. Like Adam.. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction. 3. as a self-reliant individual. 1. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion. In this connection. or the felix culpa*. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise. It has its spiritual rewards. Enumerate. Robinson is cast out from the “edenic” safety and happiness of his father’s home into an uncertain world of toil.. inventiveness. SAQ 4 Read Text 5. Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism. ingenuity). describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot.g.2. morally autonomous.2. with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. which will serve his instinct for independence.” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise.2. perspicacity. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter. you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5. You may render these features either by a single noun (e. subchapter 5.
Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality. at the same time. lack of unnecessary ornamentation.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. 1. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable. clarity. on a separate sheet. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories. concreteness. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . he paid little attention to matters of form. His simple. which. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5. the promise of symbolic meanings. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience. His linear. with unmatched vividness. The richness of concrete detail. containing. solid world. whose reality is difficult to doubt. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself.4 once more and do the exercise again. 3. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. read the fragment and subchapter 5. 2.2. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. rendered in a simple. clear language. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. the most common objects and actions in their particularity. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. at the end of the unit. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature.2. 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. of familiar detail. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure.2. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. 4.4. the frequent enumerations and inventories. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form.
the tone is rather that of a comedy of manners and the ending is in the spirit of the Cinderella* tale. B_’s hands. Both are written in the epistolary manner*. B_’s sister. Her diary – intended for her parents – falls into Mr. Mr. as well as for his didactic purpose.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. There. of individual freedom threatened by arbitrary power. sensibility and morality. As the first great sentimental novelist. Faced with her resistance. Pamela has one more test to pass: winning the approval of Mr. the double victim of the libertine aristocrat who raped her and of her narrow-minded. Her disarming combination of graceful modesty and pride helps her come victorious in an encounter with haughty Lady Davers. of the struggle between virtue and vice. B_. whose affection she finally gains. or the History of a Young Lady (1748). B’s relatives and friends. Pamela continues a diary.5. He acknowledges his love and proposes marriage to her.2. At the same time. in Bedfordshire. Pamela differs from Clarissa in tone and ending. In Clarissa. not only in England but also on the Continent. Mr. or Virtue Rewarded (1740) and Clarissa. Pamela decides to thank Providence by doing as much good as she can to those around her. but also the agitation of her heart and its conflicting impulses. Richardson’s prominent place in the history of the English novel is ensured by two novels: Pamela. hoping that she will give in. the death of the heroine turns her into a tragic figure. cruel and greedy relatives. B_ abducts her and keeps her a prisoner for a while in his Lincolnshire house. In Pamela.6. Back to Bedfordshire as mistress of the house. Mr. Upon the death of her mistress. The plot of Pamela. recording the details of her ordeal. or Virtue Rewarded Pamela is a simple countryside girl who works as a maidservant in the house of Lady B_. Richardson focuses on the relation between feeling and virtue. His focus on the inner life of feeling and emotion prefigures the Romantic* sensibility. Both novels concentrate on the microcosm of the family and develop the themes of the trial of innocence. 128 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . unanimously loved and admired.2. tries to seduce her and make her his mistress. who is now convinced of the purity of her motives and of her innocence. His influence was considerable. 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 exploration of unconscious motivation makes him a forerunner in the great tradition of the novel of psychological analysis. which Richardson found best suited for the realistic rendering of psychological and moral complexity. the latter’s son. impressed by Pamela’s unusual beauty and grace. In her new state. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) 5.
Social hierarchy and the individual self Pamela’s problem is not only the defense of her chastity. B_. as he embodies perfect virtue in a lower middle-class girl. a complete novelty in fiction. Gravelot to the 1742 edition) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 129 . that no one has the right to control the ideas and feelings of another. as a traditionally dominant class. She perceives her imprisonment by Mr. F. He thus questions the exclusive right of aristocracy.” but she defends her dignity as an individual. is consistent with the spirit of individual freedom which defines the Enlightenment. the rights of the individual. to set moral standards to the nation. his violation of her privacy (including the private space of her correspondence) as abusive attempts to reduce her to the condition of an object.2. Richardson’s implicit radical message. The moral conflict in the novel is accompanied by social issues. Richardson’s novel participates in the larger illuminist debate on the issue of authority and absolute power vs. Pamela’s position of moral superiority reflects Richardson’s confidence that the values of the middle class entitled them to claim moral leadership. She sees social hierarchy as “natural.7. This ambiguity in her condition makes her remarkably class-conscious. Pamela is brought up by her modest parents in the spirit of the strictest religious principles. Richardson’s creation of Pamela is revolutionary. B_ intercepting Pamela’s first letter to her parents (Engraving by H. The cover engraving and title page of the 1741 edition Mr. Through its subject and theme. but the education she received in Lady B_’s house is far above that of a servant. the freedoms that he takes with her.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.
it is easier for her to stand his abuses. and 5. at the end of the unit.7. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. though in quality [i.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave. read again attentively subchapters 5. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. 5. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger.6. to obey Mr. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.”? Answer in the space left below.8.2. between hate and admiration. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. as a servant.e. If there should be significant differences. Richardson’s mastery consists in the subtlety with which he suggests the gradual surfacing of unconscious feeling and with which he traces the heroine’s slow process of self-knowledge.2. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master.
events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. excerpted from Pamela. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character.2. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. What counts. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. B_ follows a similar evolution. In Pamela’s letters and diary.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. which are captured in the process of their emergence.. 2. on the other. on the one hand. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 .. at the end of the unit. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness.9. read again subchapter 5. and his developing love. 1.4. however. in the Reader).3. The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. and considering also Text 5. her sentimental response to them.
1. Omniscient narration afforded a comic vision of life. priggish* upstart. Treating seriously of male virtue results in comic effect. Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend. His acknowledged literary models were Swift. Slipslop. as well as their inclusiveness. they mirror a wide range of human types.3. so that he sets out for home. the author asserts himself. Mr. Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Fielding is the creator of the novels of manners. More unexpected Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Lady Booby and Joseph Andrews (engraving by James Heath. in London. which is doubled by the fact that Joseph is pursued not only by the mistress. 1790) 132 . Abraham Adams. but a snobbish. Fielding’s combination of realism and comedy inaugurated a lasting tradition of realistic fiction as an instrument of criticism of manners.” Mr. including Pamela and her husband. Joseph’s sweetheart. At this point. He is also the first novelist who displayed a remarkable sense of form. Fielding abandons parody. controlling the narrative and imposing his own values explicitly. but a voice external to the story. B_’s aunt. started as a parody. Fielding was a master of parody. above all. emulating his sister in the exemplarity of his virtue. and the long central section of the novel – its picaresque part – describes Joseph’s adventures on the road. modest and gentle creature. Lady Booby’s estate in Somersetshire is the scene for the novel’s last series of adventures. Booby. performed by means of comic satiric devices. burlesque and comic satire. The hero’s companions are Parson Abraham Adams and Fanny Goodwill. Pope. A somber discovery marks the climax of confusion: it appears that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. The result was the first comic novel of manners in England. 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. who opposes her brother’s marriage to a simple country-girl. required a narrator who should be no longer a character. and the first comprehensive literary picture of the manners and mentalities of the age. author of Don Quixote” (1742). His works are panoramic reflections of the age. The careful narrative architecture of his novels. but also by the maid. Mrs. whose servant he was. Joseph Andrews is presented as Pamela’s brother. and he thought to propose his own version of morality. His rejection of both leads to his dismissal. Fielding uses the technique of reversal as a parodic device.3. to his native village. “written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes*.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Parodic accents are revived: Pamela is not Richardson’s humble. Cervantes. Through the omniscient* narrator. relationships and actions. Fielding considered the Puritan morality preached by Rhichardson’s Pamela as narrow and ungenerous. He is the object of seduction of “Lady Booby*. Mr. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) 5. irony. and. All important characters meet here.
Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. Mr. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. which closes the plot. at the end of the unit. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. T F 6. is an ingredient of romantic plots. T F 5. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. For instance. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. in the spirit of comedy. T F 4. Wilson. T F 8. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. T F 2. for true or false) for each of them. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false. which turns out to be gentle*. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. alluding thus to the older genre.5. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Fielding likes to play with genres. Cervantes. whom they had met during their journey. T F 3. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”).” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance.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. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. Read Text 5. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer.3. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage.2. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. read the text once more. T F 7. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. carefully. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. 5. 1. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy.
The presence of Parson Adams is essential for the evolution of the main character. doctors. active goodness. one of the most successfully accomplished quixotic* characters. In other words. Adams’s unsuspecting nature often gets him in trouble. Fielding’s panoramic approach led him to find uniform patterns in human behaviour. the essence of Christian morality is not prudence. not an individual. above all.4. Virtue and vice are not the “privilege” of a certain class or profession. and the reader is invited to judge all the other characters against the moral standard that he embodies. as for Richardson. He represents what Fielding considers the highest Christian value: goodness. in spite of the many instances of greed. etc. For the author. Joseph emerges as morally mature. In order to make the extraordinary variety of human types easier to deal with. Fielding’s fiction displays an immense gallery of characters. etc. hypocrisy and intolerance he is confronted with. the parson combines innocence and simplicity with dignity and learning. and he never seems to learn from disappointing experiences. Every social class. Fielding resorts to the principle of contrast in characterisation. but a species” (Joseph Andrews). At the same time. but manners.3. Parson Adams’s character remains the moral center of the novel. both loyal and treacherous servants or friends. masters. he describes “not men. lawyers. By means of techniques of contrast. in Fielding. Parson Adams as a quixotic character 5. but good deeds and charity. but they placed their main interest in the individual. which must give substance to faith. Like his literary ancestor. quickly assimilating his mentor’s lesson and convinced that true Christianity means. In the beginning. The character of Parson Adams The influence of Cervantes is clear in Fielding’s delineation of Parson* Adams.3. Along the novel. Fielding makes a synthesis between the comic and the morally serious. there are both good and bad innkeepers. his virtues always outshine his occasional foolishness. Joseph appears to follow his sister in his restriction of virtue to the question of chastity. His fund of Christian idealism is inexhaustible. Fielding offers aesthetic delight. Defoe and Richardson were also concerned with the relation individual-society.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. often making him appear ridiculous. as he himself says. but also moral instruction. Fielding involves him in a multitude of comic situations. profession and temperament is represented in his novels. fulfilling thus the novel’s double aim of entertaining and instructing. 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. which often create comic effects. cruelty.3. in various nuances of behaviour and in its moral diversity. because “beauty and excellence” are always best demonstrated by their reverse. In the combination of foolishness and idealism that characterises the parson. both honest and hypocrite priests. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Character as type The principle of contrast in characterisation 134 .
3. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel.5. Fielding is the most “Augustan.4. at the end of the unit. 5. Explain them. At the same time.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. If they should differ substantially.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.3. 5.. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. and 5. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. unaffected. 2. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. read again subchapters 5. 1. like many Augustan writers. 5. and he believes. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. incorporated in the substance of his works. His commentaries and reflections on his own art.8. through its moral and temperamental types.2.. provide the first theory of the novel.3. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. drawing short comparisons. preoccupied with the reformation of manners. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. 3..2. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. He is a moralist..4.2. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.
instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account. of his uncle. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the priest who baptised Tristram. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel.4. at the age of five. In spite of his promises. the narrator. Tristram. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended.4. Walter Shandy. other interesting things to relate. we are drawn into an extremely irregular. that his brother Bobby died suddenly. in Joseph Andrews. a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction. that he was.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision.e. at every point. the relation between life and literature. unpredictable narrative. Walter. 5. as well as of Parson Yorick.4. moulds reality into a literary pattern. Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals. and his long. who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre. he seems to have. He digresses continually.” in every sense. does not manage to give a shape to his story. is an erudite philosopher. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia).2. His father. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. which isolates each of them in his mental universe. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5. i. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III. the history of a private life.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.1.” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness. Fielding had demonstrated. corporal Trim.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. that. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768. With Sterne. by accident. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*. However. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps.
but in Sterne’s novel all characters are eccentrics. Wounded in Flanders. as comic eccentricity. On the other hand. The “nonsensical. and discharged from the army. to preserve good humour in the middle of trouble. His narrative emphasises a tragi-comic vision of life. Shandean* book” that Tristram is trying to write is meant to do good to the reader’s both heart and head.” Toby Shandy is Sterne’s best accomplished sentimental character – the narrator continually praises his uncle’s good nature. However.” forgetting (1760) everything in pursuit of his obsession. but they can enter a dialogue of the hearts. uniqueness is achieved in extreme. and this is made obvious in their endless conversations recorded in the novel. where compassion and empathy bridge the gap created by their singularity.3. to 137 The Shandean view of life Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which becomes almost a parody of human individuality.1 architecture as Don Quixote was found to have of chivalry. Understandably.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Among his most eccentric theories. It is not type (social. ironic terms. There are many eccentric characters in 18th century fiction. Characterisation by hobby-horse is a negation of conventional means of realistic character delineation. with man as a vulnerable. gathering “almost as many books on military frontispiece to vol. Suffering is a permanence in Tristram’s world. absorbed in this activity. good-humoured. 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. modesty and. which influences all his thoughts and actions. Tristram Shandy displays a unique combination of sentimentalism and comedy. pitiful creature.4. were being fought on the continent. gentleness. the early accidents in his son’s life cause him great distress. and it is either dealt with sentimentally or revealed in its comic absurdity. representing there the main battles as they William Hogarth. but the uniqueness of each individual mind. amiability. They cannot share their thoughts. which were expected to influence a man’s conduct. “My uncle Toby” is the most memorable character in the book. Tristram calls such obsessions hobby-horses. Sterne places emphasis on the sentimental nature of his heroes as an aspect of their “moral character. a quixotic figure forming an eccentric couple with corporal Trim. character and destiny. 5. the members of the Shandy family reach mutual understanding on the affective level. moral or psychological) that interests Sterne. He becomes completely Tristram Shandy. Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The characters’ obsessions and idiosyncrasies are an intellectual barrier in their communication. doomed to pass from sorrow to sorrow. Its approach to the frustrations of life is called by Tristram “true Shandeism. above all. The narrator sees laughter as the ultimate defense of the sensitive soul against life’s miseries and limitations. therefore.” defined as the capacity to mock at the blows of fate. generosity. He transforms his bowling green into a miniature military field. during the War of the Spanish Succession*. uncle Toby continues to live the reality of war through a substitute.
in the Glossary to Unit 2.4.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel take a lightly ironic distance from suffering. V. Ch. To remember the features of the tragic hero. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 138 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . If the difference is considerable. Sterne introduces the theme of Fortune – a theme which he will develop with a characteristic mixture of sentimental pathos and comic wit. SAQ 10 In Vol.3. in the Reader) attentively and explain why Tristram’s selfdescription as a “small HERO” suggests a tragi-comic vision of life.6. as well as the fragment from the Reader. read again subchapter 5.. Write the answer in the space left below. It is a combination of wisdom and mirth*. restricting it to 12 lines / 120 words. see again the fall of princes. which enables man to keep a healthy spirit and to get around the evils of life by joking about them. at the end of the unit. I. Read this short chapter (Text 5.
Tristram constantly oscillates between the comic despair at his incapacity to master his narrative and the delight he takes in complete narrative freedom. marking a moment of affectionate recollection. which he calls “the sunshine of reading. but also to how it is told. The “Shandean” view of writing This ambivalent view of life corresponds. 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. Typographically. The difficulty he experiences as a writer is due to the limits of language. and gives the impression of stagnation. there are several dedications scattered through the book.5. with its blank pages for the reader to fill in. the “imperfections of words. The structure of the book is equally odd. even a black sheet introduced at the death of Yorick.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. frustrates our expectation of chronological linearity commonly associated with an autobiographical account.4.” The confused chronology and the digressive excesses frustrate also our expectation of a plot. so different from Fielding’s tight. there are numberless digressions and interpolated stories. only in the middle of Volume III that we find the author’s Preface. for instance. in Sterne’s novel. etc. Sterne’s rambling narrative. asterisks. Faced with the problems of accurate representation through words. and he takes great delight in digressions. Tristram has the consciousness of his tragi-comic predicament. its unpredictable returns to various moments in the past. points of suspension. Sterne defamiliarises them. The zigzagging narrative.4. by exploiting them in a parodic way. Tristram is earnestly trying to tell the story of his life and his opinions as accurately as possible.” Not only as a man. This impression is increased by Tristram’s effort to be exhaustive in his presentation. with its multitude of dashes.4. drawings and graphs. It is. 5. to a certain view of writing. the restriction of the hero’s “life” to a few episodes breaks the convention of autobiographical focus. The narrator explicitly refuses to keep the story straight. coherent plots. and to involve the reader both imaginatively and sentimentally. makes the reader aware of them.e. Tristram resorts to other means of communication. watched as if by a slow motion camera. by drawing his attention not only to what is told. does not seem to move towards any climax. the book is a comic oddity. For example. but also as an author. The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions By taking extreme freedoms with narrative and compositional conventions. i. He delights in minute descriptions of postures and small gestures. He thus exaggerates parodically the realistic pursuit of accuracy and immediacy. Digressive narrative Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 139 .
Tristram constantly draws attention to the way in which he manipulates fictional time. metafiction is fiction about fiction. i. in the first four volumes. Tristram Shandy may be called the first philosophical novel in English. on the author’s vision of life. however. Sterne’s particular approach to narrative correponds to a certain vision of human experience. into the “laboratory” of his literary consciousness. Tristram Shandy questions the mimetic illusion that realistic fiction endeavours to create. which is connected. As metafiction. Another prominent theme with a metafictional relevance is that The theme of time of time and its relation with the imagination. the narrated time and the time of reading. at the structural level. i. The randomness of the narrative is a mirror of the narrator’s sense of his own life as tragi-comically governed by accident. formless reality. The main subject of Sterne’s novel is. Tristram draws the narrative “lines. with the narrator’s desperate effort to be allinclusive and his incapacity of managing his narrative. of life as pure chance.e. random course of the narrative has a correspondent in the theme of Fortune. as it explores – halfseriously. Sterne’s literary treatment of the notion of duration makes him a precursor of 20th century modernist writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. makes Tristram Shandy a work of metafiction. also concerned with the way in which consciousness refracts external reality. ultimately.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. halfsceptical meditation on the condition of literature and its relation with reality.6. The unpredictable. the permanent inquiry into what a novel can do and cannot do. works which call attention to their own devices. making the reader aware that “literary time” is arbitrary and conventional. Its extravagant.4. experimental character affords the reader a glimpse into the novelist’s dilemmas and arsenal of choices. 140 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In volume VI. There are themes in Sterne’s Metafictional novel which may be called “metafictional”. on the possibilities of fiction to render in an intelligible pattern the elusive. Tristram Shandy as metafiction The constant reference to the devices and conventions operating in fiction. The meaning of metafiction depends. It is a half-amused. half-comically – the distinction between subjective and objective time.e. Metafictionally. the theme of time corresponds to the narrator’s concern with the distinction between the time of writing. the process of its own writing.” with their digressions. Basically. they may be related to themes the problem of fictional representation and its limits. One such theme in Tristram Shandy is that of human communication – or rather incommunication –.
at the end of the unit.5. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel.. which he discusses in the very text of the work. Write them in the spaces indicated below. 2.4.7. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. If they differ significantly. 3.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. In this way.6. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. Instead of continuing the story. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . and 5. 1. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it.4. and read the fragment attentively once more. go again through subchapters 5.
We have only concentrated on one novel for each writer. Their works illustrate various aspects and tendencies in the evolution of the genre. 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. who shares with Fielding the attraction to comedy and parody. Sterne. The absence of norms and models made it an exceptionally flexible and inclusive form. and Laurence Sterne. This is reflected in the wide diversity of directions in which the novel developed in the 18th century. Fielding. in his novels of manners. on the other hand. which has dealt with four major novelists of this age: Daniel Defoe. 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 . and with Robinson Crusoe the middle class hero is imposed on the literary scene. Henry Fielding. but his interest in the psychological complexity of the individual is completed by a remarkable sensitivity to social aspects.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Summary The birth of the novel is a literary phenomenon that must be seen as part of the process of modernisation defining the Age of the Enlightenment in England. this genre has enjoyed unrivalled popularity. self-conscious novel that makes him highly modern. readers along the ages have been able to find a wealth of symbolic meanings and a story of archetypal significance. However. completely ignored by Augustan poetics. Richardson takes the novel in the direction of the minute analysis of emotion and feeling. the novel was a minor form. tests the possibilities and limitations of the newly-born literary genre in an experimental. selected as an illustration of the most characteristic features of his art. At the beginning of the 18th century. You have formed an idea of this diversity from the chapters of this unit. in a work so committed to the matterof-fact. to the palpable reality of common objects and actions. Samuel Richardson. Lastly. Since its settlement on the literary scene. Defoe illustrates best the new narrative realism that emerged in fiction.
The hero – the picaro (i. epistolary manner: in a novel.e.3 and the Glossary in Unit 3. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1. a term designating the contemporary mode of fiction – postmodern fiction – which is essentially self-reflexive. booby: silly or stupid person. persecuted by her stepmother and ugly stepsisters. mimetic: the adjective derived from mimesis (Greek: imitation). harpsichord: an old musical instrument. to the lower ranks of society. gaiety. who achieves success owing to beauty and virtue. but producing a different sound. a hobbyhorse is a toy. the way of telling the story through a character’s letters or through an exchange of letters. “beyond fiction”. It was Aristotle who articulated this theory. see again the Glossary in Unit 1). metafiction: literally. a Fool. fixed idea. Concretely. consisting of a stick with a figure of a horse’s head at one end. omniscient: describes the perspective of a narrator who appears to know all about the characters and their action. which dominated Western aesthetics until the end of the 18th century. tone. felix culpa: see subchapter 3. parody: the satirical imitation of a serious work. mirth: laughter. Bildungsroman: German term. played like a piano. He is forced to 143 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Cinderella is the prototype of the obscure and neglected young person. parson: an Anglican priest in charge of a local church. belonging to a high social class (as in gentleman). in which the poor heroine. gentle: of good breeding. and he seeks social integration. which became popular in England through translation and imitation. or “narcissistic” – i. attitude and subject are deliberately distorted so as to make them appear ridiculous. a term associated with the aesthetic view according to which the work of art is an imitation – a representation – of reality. minuteness: exactness in the rendering of small detail. jester: a professional clown employed by a king or nobleman. whose style. in which its form becomes explicitly its subject. picaresque: the origin of English picaresque novels is in the Spanish picaresque fiction of the 16th century. literacy: the ability to read and write. characteristically. or education.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. exact representation of life. fun. rogue) – belongs. ends up by marrying Prince Charming. literally: novel of formation. lifelikeness: closeness to life. The letter (epistle) as a literary species was widely used in the 18th century. Cinderella: an old fairy story. happiness. hobby horse: a favourite topic or an obsessive.e.
• 144 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . priggish: describes a person who is strict about rules and correct behaviour and thinks him/herself morally superior to others. having often to go through the experience of humiliation and frustration. Britain joined Austria. Gallery of personalities • Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra): Spanish writer (1547-1616).The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel • • • • • • find his way in a hostile world by means of his resourcefulness and ingenuity. honest and brave hidalgo (i. Prussia and the Netherlands against France. author of Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605. “quixotic” indicates an unrealistically optimistic and impractically idealistic approach to life.e. on a quest that is both admirable and ridiculous. 1615). Shandean: the adjective that Tristram derives from his family name. which stands in an ironic contrast with the successive triumphs of the noble hero of romance). The high aspirations of this generous. squire) appear as madness in a world whose reality is obscured to him by the idealism of the old romances. quixotic: the word describes a character moulded after Cervantes’s Don Quixote. War of the Spanish Succession: 1702-1713. the famous satirical romance in which the hero’s sense of reality is altered by his obsession with the romantic chivalric ideal. 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. Stimulated by the numberless stories of romantic heroism that he has read. 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. Puritan: see the Glossary in Unit 1. like a knight-errant of former times. Romantic: see Romanticism in the Glossary in Unit 1. Don Quixote starts.
in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. 1. • the coherence.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent.1. 2. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. SAA no. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. therefore. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment.4.. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5.1. the king rejects this tribute. and 5. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government.1. Text 4. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. in grading your paper. with special attention to subchapter 4. Remember that. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. Horrified. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. clarity. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. to revise the preceding unit. Text 5. You will have. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it.4.. as illustrated by this fragment. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel.2. In order to win the good graces of the king. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. 3. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns.
The rise of the middle classes … coincides with the emergence of the novel as a literary genre.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. realistic account. In the social order. 5. and by the form of autobiographical record. He thus “cheats” the reader with the illusion of truth. 5. optimism. 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. but she lives with the deep conviction that in the spiritual order of a Christian world. patience. SAQ 5 factuality. 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 . 6. all souls are equal. 2. concreteness. SAQ 4 Tenacity. 3. immediacy. sharp sense of observation. industriousness. He delights the reader with an extraordinary adventure and a story of success. inventiveness. 3. vividness. she may be deprived of the privilege of class and fortune. 4. 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. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. resilience. rationality. … novels focused on the ordinary and the familiar aspects of life. 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. She will accept humbly her social inferiority. but this is a way of accomplishing more efficiently his honest intention of conveying a moral message. and also authors of novels. which is given an air of authenticity by the meticulous. plainness. SAQ 2 1. the capacity for learning from mistakes. Women were … a consistent part of the novel’s reading public. SAQ 3 Defoe’s own phrase refers to the purpose of his novels: to entertain and to instruct. pragmatism. on contemporary social reality and on the experience of the common individual. 2.
The conception of character: he is interested not in the uniqueness of individuals. 2.” but in “pitiful misadventures.T. Her statement reflects the strength of her sense of individual worth. 3F. enjoying title. and this impression of unmediaded communication strengthens his belief in the character’s sincerity.T. 5. Digressions keep the reader’s curiosity awake.F SAQ 9 1. living and the act of writing overlap each other. he is concerned with human types. 4. This technique may thus give a dramatic quality to the narrative.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel will. SAQ 10 In formulating your answer. forbidding the reading “appetite” to fail and bringing in variety. which makes her sensitive to any form of power abuse. SAQ 8 1. 2. it enables the author to give greater psychological complexity to the characters. It prevents the writing from ending – it allows the writer to go on indefinitely.T. Fielding displays the elegance and refinement of the Augustan ideal of style.” The image of the “ungracious Duchess” – Fortune – pelting him with a series of “cross [i. 6. who write in the first person. 2. 2. He is always a prominent figure. 8. you should think first of the features of a tragic hero. The narrative manner: unlike Defoe and Richardson. 3. as well as a paradoxical combination of social conformity and rebelliousness. It allows a more profound insight into the character’s mind. his gifts and virtues set him above common people. that is. This is not Tristram’s case. wealth and power.F. In this way. since the letters usually record moments of crisis in the character’s experience. 3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 147 . The use of digressions is meant to show Tristram’s narrative skill and constitutes a mark of his originality. but in the way in which the individual embodies general traits of human nature. 7. SAQ 7 1.T. 3. He is a “small HERO” because the misfortunes of his life do not consist in some “great or signal evil. His style: while the style of Defoe and Richardson is closer to the plainness of common speech.e unfavourable] accidents” is in comic contrast with the ideas of tragic disaster and the fall of the great. The reader is made witness to the most private thoughts of the character. they create a sort of suspense. Fielding finds the omniscient point of view more suitable to his intentions. SAQ 11 1.T. It creates a greater sense of suspense and anticipation.
116127. vol. 37-42. A Critical History of English Literature. 43-46. 53-59. 1991 (pp. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 76-80) 2. 143-163. 731-736) 3. David. 217-231. 179-195. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. The English Novel.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). Daiches. 2003 (pp. Walter. Macsiniuc. Penguin Books Limited. 712-718. 598-602.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. Allen. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Cornelia. 701-704. 1969 (pp.
2.4. 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6.4. 6.3.3. 6.4.4. 6. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.5.1. 6. 6.3.2. 6.2.1. 22.214.171.124. The Seasons William Cowper. 126.96.36.199. 6. 6.4. 6. 6. 6.1. 6.3. 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 .188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2. 6.1.4. Unit objectives English pre-Romantic poetry Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.1.4. 6.4. 6. 6.
as is proved by the works of the great Augustan writers (Steele. The concern with personal. however. This new poetic trend ran counter to the optimistic confidence of the Age of Reason. Pope. led to an increasing attention to emotional response. The optimism and pragmatism of a rational age which believed in progress were reflected in literature as well. Swift. the cult of Reason favoured an attitude of humanitarianism and social benevolence. Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The eighteenth century. and for night as a setting. the century of the Enlightenment was not without paradoxes and contradictions. which in turn favoured the emergence of the cult of Feeling. with its emphasis on order. elegance and decorum*. was eminently the Age of Reason. Like any modern age. but also in a new kind of meditative poetry.1. harmony. discipline. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling 150 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .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. to bring the significant aspects of human life and behaviour into the light of public attention. and the sensibility that it cultivated favoured the rise of the Gothic novel. which became the vehicle for the expression of private feeling and assumed a personal voice. and Fielding). One trend in the 18th century poetry of meditation was the preference for the expression of melancholy and dark thoughts. Samuel Richardson) is one manifestation of this tendency. subjective experience is displayed not only in fiction. Neoclassicism*. The sentimental novel* (e. the century of the Enlightenment*. as well as the preoccupation of 18th century analytic thought with the workings of the human mind. and cultivated its public relevance. The interest in individual psychology. whose literary-artistic expression was the Neoclassical doctrine. For instance. regarded art as the product of civilisation. Addison.g. Literature was called to deal with matters of public interest.
supposed to have lived in the 3rd century A. It is in this tradition that one of the most popular poems in English must be placed: Elegy written in a Country Churchyard. Edward Young (1683-1765) 6. but its subject and mood are preRomantic. Young and other poets formed a distinct trend in the mideighteenth century. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. wild. Celtic* and Norse* legend and mythology. 1782) What Macpherson presented as a great primitive Celtic epic turned out to be entirely his own imaginary creation.1. The interest in early poetry Another tendency which announced a change in literary sensibility was a new sense of the past. by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). is the most outstanding expression of this new spirit in poetry. It begins with the contemplation of the landscape.1. and folk literature in general. with tombstones lit by the pale moon – contributed to the birth of the taste for Gothic. The most spectacular manifestation of this interest is the volume Poems of Ossian. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 151 .English pre-Romantic poetry 6. and misty. which contrasts with the Augustan focus on contemporary civilisation. but its influence on the birth of Romanticism* in England and on the Continent was huge. whose life had passed in complete anonymity. and it exerted an immense influence both in England and on the Continent. 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. Macpherson claimed to have translated these poems from “the Gaelic or Erse* language. Macpherson’s “Ossianic poems” are pieces of highly rhetorical poetic prose. which awakened a steady interest in older poetic styles. The fascination with the Middle Ages is another feature which illustrated the rise of the Romantic sensibility. This new interest was reflected in the curiosity about “primitive* poetry” – biblical poetry. legendary Irish bard and hero Ossian.D. It consisted in long blank verse* meditations on such things as earthly vanity.” and to have collected them in the Ossian Highlands of Scotland*. In 1765.2. death and immortality. Night Thoughts (1742-1745). known as the Graveyard School of poetry. whose basic motifs were the shortness and sorrows of life and the inexorable passage of time.1. He also claimed that their author was the (painted by Nicolai Abildgaard. 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. imitating partly the cadence of biblical verses and of Milton’s blank verse. Thomas Percy published a collection of mediaeval ballads. sublime landscapes. published in 1765 by James Macpherson (17361796). The lamentations of the blind bard evoke an ancient world of heroic virtue. and the dominant tone is that of nostalgia and regret. His long poem in nine books. Its gloomy setting – the churchyard.
… 3. b. of Thomas Percy’s collection of ballads. read again the previous subchapters. at the end of the unit. … for the pre-Romantic poetry of melancholy meditation. with its gloomy atmosphere. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. … as well as Gothic fiction. young Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770). The churchyard was a favourite setting … 2. … a. The completed sentences will describe aspects of the emergence of a pre-Romantic current in 18th century poetry. in 1765.English pre-Romantic poetry In 1770. The publication.” presenting his own poems as authentic mediaeval verse. Like James Macpherson. … the pre-Romantic interest in the Middle Ages and popular poetry. published a volume of poems presented as belonging to the mediaeval poet-monk Thomas Rowley. The coming generation of Romantic poets turned by Henry Wallis him into a legend. regarding him as a martyr. Write the correct sequel in the space provided for each sentence. imagination. When his literary fraud was exposed. … Chatterton is also the author of a literary “fraud. Chatterton committed suicide. d. reflected… 4. aspiring to poetic fame. the victim of an (1856) insensitive and hostile world. If you have failed to make the right match for every sentence. but they proved to be (like the Ossianic poems) entirely the product of Chatterton’s inflamed Death of Chatterton. c. who claimed to have translated an ancient Celtic epic poem by the legendary Ossian. is a pre-Romantic reaction against Neoclassic literary decorum. 1. SAQ 1 Read the partial statements below and match them. The melancholy poetry of the Graveyard School. with its taste for the macabre and the supernatural. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. 152 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . These poems displayed lyric grace and the promise of talent.
The sentimental opposition between town and country was to become a convention in 18 th century literature. characteristic of the Enlightenment. and indeed the tendency along the century was to abandon it for poetic forms that allowed more freedom. but also literary forms.2. Towards the end of the century. the state of nature began to be idealised. such as the song and the ballad. busy life of the city with moral confusion. the new feeling for nature – these were features indicating that literary taste was changing. the interest in rural life and its contrast with civilisation. The return to blank verse 6. 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. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 153 . Henry Fielding) would often associate the turbulent. Samuel Taylor Coleridge). This change in taste concerned not only themes and subjects.1. A return to blank verse – for which Shakespeare and Milton were the great models – allowed greater flexibility of expression. valued for their simplicity and directness by the first Romantics (William Wordsworth. towards the highest achievement of man’s Reason: civilisation itself. In the following subchapters. the interest in the local and national past. There was a growing suspicion that civilisation may have a corrupting effect on man’s innate goodness.Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The transition from the Augustan to the Romantic age was slow and long. Elements of a pre-Romantic sensibility can be found all along the century. In the latter part of the century. sometimes within the context of Augustan conventions.English pre-Romantic poetry 6.g. The pre. The emphasis on sentimental response. the inspiration from folk myths and legends. William Blake would call the heroic couplet* the “great cage” of Augustan poetry. and the simplicity of country life with moral virtue. Under the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau*. patriarchal society in which men could enjoy fully their natural right to freedom. and the 18 th century abounded in optimistic utopias about an idyllic. an interest developed in popular forms of poetry.3. and the emergence of a distinct poetic attitude towards nature. The rural universe in 18th century poetry The emerging Age of Sensibility oriented the critical spirit. The great novelists (e.
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.”
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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)
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.”
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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.
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” 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.3.3. exerting a considerable influence on both of them. more ready to awake the poetical enthusiasm. manifest as early as the 1730s. but also the feeling for it. Pre-Romantic nature poetry One of the most significant shifts in poetic sensibility was the new attitude to nature. than the works of Nature. the peace of autumn – bringer of “Philosophic Melancholy” –. and that he never yet has felt what Thomson impresses. With James Thomson (1700-1748) and his long poem The Seasons (1726-1730). “The reader of The Seasons wonders that he never saw before what Thomson shows him.” The Seasons marked an important moment in 18th century poetry. Thomson is also famous for the patriotic lyrics that he wrote for the song Rule. The Augustans were interested in nature only to the extent that it helped them emphasise the conquests of civilization. etc. in its magnificence and diversity. not only the perception of nature. It contains reflections on the natural and social condition of man and on Nature as the manifestation of the divine ordering mind. The Seasons In the Preface to the fourth part of The Seasons. The Seasons has a unity ensured by the recurrent themes and motifs related to the observable natural universe. in which the descriptive detail was often used in order to create a certain mood. with a remarkable attention to detail and precision of notation. poetic renderings of current notions of natural history. “Winter. an expression of national pride. the philosophical reflection. As Dr. in many generations of readers. praise of friends. Thomson practically inaugurated the trend of descriptive-meditative poetry.1.” inspired many other poets along the 18th century. His praise of nature and of the countryside. His poem educated. political comments. Samuel Johnson said.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. It appealed both to the Augustans and to the Romantics. and the moral sentiment. Britannia. 6. Thomson evokes the glory and joy of reviving nature in spring. and the apparent cruelty of winter. James Thomson (1700-1748) 158 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In spite of its eclectic nature. patriotic enthusiasm. the splendour of summer. The conventional Augustan “local” poem (or “topographical” poem*) looked at nature from the perspective of historical or classical mythological associations. becomes an object of interest in itself. 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. nature. James Thomson. more amusing.” Thomson confesses that he knows “of no other subject more elevating.
William Cowper.2. but his subjects anticipate the Romantic sensibility.” Autumnal nature favours a contemplative-meditative mood. with its short. and his feeling for Nature is that of a pre-Romantic. in which he captures with precision and delicacy the crepuscular atmosphere. Passages of moral and political commentary. read text C again. unrhymed stanzas.. which represents a fragment from Thomson’s The Seasons – more exactly. religious meditations and character sketches accompany Cowper’s celebration of rural domestic happiness and communion with nature. which the poet calls “Philosophic Melancholy” (remember Milton’s Il Penseroso*. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be major differences. and he displayed the Augustan taste for stylistic refinement. “Autumn. from the third part. He preferred the classical form of the ode*. One of Thomson’s great admirers was William Collins (17211759). more carefully. The Task has actually been described as a spiritual autobiography. The Task Much closer in time to the beginning of the Romantic Age. He reaches perfection in his famous Ode to Evening (1746).3. living in retirement from the city. whose work brings into harmony the various tendencies in 18th century poetry. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 159 . in popular superstitions and the supernatural. He was interested in the mediaeval past. which actually inspired Thomson). records his observations and reflections. in which a sensitive and thoughtful Christian. in a paragraph of no more than 6 lines / 60 words. the poem The Task (1785) by William Cowper (1731-1800) reflects a similar attraction to the theme of nature. Cowper displays an Augustan concern for elegance and refinement in expression. William Collins 6. social satire. but his blank verse poem has a much more personal tone. How does the Philosophic Melancholy influence the poet? Answer below. at the end of the unit.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 4 Read Text 6.3. Like Thomson and Collins.
Cowper’s love of nature is closely linked to his love of the countryside.” Sometimes. 160 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . domestic activities. like gardening. in the 18th century. of the seasonal diversity of natural aspects. he becomes aware of the instability of this last retreat from the confusions and corruption of modern urban civilisation. indicate an affectionate observer. and of simple. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. but the joy of communion with friends. represents one of the most memorable statements. S. The contemplation of nature has a healing effect on Cowper. Retirement to the countryside does not mean for him idle solitude – it is not isolation that he seeks in rural nature. with its vices and follies. concerning the opposition country/town. As a poet of nature. however. Read again the fragment if you answer is significantly different. Read this fragment and explain why Cowper finds the countryside superior to the urban world. T. / Paradise that has survived the fall. which he opposes to the civilisation of the city. in which he can find shelter against depression and anxiety.English pre-Romantic poetry illustration by Birket Foster. Cowper displays a remarkable eye for detail and a landscape-painter’s sense of perspective. affected] the country. He praises the simple pleasures. Coleridge). His meticulous descriptions of countryside scenery and animal life. Rural “domestic happiness” seems to him “the only bliss. Wordsworth. Your answer should not exceed 10 lines / 100 words. at the end of the unit. 1856 The Task. fearing that “The town has tinged [i. extracted from Cowper’s The Task. SAQ 5 Text 6.4. and his expressions of gratitude for the spiritual comfort and superior joys that it offers anticipated the first generation of English Romantics (W. the peace and quiet of village life.e. in the Reader.
widening the range of meanings. 6. Thomson.1. Each copy was then coloured by hand. whose attitudes and concerns define him sharply as an anti-Augustan. He associates nature with the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 161 . He used a special method for engraving and printing the handwritten text. minute work of mediaeval miniaturists and their illuminated* manuscripts. Milton. and this laborious process restricted the number of copies that Blake could produce. rendered in its pastoral simplicity. and displays the same humanitarian spirit as his contemporaries. our sense of a common fate for all humanity. the visionary artist William Blake holds a unique place in the history of English literature. exerting influence only on a small circle of friends and admirers. he turns his attention to the rural world. all Blake’s major poems were composed in this way.English pre-Romantic poetry Both Thomson and Cowper see a strong connection between love of nature and a humanitarian spirit. In Blake. Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake is often regarded as a pre-Romantic poet. and his creative personality manifested itself in combined and complementary modes of expression. picture and decoration reminds of the painful. He was not only a poet.4. Like other pre-Romantic poets. “unfit for human fellowship” and “dead” to “love and friendship both” (Cowper). William Blake (1757-1827) 6. Gray. the rural setting. which was accompanied by drawings and decorations. The charms of nature have also an almost magic influence on human creativity and depth of thought. these various dimensions of his works shed light on each other. to a large extent. and he rejected the classical standards of style. in the tone and rhythms of Biblical psalms and religious hymns. These beliefs – in Nature as a moral teacher and as a guide for imagination – were central to the creed of the first Romantics. In his first great illuminated work. and Macpherson. and recognised as one of the most original creators. but also a gifted painter and engraver.4. He was a relatively marginal figure during his lifetime. represents symbolically the uncorrupt order of nature. finding literary inspiration in the simplicity and directness of popular poetry. He was an admirer of Shakespeare.civilisation. A heart that is insensitive to nature is a hard heart. William Blake. Apart from a volume of early verse. Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794). Nature “nurses” the sympathy for our fellow beings. Blake did not publish his poems in conventional printed form. to the special way in which he produced his work. The combination of calligraphic text. and being regarded as an eccentric artist. The theme of childhood in this work enables Blake to explore the opposition nature . Blake’s late fame is due. It was in the latter half of the 19th century that he was rediscovered by a group of poets and painters.
” This is Blake’s own creed. He insisted on the visionary and inspired quality of his writings – he asserted. in a way. the Romantic visionary Blake is also frequently assimilated to the first generation of Romantic poets. a prophet. / I will not reason and compare: my business is to create. and his whole work. He distrusted all systems of thought and institutions that restrained man’s freedom and imagination.” or “I write when commanded by spirits. and he denounces the evils of civilisation. Like the other English Romantics. Jerusalem: “I must create a system.” He is a true Romantic in his belief that poetic creation is a spontaneous. Blake was a rebel. unpremeditated act.4. a tribute to Milton. and he opposed to them the “Daughters of Inspiration. Los*. says.” Blake worshipped Imagination as the only true way to spiritual freedom. original and strange. 6. One of Blake’s mythological creatures in these poems. and whom he saw as the embodiment of the revolutionary impulse.English pre-Romantic poetry innocence of man in his condition before the Fall – the “childhood” of humanity –. by William Blake 162 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in which Blake creates a mythology of his own. in Blake’s last poem. They are. or be enslaved by another man’s. whom Blake (like the other Romantics) venerated. is one of the most powerful assertions of Romantic creativity. The classical Muses were for him the “Daughters of Memory”*. Plate from the poem Jerusalem (1805-1820).” asserting that ”Imagination has nothing to do with Memory. for instance: “I copy Imagination. Blake.2. 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. which oppresses man in the name of Reason and Progress. His rebellion against the “systems” which limit the energies of the Imagination takes a literary form in his Prophetic Books*.
Poems like Infant Joy.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 Read the following sentences and identify the four true statements which describe features of Blake’s work. Laughing Song. 163 Songs of Innocence (1789) Title page of Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Blake composed his first significant work: Songs of Innocence. 1. the association of childhood with edenic nature is opposed to civilisation as the fallen condition of man. innocent delights. Blake is a creator of myths in his Prophetic Books. with its repertoire of rhetorical conventions. T F 4. and the three statements that are false. The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence In 1789 – the year of the French Revolution –. poetic creation was the spontaneous fruit of inspiration. revise the whole subchapter. The Blossom. The extreme formal simplicity and the apparent lack of sophistication of these short poems anticipated the Romantic rejection of poetic diction*. which echoed the rhythms of popular verse. Blake’s works combine the handwritten text with picture and decoration – a technique that reminds of mediaeval manuscripts. that is. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The Shepherd. which are the expression of his Romantic rebellion against all forms of constraint. T F 2. T F 5. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). their clarity of expression and their musicality. Blake enjoyed a great popularity during his lifetime. by their remarkable lyrical delicacy. and its origin was visionary experience. If you have made mistaken choices. of the world seen through the eyes of the child. enjoy] to hear. T F 7. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Songs of Innocence marked a new departure in English poetry. As a poet.” They build a charming picture of the universe of childhood. echoing with laughter and sustained by love and by the belief in the goodness of nature. these are “happy songs / Every child may joy [i.e. The main influence in Blake’s work were the ancient Greek and Latin poets admired by the Augustans. As the poet emphasises in the Introduction. For Blake. T F 6. What chiefly impressed Blake in Milton’s Paradise Lost was its astonishing display of classical-humanistic erudition. The Echoing Green. at the end of the unit. Spring. or Cradle Song offer a glimpse into a world filled with simple. It was the year of a revolution in poetry as well.3.4. The subchapter that follows will acquaint you with some of the poems illustrating Blake’s “double vision” in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. 6. T F 3.
the guardian angel. Blake rejected the praise of Reason as man’s supreme faculty and proclaimed instead the importance of man’s “Poetic Genius. In The Echoing Green. Rousseau believed in the original innocence of man. Blake identifies Jesus with the Imagination. associated with childhood. because she has the empathic understanding of the children’s need for freedom. who express their candid feelings of piety and uninhibited joy. According to him. or even Jesus. Infant Joy (Songs of Innocence) 164 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” Throughout his work. and the perception of childhood was greatly influenced by Jean Jacques Rousseau’s ideas. meadow]”.” can “laugh away care. suggesting the child’s closeness to a protective divinity. in his natural tendency to virtue. The child has a kind of wisdom which comes from the freshness and freedom of his imagination. allows the children more time to play “on the green [i. and absence of frustration or inhibition. childhood represents the unfallen state of man. Blake filtered these ideas through his own intense idealism and his unconventional religious beliefs. The innocence associated with childhood is for him the equivalent of the original state of paradisal innocence. “Old John. with white hair. In these poems.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. in Nurse’s Song. The nurse. Innocence. the Songs of Innocence display protective figures like the caring mother or nurse. The pastoral figure of the shepherd receives in Blake a Christian connotation.” 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. is a biblical allusion. does not mean ignorance. which a proper education should develop. 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. It is a world in which evil has not penetrated and in which there is no suffering. love. The good shepherd. the shepherd. and every child is a manifestation of the Divine Imagination in the world. Besides the children themselves. The adult figures represented in these poems share the child’s freshness of perception and capacity for joy. For Blake. although the sun has set. gratified desire. The pastoral setting symbolises the closeness of man to a benevolent nature and the bliss enjoyed by man in Paradise. taking care of his flock of innocent lambs.e. with which Blake was acquainted. The world of Innocence is the paradise of freedom.
revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. Focus on the way in which the child imagines the creator of the lamb.” Answer in the space below. and in which he represents to himself its “making.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 7 Read Text 6. in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. If there should be a significant difference between them. What makes this poem a Song of Innocence? Start from the idea that The Lamb may be read as the vision of Innocence on the act of Creation. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. which reproduces Blake’s poem The Lamb. at the end of the unit. in the Reader.5. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 165 .
the child has a wonderful vision of all souls freed from their “clouds” of flesh – black or white –. The Clod and the Pebble Songs of Experience contrasts selfless with selfish love. which deny man his freedom. but the child in the poem is comforted by the vision of the Angel. In the fallen state of Experience. often. 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. when this life ends. However. the greed of the powerful and their indifference to the sufferings caused by social injustice. disease. a gloomy reality makes itself felt sometimes. Like the chimney sweeper. the reader cannot help noticing paradoxes and contradictions. i. The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Blake developed such implications into open statements.5. The complete work offered now a set of contrary symbolic visions of man. A poem like A Poison Tree points out Title page of the murderous effects of secret hate.4. even sarcastic. In London. In The Chimney Sweeper*. In The Little Black Boy – an anti-slavery poem –. the reader cannot miss the implicit reference to the social reality of children’s exploitation and cruel treatment. but. Blake’s speakers in these poems are often bitter and ironic. the thirst for war. standing equal before God. nature. it is suggested that human suffering and oppression is the result of “mind-forged manacles*”. In Songs of Experience. full of indignation and anger. Beyond the children’s innocent visions of happiness and harmony. The serene and peaceful pastoral setting of the world of Innocence is set in opposition with the sombre world of Experience. protesting against the evils of his time. in which man’s lot is hard work. The fall from the paradise of Innocence to Experience is the entrance in a world of rules and constraints.4. the ethical and social implications are more obvious.e. 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. society and divinity. The world is seen through the eyes of an angry observer. 166 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . for instance. love and joy have been replaced by fear. The source of corruption in the world of Experience and the impediments to happiness are as much in the systems regulating social life as in the individual heart and mind. The poet attacks the tyranny exercised on the individual by the church and state. hate. poverty and oppression.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. for instance. envy and deceit.4. which is a promise of divine mercy. of the prejudices and constraints with which man “enchains” his own mind. or the mind of others. in the poems that he added in 1794: the Songs of Experience. of “stony laws*”. Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence Blake’s graceful Songs of Innocence may appear to be simple and transparent. and Nurse’s Song shows the (1794) jealousy consuming an adult who has lost the vision of Innocence. 6.
Read this poem – Text 6.6. If it should differ in major respects. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in the Reader – and find out in its lines suggestions for at least one aspect which defines this “dangerous” world. SAQ 8 In Blake’s poem Infant Sorrow. who made thee [i.6. This suggests that the world of Experience is more opaque and uncertain. while The Tyger consists only in an accumulation of questions. provoking more anxiety than certainty. but also if this creator is also that of the gentle lamb. The implication is that knowledge in the state of Experience is always incomplete and fragmentary. by ambiguity and even obscurity. dangerous tiger.4. you]?) and his own answer. revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively.e. 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. innocent question (“Little Lamb. Knowledge in the world of Experience The clarity and directness of Songs of Innocence is replaced. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 167 . the event of a child’s birth becomes the symbol of the fall into the world of Experience.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. Quote the respective words or line(s) and give your comment in the space below. The two stanzas of The Lamb contain the child’s simple. with no explicit answer. The speaker in the latter poem wonders not only who created the “fearful symmetry” of the powerful. and the rhythms of the poems are also more difficult. at the end of the unit. in Songs of Experience. in a paragraph of 10 lines / 100 words at the most.
like that of Hell as a punishment for sin. this sad reality is shadowed by the speaker’s idyllic description of the poor children of London. imposing constraints and inflicting punishment. seeing it as an instrument of oppression and a source of corruption. and he is also a child. indeed. A deeply religious person.” The angry speaker protests against the duplicity of a society that feeds its poor “with cold and usurous* hand. The double vision in Blake’s Songs Several other poems in Songs of Experience have a counterpart in Songs of Experience. for keeping man at a distance from God. in Blake’s view: “Attraction and Repulsion. The former is represented in Blake’s work (the Prophetic Books included) as an “angry” God. The church. tyrannical figure. 168 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a stern.” which lead to contrary visions. compared with “flowers” and “Thames’ waters.” The idea of Heaven as a reward of happiness for earthly misery. in Blake’s view. Contraries are essential to progression. which are thus strengthening their own power. as Blake indicated in the subtitle.” in a country that is “rich and fruitful. since those are “babes reduced to misery. bearing even the same titles. “contrary states of the human soul. He sees nothing “holy” in the beautiful picture. They reveal. served by the institutionalised churches. was seen by Blake as an instrument by which the church kept men in a state of obedience.7.” Such corresponding poems illustrate the fact that Innocence and Experience are not necessarily to be associated with ages in man’s life. Blake made in fact a distinction between the God of the Old Testament and God of the New Testament.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. The Chimney Sweeper in Songs of Experience is bitterly ironic about the way in which “God. He displays. in Songs of Experience. Reason and Energy*. and King” “make up a Heaven of our misery. a double awareness of his own innocence and of the hypocritical and cruel world around him. Love and Hate are necessary to Human existence. the spectator to the same scene has a quite different vision. was responsible. The two poems entitled Holy Thursday* deal with the hypocrisy of the church. but also complementary aspects of man’s imagination. which allows the rich and powerful of this world to ease their conscience and “buy” Heaven by occasional and festive acts of charity. with its “mysteries”*. This is the God of the world of Experience.” In the counterpart poem. but with ways of seeing and feeling. There is a Chimney Sweeper in Songs of Experience as well. but he seems to be fully aware of his condition in an unjust world.4. in fact. One of the targets of Blake’s critical attacks is the Church. In the poem of Innocence.” Blake’s Songs suggest that Innocence and Experience are not only inevitable stages in human growth. and His Priest. Blake hated nevertheless the church as an institution.” or with a “multitude of lambs.
English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6.7. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience.2.4.1. but he is no longer able to do that. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 . If there should be major differences between them. at the end of the unit..4. revise subchapters 6. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. except as an act of remembering. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. to regain the vision of Innocence. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and read the poem again more carefully. to 6.
The theme of childhood is examined in several Songs. by focusing on those tendencies in poetry which prefigure the Romantic Age. The same theme and situation acquires contrary implications.2. 6. and they acknowledge Nature’s subtle influence on man’s thoughts. The last subchapter. William Collins and William Cowper approach the theme of Nature. His Songs of Innocence and of Experience are the testimony of the visionary artist.. as Blake’s “double” poems suggest.3. 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. deals with the way in which poets like James Thomson. Another feature of 18th century pre-Romantic poetry is the perception of rural life in its close connection with Nature. now threatened by the march of Progress. In subchapter 6. Edward Young and Thomas Gray) illustrate this new trend. The other feature is primitivism. g. presents the outstanding figure of William Blake. nature-civilisation. Subchapter 6. the interest in early poetry. One of them is the emergence of a kind of meditative poetry fond of melancholy themes and gloomy settings.English pre-Romantic poetry Summary This unit aims at enlarging your picture of the literary diversity of the 18th century. George Crabbe adopts a more realistic and critical view.. 170 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The first subchapter of this unit deals with two prominent features announcing the Romantic sensibility. and of Thomas Chatterton with the Middle Ages anticipates the Romantic spirit.4. in its relation with “the two contrary states of the human soul”: Innocence and Experience. in whose work pre-Romantic and Romantic elements meet. and seeks to arouse compassion for the life of labour and poverty of the English peasant. the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience completing each other. who sees the opposition nature-civilisation in the light of the myth of Paradise and of the Fall. you have been acquainted with two poets who turned their attention to the rural universe. imagination and feelings. The fascination of James Macpherson with Britain’s Celtic past. Their poetry displays an unprecedented attention to natural detail. 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. The latter may be also seen as complementary aspects of poetic imagination.
and they were forced to find work in towns or to emigrate to America. Energy: for Blake. The Neoclassic principle of decorum did not. It was a kind of work that contributed to the child mortality rate. Their father was Zeus. the nine Muses were indeed the daughters of Mnemosyne. in Unit 4. The first Gothic novel was Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764). Gothic novel: a type of fiction that emerged in opposition with the realistic novel in the 18th century. while Reason was concerned with setting limits. the enclosures meant ruin. for the sake of more profitable farming. the changes in agriculture led to the enclosing (i. enclosed portions of land were turned into private parks and gardens. the term “Gothic” referred to the mediaeval inspiration of such tales of mystery.2. Haunted castles. children were often employed for the cleaning of chimneys. Celtic refers also to the language spoken by the Celts. civilisation rural universe primitivism melancholy sentimentalism humanitarianism childhood imagination Innocence and Experience double vision Glossary • • • annals: yearly record of events. Celtic: related to the Celts. The Celtic variety spoken in Ireland and Scotland is called Gaelic. which has survived in parts of Scotland. Daughters of Memory: in Greek mythology.2. Initially. passion. favour melancholy or morbid themes.e. Sometimes. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. goddess of Memory. as the next subchapter will show. which they could climb more easily. 171 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . A tendency in 18th century poetry went precisely against this rule. chimney sweeper: in the 18th century. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. putting fences round) common land. decorum: see subchapter 4. Ireland and Wales. for instance. enclosure: in the latter half of the 18th century. Imagination was free Energy. or Erse. ruins. and horror.English pre-Romantic poetry Key words ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● pre-Romantic nature vs. the members of an Indo-European people who inhabited Britain before the arrival of the Romans. graveyards. For the small farmers. because the life of the poor was not actually reflected in such official records. Gray is sadly ironic.
sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). orphaned children from the charity schools to St. wild landscapes. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. A Prophecy. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. belonging to the beginnings. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear.3. in Unit 1. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. The Book of Los. to attend the religious service. as well as against the sophistication. Among the most important of them are America. The Four Zoas. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. The Book of Urizen. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1. in Unit 3. etc. on which the Ten Commandments were written. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. etc. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. See also subchapter 4. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. Milton. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors. primitive: original.3.1.1. 2 in Unit 4. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. the Passions. with His laws formulated as interdictions. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics.2. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. The custom in London was to bring the poor. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. philosophical and political convictions. the 39th day after Easter. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. Pity. in Unit 5. Jerusalem. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland..) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. or of gold or silver paint. Paul’s Cathedral. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour.
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). 6. Send-away assignment no.11. • 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 consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 .. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). SAA no. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. and 6. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. Remember that. clarity. meant to win a patron’s favour. 6.. with his law of love. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. gardens or estates.13. in grading your paper. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. 6.8. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song.). Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger..10. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest.12. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.” usurous: from usury. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6.. 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.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. • the coherence. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment.9. 6. The Chimney Sweeper.
love of nature. the “feeble. Health and virtue are God’s “gifts” to man. d. nor wished to change his place” 3. “Unpractised he to fawn. the vagants’] wanderings. 2. 174 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in which everything seems to be in decline. broken branches are a “sad emblem” of the unrewarding existence of the poor in the countryside. This heightened understanding is accompanied by “correspondent passions”: love of God. “He chid their [i. The country is thus a substitute for Eden. the “drooping weary” father. 4. the mind can see beyond the “dim” surface of things. on his soul.” vitality and cheerfulness of the idyllic village life. to enable him to bear more easily the burden of life. By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour” 5. “passing rich with forty pounds a year” SAQ 3 In contrast with Goldsmith’s idealised image of rural happiness and ease. For Cowper. Crabbe presents a desolate picture. and on his thoughts. but relieved their pain” 6. these gifts are “threatened” – the life of pleasure and luxury with which the city tempts man may corrupt his moral fiber. all intensified.English pre-Romantic poetry Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. Their hard life has no room for illusions about the comforts of old age. the place where “health and virtue” can be found abounding. Crabbe also gives a reply to those who idealise rural nature: instead of the pleasing “smooth stream” sung in such poetry. SAQ 5 The first line of the fragment contains the implication that everything made by God is perfect. “More skilled to raise the wretched than to rise” 4. or seek for power. the country is therefore morally superior to the city. a. “His house was known to all the vagrant train” “The long-remembered beggar was his guest” 2. b. Meditation leads to illumination. There is a general sense of decay and exhaustion in the humble scene in the cottage: the “pale” mother. Its bare. disease and poverty. and love of man. 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. In the city. 3. whereas what man makes is inevitably deficient. he focuses sharply on the withered tree.” “expiring” fire suggest overwork. c SAQ 2 1. “Remote from towns he ran his godly race. SAQ 4 The personified Philosophic Melancholy exerts “his” influence on man’s imagination. Nor e’er had changed.e.
His swaddling bands and his father’s arms do not suggest care and protection. T. meadow.” that is. struggles in vain. the lamb is God’s gift to the child: it is a “delight” to look at and to touch. gentle and humble like the lamb itself. therefore. a child’s birth is no cause for joy. Nature and Divinity form a harmonious whole. The interdiction “Thou shall not” on the door of the chapel suggests repression and limitation. and is itself one more care in the family. 2. The mother “groans” with the pains of delivery. it controls man’s relationship with Divinity. The shut gates of the chapel symbolise the estrangement of man from God. incarnated in a child and having the Lamb as a symbol. Man. In the simple economy of the poem. The church as an institution belongs to the world of Experience. 3. the God of Love. T. T. “walking their rounds” like soldiers guarding a Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 175 . “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. and the beauty of the “sweet flowers” – symbols of life – is replaced by the grim image of the tombstones. 4. SAQ 8 Examples: 1. 7. It is the intuition of Innocence that dictates the confident answer to the child: the Creator is Jesus. SAQ 9 The “garden” where he “used to play” – the Eden of childhood – is the symbol of the state of Innocence. which he has lost.” 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. but are symbols of limitation. the few elements of the natural setting (stream. 6. and the father weeps perhaps because his new baby comes into a world of trouble and cares. The vision of Experience reveals to him the perspective of death: the garden turns out to be a graveyard. In the second stanza. This is also suggested by the gloomy figure of the priests. At the same time. being thus a source of oppression. confinement and oppressive authority. If the child’s play suggests the freedom and pleasure enjoyed in the state of Innocence. against which man. and. The pain and sorrow accompanying birth are symbolic anticipations of the suffering. my father wept” – In the vision of Experience. the “Lamb of God. 2. in the state of Experience. F SAQ 7 The child cannot imagine the Creator of the lovely and tender creature otherwise than “meek and mild. the child identifies himself and the lamb with Jesus. In a vision of Innocence. 5. disappointments and frustrations that await man in the world of Experience. and his “tender voice” fills all nature with joy. Experience brings about inhibition and constraint. “My mother groaned. in Blake’s vision. no longer able – or permitted – to relate to God “naturally” and directly. vales) emphasise the close connection between Innocence and Nature. F. F. T.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 1.
Boris (ed. Ford.4 (“From Dryden to Johnson”). vol. 1991 (pp. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). and conditioning man’s access to the mystery of Divinity on the suppression of his desire. Ford. 652-658. 6987) 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Further reading 1. 671-684.. Daiches. 84-94) 3.5 (“From Blake to Byron”). 692-699) 2. vol. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature..). Penguin Books Ltd. vol. 1991 (pp. A Critical History of English Literature.English pre-Romantic poetry restricted area. David. Penguin Books Ltd. Boris (ed. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 1969 (pp. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature.)..
Reader READER in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 177 .
pământul. cât de nobilă îi este inteligenţa. seems to me a sterile promontory. Hamlet (Act II. nu-mi pare alta decât un vălmăşag odios şi infect de miasme. it appears no other thing to me but a foul* and pestilent congregation of vapours.excelent. in moving. how express and admirable! In action how like an angel.1. m-am lăsat de toate obişnuitele exerciţii. alcătuirile şi mişcările. the sky) brave minunat.Reader UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE TEXT 2. shape canopy a large or wide covering (e. this brave* overhanging* firmament*. şi totuşi. what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights me not (…). What a piece of work is man! How noble in Reason! How infinite in faculty! In form. this majestical roof fretted* with golden fire. acest preaminunat baldachin.g. – but wherefore* I know not. foregone: to give up goodly pleasant or satisfying in appearance frame form. and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly* frame*. for what reason mirth happiness and laughter foregone to forego. Ce minunată lucrare e omul. Scene II) Hamlet: (…) I have of late*. 178 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . William Shakespeare. to me. literary) the sky fretted decorated foul very bad or unpleasant apprehension understanding. încât acest frumos tărâm. cum să spun. văzduhul. forewent. într-adevăr. îmi pare un promontoriu sterp. this most excellent canopy*. cât de asemenea unui înger în puterea sa de înţelegere. şi. ce înseamnă această chintesenţă a ţărânii? Omul nu mă desfată (…). ce fără de număr îi sunt facultăţile. această boltă falnică împodobită cu scântei de aur. pildă a vieţuitoarelor. sufletul îmi este atât de apăsat. ability to understand paragon a model of excellence Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi and Dan Duţescu) Hamlet: În ultima vreme – de ce. strălucitor overhanging hanging over firmament (archaic. the earth. nu ştiu – mi-am pierdut toată voioşia. in apprehension* how like a god!! The beauty of the world! The paragon* of animals! And yet. pentru mine. acest mândru firmament ce senalţă deasupra noastră. cât de asemenea unui zeu: frumuseţea lumii. – lost all my mirth*. of late recently wherefore why. cât de chibzuit şi de admirabil e în faptele sale. foregone* all custom of exercises. look you. the air. vedeţi.
methought past tense from methinks (archaic): it seems to me to knit up a împleti. The death of each day’s life. a se furişa) petty inessential. a înnoda ravelled destrămat. isprăveşte (stinge-te) brief short in duration candle lumânare to strut a umbla/păşi/călca mândru. brief* candle*! Life’s but a walking shadow. scalda grelei trude şi balsamul Durerii sufleteşti. Out*. to creep. trivial. cu un aer important to fret to be distressed. 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. That struts* and frets* his hour upon the stage. To the last syllable of recorded time. cel ce desface Fuiorul încâlcit al grijii – somnul: El. crept to move quiety and slowly (a se târî. sore* labour’s bath. a poor player. great nature’s second course*. desfăcut sleeve mânecă sore causing grief or sorrow (dureros. Macbeth (Act II. chinuitor) course fel de mâncare chief most important.3. And then is heard no more. Chief* nourisher* in life’s feast* (…). neînsemnat) out (interjection) termină. a se frământa) sound zgomot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 179 . Macbeth (Act V. trifling (mărunt. to be in a state of anxiety and agitation (a se agita. scene II) Macbeth: Methought* I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep. TEXT 2. Signifying nothing. out. desfirat. Sleep that knits up* the ravelled* sleeve* of care. principal nourisher that which gives (someone) what is needed to grow. scene V) Macbeth: Tomorrow. iar la ospăţul vieţii Cel mai de seamă fel.Reader TEXT 2.2. William Shakespeare. Creeps* in this petty* pace from day to day. it is a tale Told by an idiot. ţanţoş. And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. moartea vieţii fiecărei zile. Balm of hurt minds.” the innocent sleep. full of sound* and fury. şi-a doua mană A marii firi. and tomorrow. semeţ. El. and tomorrow. William Shakespeare.
therefore* wast thou* Deservedly* confined* into this rock Who hadst deserved more than a prison. Caliban: You taught me language. savage. William Shakespeare. Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee*. a bâigui) brutish coarse. ce-n ceasul lui pe scenă Se grozăveşte şi se tot frământă Şi-n urmă nu mai este auzit. mărginit) shameful and evil. TEXT 2. Te stinge. mârşav. Took pains to make thee speak. Din vorbe-alcătuită şi din zbucium Şi nensemnând nimic. I endowed thy purposes With words that made them known: but thy vile* race*. E o poveste spusă de-un nătâng. ticălos) race neam. redus. 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. netrebnic. abject. Know thine* own meaning. Spre cel din urmă semn din cartea vremii. Which any print* of goodness will not take. taught thee each hour One thing or other: when thou didst not*. Cu pas mărunt se-alungă zi de zi. stupid (necioplit. nasty (josnic. The Tempest (Act I. tagmă thou didst learn you did learn to abide a răbda. and my profit on it Is I know how to curse: the red plague rid you. a suporta therefore as a result.4. scene II) Prospero: Abhorred* slave. tot mereu. sălbatic. Şi fiecare “ieri” a luminat Nebunilor pe-al morţii drum de colb. Though thou didst learn*. cruel. lumânare de o clipă! Ni-e viaţa doar o umbră călătoare. but wouldst* gabble* like A thing most brutish*.Reader Romanian translation (by Ion Vinea) Macbeth: Dar mâine şi iar mâine. Un biet actor. had that in it which good natures Could not abide* to be with. for that reason wast thou were you deservedly rightly learning teaching vile 180 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .
etc. The Tempest (Act IV. scene I) Prospero: Our revels* are now ended.Reader Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi) Prospero: Slugoi scârbavnic. William Shakespeare. rack a floating cloud Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi) Prospero: Serbarea noastră s-a sfârşit. literary) truly. revels festivitate teatrală pentru curteni foretold to foretell. like the baseless* fabric* of this vision. palate mândre. into thin air: And. pe drept. As I foretold* you. dar. Leave not a rack* behind. chiar pământul. când meritai Mai mult decât o temniţă. like this insubstantial pageant* faded*. au fost. nepricepând Nici tu ce bălmăjeşti. fiară. foretold: a anunţa. ţi-am arătat Al vorbei meşteşug. structure. afară doar De-un dram de bunătate! Mi-a fost milă. We are such stuff As dreams are made on. Te-am surghiunit aici. Te-am învăţat de toate. Deşi-ai fost dăscălit. Cu tot ce-a moştenit. cu singurul folos Că ştiu acum să-njur – dea ciuma-n tine Şi-n limba ce m-ai învăţat. a se dizolva baseless unfounded (fără bază. M-am străduit sa te deprind cu graiul. În stare de orice. all which it inherit. framework (clădire. turnuri Cu turlele în nori. şi-n văzduh S-au destrămat cu toţii. Caliban: M-ai învăţat vorbi. were all spirits and Are melted* into air. and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. alcătuire) cloud-capped towers towers whose tops are capped (covered) by clouds yea (archaic. shall dissolve And. The cloud-capped towers*. Plămadă suntem precum cea din care Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 181 . avea ceva Ce bunul simţ nu rabdă. indeed pageant splendid public show or ceremony faded to fade: to lose brightness. The solemn temples. These our actors. Nici spulber n-au să lase-n urma lor. când tu. colour. TEXT 2. toţi. the gorgeous palaces. temelie) fabric building. Yea*. a spune dinainte melted to melt: a se topi. the great globe itself. duhuri. Biserici maiestoase. Şi întocmai Ca funigeii viziunii. dar proasta-ţi fire. Scoteai doar mugete. ca-nchipuită scena-aceasta.5. consistency. Actorii Ţi-am spus. duşi. se vor topi Şi.
and hands to miss. Whilst* some of their sad friends do say. is innocent. nor sigh-tempests* move. 182 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . John Donne. who must. and some say. to go. But we by a love so much refined. Men reckon* what it did and meant. Like the other foot. Inter-assured of the mind*. But trepidation of the spheres.Reader Făcute-s visele. endure* not yet A breach*. because it doth* remove* Those things which elemented* it. No tear-floods. And whisper* to their souls. And grows erect*. lips. TEXT 2. Yet when the other far doth roam*. If they be two. It leans*. Though I must go. ‘Twere* profanation of our joys To tell the laity* our love. The breath goes now.6. no: So let us melt*. Care less eyes. and make no noise. which are one. That our selves know not what it is. And makes me end. makes no show To move. if the other do. where I begun. Our two souls therefore. Like gold to aery thinness beat. şi scurta viaţă Împrejmuită ni-e de somn. they are two so As stiff* twin* compasses are two. Moving of the earth* brings harms and fears. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning As virtuous men pass mildly* away*. And though it in centre sit. Such wilt* thou* be to me. and hearkens* after it. Thy firmness makes my circle just*. Thy* soul the fixed foot. but doth. Dull* sublunary* lovers’ love (Whose soul is sense*) cannot admit Absence. obliquely run. Though greater far. but an expansion. as that comes home.
and proves weak or untrue*. Reason your viceroy* in me. Batter My Heart Batter* my heart. a se înclina to hearken a asculta. 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 fi supus (the speaker urges his beloved to face the separation calmly and quietly) tear-floods. a rătăci to lean. sigh-tempests şuvoaie/potop de lacrimi. and would be loved fain*. me should defend.7. Yet dearly I love you. But am betrothed* unto your enemy. breathe. a silui Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 183 . gladly betrothed unto logodit cu to untie a dezlega. and make me new. But is captived. I. three-personed God*. softly to whisper a şopti whilst while to melt a-şi înmuia firea. a lua cu sila. Nor ever chaste. a presupune dull not intense sublunary: beneath the moon. therefore subject to change whose soul is sense in which physical presence is essential doth does to remove to take away. That I may* rise. John Donne. apply your force due cuvenit. mirean) moving of the earth earthquake to reckon a gândi. 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. Divorce me. shine. to another due*. a elibera to enthrall a supune. a înfrânge bend your force concentrate. you As yet* but knock. like an usurped town. overthrew. a ajunge în poziţie verticală wilt will thou you just corect. and seek to mend. batter to hit or beat someone heavily three-personed God the Trinity as yet până acum that I may in order that I may o’erthrow to overthrow. a subjuga to ravish a răpi. Take me to you. a înrobi. untie*. to no end*. to break. rupture stiff rigid. 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. datorat to labour to work hard. a fi atent la (here: to seek to join. blow. to long for) to grow erect a se îndrepta.: inflexibil. to struggle to no end vainly. precis. never shall be free. leant a se apleca. except you ravish* me. burn. o’erthrow me*. for. and bend Your force*. and stand. or break that knot again. ferm. but oh. Labour* to admit you. overthrown: a nimici. fig. to undergo breach break.Reader pass away to die mildly gently. exact Text 2. hotărât twin îngemănat thy your to roam a hoinări. for I Except your enthrall* me. imprison me.
Thus. Rather at once our devour Than languish* in his slow-chapt power*. I would Love you ten years before the Flood*. I by the tide Of Humber* would complain. And into ashes all my lust*: The grave*’s a fine and private place. 184 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Now therefore. For. shall sound My echoing song. We would sit down. And your quaint* honor turn to dust. And while thy willing* soul transpires At every pore with instant fires*.Reader TEXT 2. But none. But at my back I always hear Time’s winged* chariot* hurrying near. And now. But thirty thousand to the rest. And the last age should show your heart. yet we will make him run. Andrew Marvell. Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball. were no crime. then worms shall try That long-preserved virginity. while the youthful* hue* Sits on thy skin like morning dew*. Thou* by the Indian Ganges’ side Shouldst* rubies* find. you deserve this state*. like amorous birds of prey. Now let us sport* while we may. though we cannot make our sun Stand still. And yonder* all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. Lady. My vegetable* love should grow Vaster than empires and more slow. This coyness*. Nor would I love at lower rate. I think. if you please. And you should. An hundred years should go to praise Thine* eyes. Nor. Thy beauty shall no more be found. and pass our long love’s day. Lady. An age at least to every part. in thy marble vault*. And tear* our pleasure with rough strife* Thorough* the iron gates of life. and on thy* forehead gaze.8. and time. Two hundred to adore each breast. refuse Till the conversion of the Jews*. To His Coy Mistress Had we but* world enough. and think which way To talk. do there embrace.
tentă dew rouă willing favourably disposed. torn) a smulge. which. inclined instant fires the flush in her face. tineresc hue culoare. patimă) grave mormânt. 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.Reader had we but… if only we had coyness timiditate. sfială. inappropriate (nefiresc) ashes cenuşă lust strong sexual desire (dorinţă. groapă youthful de tinereţe. a se veseli to languish a se ofili. thy your state ceremonial treatment winged having wings. fast chariot ceremonial carriage (car) yonder (poetic) over there vault burial chamber (cavou) quaint odd. in spite of her coyness. nuanţă. indicates her “willing soul” to sport a petrece.: swift. peculiar. fig. a lua cu de-a sila strife violent struggle thorough through Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 185 . a lâncezi. a se plictisi slow-chapt power the power of its slowly devouring jaws to tear (tore.
though my soul more bent* To serve therewith* my maker. All is.1. in this dark world and wide. light denied*?” I fondly* ask. Ere* half my days. But my late spring no bud* or blossom showeth*. John Milton. Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year*! My hasting days fly on with full career*. vârstă adultă ripeness maturitate doth does timely occuring atjust the right moment. speed. That some more timely*-happy* spirits endueth*. chide*. his state Is kingly – thousands at his bidding* speed* And post* o'er land and ocean without rest*: They also serve who only stand and wait. And inward ripeness* doth* much less appear. they serve him best. '”Doth God exact* day-labour. lest he. That I to manhood* am arrived so near. if I have grace to use it so. and the will of heaven. It shall be still* in strictest measure even To that same lot*.Reader UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON TEXT 3. obscure.” 186 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . who best Bear his mild yoke*. destiny mean humble. Sonnet VII How soon hath* time. appears [in me] much less – i. Perhaps my semblance* might deceive* the truth.2. Toward which time leads me. And that one talent* which is death to hide Lodged with me useless*. lucky endueth endues. or soon or slow. opportune happy fortunate. the subtle* thief of youth. insignificant ever eternity task-master the one who imposes tasks. Sonnet XVII When I consider how my light* is spent*. rush bud mugur. soon replies: “God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts. boboc showeth shows (My late spring shows no bud or blossom) semblance outward appearance to deceive to mislead (a înşela) manhood bărbăţie. Yet be it less or more. to prevent That murmur*. returning. which endues some more timely-happy spirits. but Patience. 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. a strict overseer TEXT 3. however mean* or high. and present My true account. to endue: a înzestra (Inward ripeness.e to a lesser extent) still always lot fortune. John Milton.
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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I question it. Shall that be shut to Man which to the beast Is open? 2. producing every kind. that Man may not become As they. shall perfectly be then Opened and cleared. How should ye? by the fruit? it gives you life To knowledge. participating* godlike* food? The Gods are first. Me who have touched and tasted. as they know. these and many more Causes import* your need of this fair fruit. in the day Ye eat thereof*.Reader TEXT 3. a apuca Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 191 . 3. 4. And what are Gods.) venturing to venture: a îndrăzni. yet both live And life more perfect have attained than Fate Meant me. Goddess humane. Knowing both good and evil. to emerge fair beautiful to import a însemna to reach a întinde mâna. Paradise Lost (Book IX) 1. modest thereof din ace(a)sta. if all be his? Or is it envy? and can envy dwell In heavenly breasts? These. that seem so clear Yet are but dim*. and freely taste. a se încumeta forbid forbidden low humble. din el/ea (eat from the Tree of Knowledge) dim having weak or indistinct vision participating sharing godlike divine to proceed (from) to originate. and ye shall be like Gods. reach* then. for this fair* Earth I see. Warmed by the Sun. that all from them proceeds*. ye* shall not die. or this tree Impart against his will. by venturing* higher than my lot. your eyes. What can your knowledge hurt him. Queen of the Universe. by the Threatener? look on me. do not believe Those rigid threats of death. was this forbid*? Why but to awe? Why but to keep ye low* and ignorant. and that advantage use On our belief. His worshippers? He knows that. John Milton. ye you (pl. Why.8. Them nothing. then.
where to choose Their place of rest. Waved over by that flaming brand*. sălaş flaming brand sabia de foc/flăcări thronged (with dreadful faces) plină (de chipuri de temut) fiery în flăcări.9. John Milton.Reader TEXT 3. beheld to behold. the gate With dreadful faces thronged* and fiery* arms: Some natural* tears they dropped. but wiped them soon. and Providence their guide. hand in hand. so late* their happy seat*. looking back. Through Eden took their solitary way. literary): to look at so late până nu demult seat locaş. The world was all before them. with wandering steps and slow. all the eastern side beheld* Of Paradise. beheld (archaic. Paradise Lost (Book XII) They. care arde natural firesc 192 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . They.
as if we were proud of one another the first week. like my Lady Faddler and Sir Francis. or to be intimate with fools. nor go to Hyde Park together the first Sunday in a new chariot*. William Congreve. Millamant: Trifles* – as liberty to pay and receive visits* to and from whom I please. the only oneto presume to dare (a îndrăzni) to ask leave to ask permission Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 193 . to provoke eyes and whispers*. dine in my dressing room when I’m out of humour*. Mirabell: Have you any more conditions to offer? Hitherto* your demands are pretty reasonable. without giving a reason. so far trifle fleac. politicos a great while a long time hitherto until this time. and ashamed of one another ever after.Reader UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE TEXT 4. because they are your acquaintance. 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. (…) fond affectionate. nor kiss before folks*. Come to dinner when I please. tender folks people chariot trăsură to provoke eyes and whispers to attract attention and provoke gossip (bârfă) strange distant. The Way of the World Millamant: (…) Good Mirabell. Let us never visit together. to be sole* empress of my tea table. wherever I am. reserved well-bred binecrescut. nor go to a play together.1. don’t let us be familiar or fond*. to wear what I please. let us be as strange as if we had been married a great while*. to write and receive letters. manierat. and as well bred as if we were not married at all. And lastly. and choose conversation with regard only to my own taste. but let us be very strange* and well bred*. to have no obligation upon me to converse with wits* that I don’t like. To have my closet* inviolate*. abătut closet a small private room inviolate in which nobody intrudes sole only. and then never be seen there together again. you shall always knock at the door before you come in. without interrogatories or wry faces* on your part. because they may be your relations*. which you must never presume* to approach without first asking leave*.
and the mind can only repose on the stability of truth. potlogar villain nemernic. a blockhead*. successfully irregular neuniform. and leaves it standing in its place. the poet that holds up to his readers a faithful mirror of manners and of life. which can operate but* upon small numbers. or by the accidents of transient* fashions or temporary opinions: they are the genuine progeny* of common humanity. dobitoc. The irregular* combinations of fanciful* invention may delight awhile* by that novelty of which the common satiety* of life sends us all in quest. but the pleasures of sudden wonder are soon exhausted. fantezist awhile for a short period satiety the state of being too much filled or satisfied peculiarity particularitate but only transient temporary. ticălos. descendenţi to supply a oferi. cap sec knave escroc. at least above all modern writers. manners moravuri nearly faithfully. Shakespeare is. A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire How easy is it to call rogue* and villain*. unpractised by the rest of the world. Samuel Johnson. such as the world will always supply* and observation will always find. a livra. but just representations of general nature. Particular manners* may be known to few. nemernic opprobrious insulting betwixt between slovenly neglijent butchering căsăpire. 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. transitory (trecător) progeny urmaşi.Reader TEXT 4. a furniza 194 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. and the fineness* of a stroke* that separates the head from the body. măcelărire fineness eleganţă. and please long. perfecţiune stroke lovitură TEXT 4. variabil fanciful capricios. The Preface to Shakespeare Nothing can please many. the poet of nature.3. above all writers. secătură. rogue pungaş. lichea wittily in a witty manner (cu mult spirit) blockhead nătâng. or a knave* without using any of those opprobrious* terms! (…) There is (…) a vast difference betwixt* the slovenly* butchering* of a man. pungaş. His characters are not modified by the customs of particular places. escroc. In the writings of other poets a character is too often an individual: in those of Shakespeare it is commonly a species. by the peculiarities* of studies or professions. John Dryden. and therefore few only can judge how nearly* they are copied. and that wittily*! But how hard to make a man appear a fool.
yet he would rather lose half his kingdom than be privy* to such a secret (…). and the fortunes of his people.4. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 195 . when I happened to say there were several thousand books among us written upon the art of government. to the speedy* determination* of civil and criminal causes. whereof* in Europe we can have no conception. great wisdom. Jonathan Swift. so that among us would be little esteemed. the liberties. But the last of these is wholly applied to what may be useful in life. He confined* the knowledge of governing within very narrow bounds*: to common sense and reason. and almost adored by his subjects. let slip* an opportunity put into his hands that would have made him absolute master of the lives. Gulliver’s Travels (Book II. and mathematics. consisting only in morality. (…) I take* this defect among them to have risen from their ignorance. refinement and intrigue. wherein* they must be allowed to excel. I could never drive* the least conception into their heads.Reader TEXT 4. chapter VII) The King was struck with horror* at the description I had given of those terrible engines* and the proposal I had made. 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. of strong parts. they not having hitherto reduced politics into a science. where an enemy or some rival nation were not in case. For I remember very well. love. to the improvement of agriculture and all mechanical arts*. unnecessary scruple. either in a prince or a minister. it gave him (directly contrary to my intention) a very mean opinion* of our understandings. 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 profound learning. poetry. He professed both to abominate* and despise all mystery*. and transcendentals*. history. and esteem. endued* with admirable talents for government. A strange effect of narrow principles and short views*! that a prince possessed of every quality which procures veneration. to justice and lenity*. he protested* that although few things delighted him so much as new discoveries in art or in nature. And as to ideas. as the more acute wits* of Europe have done. with some other obvious topics* which are not worth considering. He could not tell what I meant by secrets of state. should from a nice*. The learning of this people is very defective. abstractions. in a discourse one day with the King. He was amazed how so impotent and grovelling* an insect as I (these were his expressions) could entertain* such inhuman ideas. entities.
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 when part of these stones are fixed in the earth. and that the dissensions of those brutes in his country were owing to the same cause with ours. and activity. a încredinţa to be privy to a fi făcut părtaş la. a asigura. perspicace) mean opinion părere nefavorabilă to abominate to detest. in some fields of his country. Gulliver’s Travels (Book IV. than any of the rest. and some other particulars* where Nature had no part*. which all could see in the rest.5. as I had described them. he found as near a resemblance in the disposition* of our minds. excessively particular about details (pretenţios.Reader struck with horror cuprins de groază engines maşini (piese de artilerie) grovelling to grovel: to crawl. for which he was known and then rewarded with a piece of ass’s flesh*. and our actions. if (said he) you throw among five Yahoos as much food as would be sufficient for fifty. Ch. speed. and the reason usually assigned* was the odiousness* of their own shapes. manufactures*. government. as sometimes happens. driven) an idea into one’s head a băga în cap. (…) But he now found he had been mistaken. fall together by ears*. to restrict bound limit. 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. a fi iniţiat în. there are certain shining stones of several colors. and carry them away. VII) He observed that I agreed* in every feature of my body with other Yahoos. to dislike intensely mystery urzeli tainice to confine to limit. the shortness of my claws*. and drive the female Yahoos to his kennel. without delay determination rezolvare. our manners. boundary (hotar) lenity tolerance (îngăduinţă) speedy quick. whereof the Yahoos are violently fond*. so.g. they will instead of eating peaceably. un secret) short views concepţii înguste endued înzestrat nice fastidious. Jonathan Swift. for fear their comrades should find out their treasure. and the like. That this leader had usually a favorite as like himself as he could get. and therefore* to protect himself. as in fear or humility (a se târî) to entertain (an idea) a nutri (o idee) to protest a declara. a i se încredinţa (e. a scăpa din mână (o ocazie) I take I think. each single one impatient* to have all to itself. and hide them by heaps* in their kennels*. but still looking round with great caution. arts. but not in themselves. they will dig with their claws for whole days to get them out. I suppose acute wits spirite luminate (acute: pătrunzător. greu de mulţumit) whereof of which to let slip (an opportunity) a lăsa să-i scape. For he only meant to observe what parity* there was in our natures. He said the Yahoos were known to hate one another more than they did any different species of animals. and mischievous* in disposition. For. from the representation I had given him of our lives. (…) As to learning. încheiere (a unei cauze juridice) topic temă. a face să priceapă TEXT 4. my master confessed he could find little or no resemblance between the Yahoos of that country and those in ours. whose employment was to lick* his masters feet and posteriors. This favorite is hated by the whole herd. keeps always near the 196 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . except where it was to my real disadvantage in point of* strength. (…) That.
person of his leader. (…) But how far this might be applicable to our courts and favorites, and ministers of state, my master said I could best determine. (…) My master likewise* mentioned another quality, which his servants had discovered in several Yahoos, and to him was wholly unaccountable*. He said, a fancy* would sometimes take a Yahoo, to retire into a corner, to lie down and howl*, and groan*, and spurn* away all that came near him, although he were young and fat, and wanted* neither food nor water; nor did the servants imagine what could possibly ail* him. And the only remedy they found was to set* him to hard work*, after which he would infallibly* come to himself*. To this I was silent out of partiality* to my own kind*; yet here I could plainly discover the true seeds* of spleen*, which only seizes on* the lazy, the luxurious, and the rich (…). His Honor had farther observed, that a female Yahoo would often stand behind a bank* or a bush*, to gaze* on the young males passing by, and then appear, and hide, using many antic* gestures and grimaces; at which time it was observed, that she had a most offensive* smell; and when any of the males advanced, would slowly retire, looking back, and with a counterfeit* show of fear, run off into some convenient place where she knew the male would follow her. At other times, if a female stranger came along them, three or four of her own sex would get about her, and stare* and chatter*, and grin*, and smell her all over; and then turn off with gestures that seemed to express contempt and disdain.
I agreed I corresponded in point of în ceea ce priveşte claws gheare particulars details no part no role, no contribution near close disposition predispoziţie, înclinare to assign (a reason) to give, to attribute (a reason) odiousness hidoşenie they will fall together by ears se vor lua la bătaie impatient zorit, grăbit whereof of which to be fond of a fi amator, a-i plăcea mult by heaps în grămezi kennel culcuş, vizuină manufacture meşteşuguri parity corespondenţă, asemănare, analogie herd cireadă ruling dominant, conducător stag cerb park parc cinegetic mischievous răutăcios, rău intenţionat, pus pe rele to lick a linge ass’s flesh carne de măgar therefore that is why likewise also unaccountable inexplicable a fancy would sometimes take a Yahoo din când în când i se năzare câte unui Yahoo to howl a urla to groan a geme to spurn (away) a îndepărta, a refuza, a alunga to want a duce lipsă de to ail a durea, a deranja to set (somebody) to work a pune la muncă infallibly negreşit he would come to himself îşi revenea, îşi venea în fire partiality părtinire, slăbiciune, înclinaţie my own kind cei de-un neam cu mine seeds seminţe (fig.: izvor, cauză) spleen ipohondrie, melancolie seizes on se abate asupra, îi cuprinde pe bank movilă bush tufiş to gaze to look long and fixedly antic grotesque offensive unpleasant, disgusting counterfeit simulated; a counterfeit show of fear: prefăcânduse că îi este teamă to stare a se holba to chatter a flecări to grin a rânji
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TEXT 4.6. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (Book IV, chapter VIII)
As these noble Houyhnhnms are endowed by Nature with a general disposition to all virtues, and have no conceptions or ideas of what is evil in a rational creature; so their grand* maxim is to cultivate reason, and to be wholly governed by it. (…) Friendship and benevolence are the two principal virtues among the Houyhnhnms; and these not confined to particular objects, but universal to the whole race. For a stranger from the remotest* part is equally treated with the nearest neighbour, and wherever he goes, looks upon himself* as at home. They preserve decency and civility* in the highest degrees, but are altogether ignorant of ceremony*. They have no fondness* for their colts or foals*; but the care they take in educating them proceeds* entirely from the dictates of reason. And I observed my master to show the same affection to his neighbour’s issue* that he had for his own. They will have that* Nature teaches them to love the whole species, and it is reason only that makes a distinction of persons, where there is a superior degree of virtue. When the matron* Houyhnhnms have produced one of each sex, they no longer accompany* with their consorts, except they lose one of their issue by some casualty*, which very seldom* happens; but in such a case they meet again; or when the like accident* befalls* a person whose wife is past bearing*, some other couple bestows* on him one of their own colts, and then go together* a second time, until the mother be pregnant*. This caution* is necessary to prevent the country from being overburdened with numbers*. But the race of inferior Houyhnhnms bred up to be servants is not so strictly limited upon this article*; these are allowed to produce* three of each sex, to be domestics* in the noble families. Courtship, love, presents*, jointures*, settlements*, have no place in their thoughts, or terms whereby* to express them in their language. The young couple meet and are joined, merely because it is the determination* of their parents and friends; it is what they see done every day; and they look upon it as one of necessary actions in a reasonable being. But the violation* of marriage, or any other unchastity* was never heard of; and the married pair pass their lives with the same friendship and mutual benevolence that they bear to all others of the same species who come in their way, without jealousy, fondness, quarreling*, or discontent*. Temperance*, industry*, exercise*, and cleanliness* are the lessons equally enjoined* to the young ones of both sexes; and my master thought it monstrous in us to give the females a different kind of education from the males, except in some articles of domestic management (…).
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural
grand principal, capital, supreme remote distant, far away looks upon himself considers himself civility amabilitate, curtenie, politeţe, bună creştere ceremony protocol, etichetă fondness duioşie, afecţiune, dragoste colt, foal mânz to proceed (from) to come from, to originate in (a izvorî) issue odrasle, progenituri, urmaşi they will have that they say that matron mamă de familie to acompany (with) a se împreuna casualty accident, nenorocire, năpastă seldom rarely the like accident o năpastă de felul acesta to befall (befell, befallen) a se abate asupra is past bearing nu mai poate zămisli to bestow to give, to offer they go together se împreunează pregnant grea, însărcinată caution măsură de prevedere overburdened with numbers overpopulated upon this article în această privinţă, la acest capitol to produce a zămisli domestic servitor present dar, cadou jointure averea cuvenită soţiei după moartea soţului settlement contract whereby by which determination decision violation necinstire unchastity infidelitate quarreling ceartă discontent nemulţumire temperance cumpătare industry hărnicie exercise exerciţii fizice cleanliness curăţenie enjoined imposed, prescribed
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UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL
TEXT 5.1. Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
It was now that I began sensibly* to feel how much more happy this life I now led was, with all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked*, cursed*, abominable* life I led all the past part of my days. And now I changed both my sorrows and my joys; my very desires altered*, my affections changed their gusts*, and my delights were perfectly new from what they were at my first coming, or indeed for the two years past. Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting or for viewing the country, the anguish* of my soul at my condition would break out* upon me on a sudden*, and my very heart would die within me to think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in, and how I was a prisoner locked up with the eternal bars* and bolts* of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption*. In the midst* of the greatest composures* of my mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and make me wring* my hands like a child. (…). But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts. I daily read the Word of God, and applied all the comforts* of it to my present state. One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words: “I will never, never leave thee*, nor forsake* thee.” Immediately it occurred* to me that these words were to me. Why else* should they be directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition as one forsaken of* God and Man? (…) From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition than it was probable I should have ever been I any other particular state in the world; and with this thought I was going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place.
sensibly în mod apreciabil, destul de mult wicked păcătos cursed nelegiuit, ticălos abominable odios to alter to change gust răbufnire, explozie, izbucnire anguish pain, misery, agony to break out a se dezlănţui, a izbucni on a sudden suddenly, abruptly bars gratii, zăbrele bolt zăvor redemption mântuire, izbăvire, salvare midst middle composure linişte, calm, cumpăt, stăpânire de sine to wring (wrung) a frânge; to wring one’s hands: a-şi frânge mâinile de durere comfort mângâiere, consolare, încurajare thee you to forsake (forsook, forsaken) to abandon to occur (to someone) a-i veni în minte, a-i trece prin gând why else? altfel de ce? forsaken of forsaken by
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural
to tell how many awkward* ways I took to raise this paste*. When I saw them clear red. though I had some lead to do it with. to temper* it. anevoios. and red as a tile*. fallen) out: a se desface. I had no notion of a kiln*. ugly things I made. yet I made several smaller things with better success – such as little round pots. and pipkins*. (fell. and bear* the fire. I could not make above* two large earthen* ugly things – I cannot call them jars* – in about two months’ labour. with a great heap of embers* under them. after having laboured hard to find the clay. (…) Though I miscarried* so much in my design* for large pots*. (fell. I found a broken piece of one of my earthenware vessels* in the fire burned as hard as a stone. which it did admirably well. which none of these could do. or rather laugh at me. Robinson Crusoe It would make the reader pity* me. making a pretty large fire for cooking my meat. a frământa. fallen) in: a se prăbuşi.2. This set me to studying how to order* my fire. I let them stand in that heat about five or six hours(…). such as the potters* burn in. But all this would not answer my end*. and. vas to miscarry a da greş design intenţie pot vas. 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. being set out too hastily*. to bring it home and work it. pitchers*. which was to get an earthen pot to hold what was liquid. and how many fell in pieces with only removing* as well before as after they were dried. and the heat of the sun baked* them strangely hard*. Daniel Defoe. and placed my firewood* all round it. one upon another. misshapen*. so as to make it burn me some pots. or glazing* them with lead*. when I went to put it out* after I had done with it. and how many fell out*. the clay* not being stiff* enough to bear its own weight*. No joy at a thing of so mean a nature* was ever equal to mine when I found I had made an earthen pot that would bear the fire. 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 pity a căina awkward incomod. how many of them fell in*. a prelucra above more than earthen de lut. oală Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 201 . dificil paste cocă misshapen diform fell in to fall. It happened after some time. flat dishes*. I plied the fire* with fresh fuel round the outside and upon the top till I saw the pots in the inside red-hot quite through*. and said to myself that certainly they might be made to burn whole if they would burn broken. dug a săpa to temper a amesteca. in a word how. how many cracked* by the over-violent heat of the sun. to dig* it. In the morning I had three very good – I will not say handsome* – pipkins and two other earthen pots as hard burned as could be desired (…).. but I placed three large pipkins and two or three pots in a pile. and any things my hand turned to*. I was agreeably surprised to see it. and observed that they did not crack at all*. what odd.Reader TEXT 5. de pământ jar oală. a cădea fell out to fall. a se desprinde clay lut.
a se pune pe lucru to bake a coace strangely hard neobişnuit de tare end ţel. chinuri womb pântece.] This letter. Pamela [Pamela receives a letter from Mr. to find him capable of so much openness. in which he confesses his affection for her. dubious uncertain. did I say! […] I know not how it came. I had no reason to expect. before. to my grief*. Much more lively* and affecting must be the style of those who write in the height* of a present distress*. and tender years*. forgive me! but I found. it looked like love. can be. has greatly affected me. arătos a thing of so mean a nature un lucru atât de mărunt TEXT 5. nay*. B_. and of so much honour too. and so it is: but love. plin de viaţă) height culme. that my heart was too partial* in his favour.Reader dish blid. 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. Samuel Richardson. I beseech* you. apogeu distress nefericire. a învinge.3. O my unguarded* youth. I must own* to you. but it has crept*. my dear father. that I shall never be able to think of any body in the world but him! Presumption*! you will say. nenorocire pangs mâhnire. […] O my dear parents. scop. crept. neutru to surmount to overcome (a birui. […] Forgive. în întregime at all deloc handsome frumos. will ye* not in some 202 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4. doubtful lively vivid (însufleţit. than the dry*. nor when it began. the womb of fate: incertitudinea sorţii dry sec. I am quite overcome*. so much affection. Samuel Richardson. born) a rezista. when I expected some new plot*. forgive your poor daughter! How am I grieved* to find this trial so severe* upon me. durere. a depăşi) TEXT 5. placă de ceramică how to order the fire cum să potrivesc focul kiln cuptor potter olar to glaze a smălţui lead plumb firewood lemn de foc embers jăratec I plied the fire am întreţinut focul quite through cu totul. But to be sure*. narrative. This was a good fortune. the mind tortured by the pangs* of uncertainty (the events then hidden in the womb* of fate). For here plainly* does he confess his great value for me. intenţie to bear (bore. 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. punct culminant. and before I knew what was the matter. is not a voluntary thing – Love. unanimated style of a person relating difficulties and dangers surmounted*. like a thief. farfurie pitcher ulcior ulcea pipkin gavanos to turn to a se apuca de lucru. however. I imagine. upon me. but now. but with what may be called instantaneous descriptions and reflections (…). and accounts for his rigorous* behaviour to me.
differing from comedy. only dangerous attacks! After all. 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. unless* in writings of the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 203 . who had used me so hardly. and consequently. a copleşi to be sure cu siguranţă to own a mărturisi presumption cutezanţă. will enable me to get over this heavy trial.) couldst thou could you serve how couldst thou serve me thus? Cum ai putut să te porţi astfel? notice to give notice: a preveni.) treacherous trădător (adj.e. întristat. for there it is never properly introduced. O my treacherous*. avertizare likewise de asemenea hadst (you) had thou hadst so well maintained thy post you put up resistance successfully avowed făţiş therefore aşadar. Henry Fielding. nechibzuit thyself yourself thy poor mistress biata ta stăpână (not) in the least câtuşi de puţin. a rupe memorandum notă. of inferior manners. în mod clar rigorous aspru. a comic romance* is a comic epic poem* in prose. It differs from the serious romance in its fable* and action. In the diction. torn) out a smulge. intrigă plainly în mod deschis. as I thought. and introducing a greater variety of characters. in this. so in the other they are light* and ridiculous: it differs in its characters by introducing persons of inferior rank. în consecinţă to tear (tore. But though we have sometimes admitted this in our diction. when I get home. and therefore*. necaz wert were inconsiderately (în mod) nesocotit. that as in the one these are grave and solemn.5. sever grief durere. we have carefully excluded it from our sentiments and characters. burlesque itself may be sometimes admitted. before summons* came.] plot uneltire.my heart] fully deserve to suffer summons chemare. whereas the grave romance sets the highest* before us: lastly.Reader measure excuse me? I never before knew. of which many instances will occur in these works […]. [Memorandum*. îndrăzneală crept to creep (crept): a se strecura. in its sentiments and diction*. by preserving the ludicrous* instead of the sublime. without ever consulting thy poor mistress* in the least*! But thy punishment will be the first and the greatest: and well. I think. containing a much larger circle of incidents. a înştiinţa mischief neajuns. thy whole self. or tear* it out of my writing. I hope. and when likewise* thou hadst* so well maintained thy post* against the most violent and avowed*. Joseph Andrews (Preface) Now. nicidecum traitor trădător (noun) deservest well …deservest thou to smart: you [i. însemnare TEXT 5. mai mult chiar to overcome a depăşi. for giving up so weakly. Yet. mâhnit severe trial încercare grea unguarded imprudent tender years vârstă fragedă ye you (pl. to consider of this. mâhnire partial to având o slăbiciune pentru nay (literary) ba mai mult. and resignation to the Divine Will. as the serious epic from tragedy: its action being more extended and comprehensive*. and the benefits of your good lesson and examples. I could have no notion of what it was to be so affected! But prayer. perfidious traitor*! deservest* thou to smart. I must either not show you this confession of my weakness. and to one too. a implora grieved amărât. a se furişa to beseech (besought) a ruga cu stăruinţă.
yet. It may be likewise noted. And though these two causes are often confounded (for there is some difficulty in distinguishing them).Reader burlesque kind. as it hath not that violent repugnancy* of nature to struggle with. therefore. which this is not intended to be. the affectation which arises from vanity is nearer to truth than the other. though. and consequently more ridiculous. Indeed. as in appropriating the manners of the highest to the lowest*. which that of the hypocrite hath. yet it sits less awkwardly* on him than on the avaricious man. with those performances which the Italians call Caricatura. no two species of writing can differ more widely than the comic and the burlesque. so it is in the latter infinitely on the side of the writer. From the discovery of this affectation arises the Ridiculous. than when from vanity. so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavour to avoid censure*. than to find him a little deficient in the quality he desires the reputation of. it be nearly allied to deceit*. Now. for the Monstrous is much easier to paint than describe. from the just* imitation of which will flow all the pleasure we can this way convey to a sensible* reader. 204 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . where we shall find the true excellence of the former to consist in the exactest copying of nature. […] Let us examine the works of a comic history painter. affectation proceeds from one of these two causes. it partakes* of the nature of ostentation: for instance. […] The only source of the true Ridiculous (as it appears to me) is affectation. and where our delight. for as the latter is ever* the exhibition* of what is monstrous and unnatural. and. vanity or hypocrisy: for as vanity puts us on affecting false characters*. the affectation of liberality* in a vain* man differs visibly from the same affectation in the avaricious. if we examine it. and that in a higher and stronger degree when the affectation arises from hypocrisy. as they proceed* from very different motives. or hath not the virtue he affects. that affectation doth* not imply an absolute negation of those qualities which are affected. in order to purchase* applause. for though the vain man is not what he would appear. yet when it comes from vanity only. so in the former we should ever confine* ourselves strictly to nature. not men. by concealing* our vices under an appearance of their opposite virtues. that. to the degree he would be thought to have it. for to discover any one to be the exact reverse of what he affects. is more surprising. And here I shall observe. and all distortions and exaggerations whatever are within its proper province*. in so much that a judicious eye instantly rejects anything outré*. as in the former the painter seems to have the advantage. or e converso*. any liberty which the painter hath* taken with the features of that alma mater*. what Caricatura is in painting. arises from the surprising absurdity. […] Now. so they are as clearly distinct in their operations: for indeed. and the Ridiculous to describe than paint. when it proceeds from hypocrisy. and in the same manner the comic writer and painter correlate to each other. who is the very reverse of what he would seem to be. whereas in the Caricatura we allow all licence* – its aim is to exhibit monsters. Burlesque is in writing. which always strikes* the reader with surprise and pleasure.
dărnicie) vain vanitos awkwardly stângaci. smaller faults. But for not being what they would be thought*. it is then that these unfortunate circumstances. fig. which at first moved our compassion. […] Great vices are the proper objects of our detestation. şchiopătat to display to show to tend a tinde mirth laughter thought the lines quoted by Fielding are from Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism (1711): “Nimeni nu este vinovat de a fi ceea ce e. 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. or lameness* endeavours to display* agility. face parte din liberality generosity (mărinimie.” Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 205 . exact sensible endowed with common sense (cu judecată. but affectation appears to me the only true source of the Ridiculous. cu stângăcie. / Ci de-a nu fi ceea ce vrea să pară. but when ugliness aims at the applause* of beauty. comic romance roman comic comic epic poem poem eroicomic comprehensive cuprinzător fable subiect. tend* only to raise our mirth*. 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 primary source licence liberty province domeniu. contradiction doth does deceit înşelătorie it partakes of se înrudeşte cu.Reader […] Much less are natural imperfections the objects of derision. putting on a flattering mask to purchase to obtain censure so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavour to avoid censure tot astfel ipocrizia ne îndeamnă/ne face să ne străduim a evita critica to conceal to hide to proceed from to come/to emerge from repugnancy incompatibility. cu bun simţ) outré (French) exaggerated hath has alma mater (Latin) the nourishing mother. of our pity. The poet carries this very far: None are for being what they are in fault. sferă affecting false characters pretending to be in a way that one is not.
1718 […] was I Tristram Shandy.Reader TEXT 5. and that I fly off* from what I am about. I wish I had been born in the Moon. Laurence Sterne. brought forth* into this scurvy* and disastrous world of ours. or in any of the planets […] than in this vile*. Tristram Shandy (Vol I. Laurence Sterne. yet I constantly take care to order affairs so. brought forth born scurvy păcătos. or expected indeed. which were thought to be at variance* with each other. yet with all the good temper* in the world I affirm it of her that in every stage of my life. my work is digressive. and it is progressive too. a izbuti. Gentleman. Tristram Shandy (Vol. as far and as often too as any writer in Great-Britain. Chapter V) On the fifth day of November. Chapter XXII) For in this long digression which I was accidentally led into. – and it is this: That though my digressions are all fair*. I take to be made up of the shreds* and clippings* of the rest. abject vile ticălos with reverence be it spoken fie spus cu tot respectul shreds zdrenţe clippings resturi.6. dirty planet of ours. that my main business does not stand still in my absence. with reverence be it spoken*. a asalta pitiful jalnic misadventure nenorocire cross potrivnic. as you observe. which. – and at the same time. as in my all digressions (one only excepted) there is a master-stroke* of digressive skill. In a word. a reuşi public charges însărcinare. not for want of penetration* in him. or could any how contrive* to be called up to public charges* and employments* of dignity or power – but that is not my case […]. provided a man could be born in it to a great title* or to a great estate*. […] The machinery* of my work is of a species by itself. – not but the planet is well enough*. răspundere publică employment slujbă sport jucărie weight greutate. nefericit TEXT 5. and at every turn* and corner where she could get* fairly at me.7. lipsit de cordialitate/amabilitate to pelt a bombarda. on my conscience. to annoy ungracious răutăcios. and though I will not wrong her by saying she has ever made me feel the weight* of any great or signal* evil. […] 206 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in a digression.I. the ungracious* Duchess has pelted* me with a set of as pitiful* misadventures* and cross* accidents as ever small HERO sustained. two contrary motions are introduced into it. 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. the merit of which has all along. I fear. and reconciled. povară signal însemnat. but because it is an excellence seldom* looked for. remarcabil good temper voie bună turn cotitură to get at (somebody) to irritate. 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. been overlooked* by my reader.
whose distress*. bids* All hail*. you might as well take the book along with them. sadea to fly off a-şi lua zborul machinery mecanism at variance potrivnic. a sta pe loc vile work ticăloasă treabă adventitious întâmplător to involve a încurca. what’s more. – they are the life. I observe. in this matter. so as to be not only for the advantage of the reader. then there is an end of his digression. a trece cu vederea for want of penetration din pricina lipsei de pătrundere/înţelegere seldom arareori fair fără cusur. you see. All the dexterity* is in the good cookery* and management of them. the soul of reading. slavă! dexterity îndemânare cookery gătit. his whole work stands stock-still*. – one cold eternal winter would reign* in every page of it. it shall be kept a-going these forty years. a încâlci one wheel within another cu rotiţele îmbucându-se una întralta good spirits voie bună Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 207 . This is vile work*. For which reason. from the beginning of this. master-stroke mişcare măiestrită skill meşteşug to overlook a-i scăpa. and have so complicated and involved* the digressive and progressive movements. if he begins a digression. are the sunshine. – take them out of this book for instance. and forbids the appetite to fail.Reader Digressions. is truly pitiable*: For. cum trebuie. – and. from that moment. restore them to the writer. incontestably. în contradicţie to reign a domni to step forth a păşi bridegroom mire to bid (bade. artă culinară distress stare jalnică pitiable vrednic de milă to stand stock-still a încremeni. I have constructed the main work and the adventitious* parts of it with such intersections. that the whole machine. has been kept agoing. but also of the author. he steps forth* like a bridegroom*. if it pleases the fountain of health to bless me so long with life and good spirits*. brings in variety. bidden) a ura all hail trăiască!. one wheel within another*. in general. and if he goes on with his main work.
Nor e’er* had changed. fiind considerat bogat pound liră remote far away. By doctrines fashioned* to the varying hour. Whose beard descending swept his aged breast. propped* on that rude* staff*. Far other aims his heart had learned to prize*. cortegiu şir chid to chide. The Deserted Village A man he was.1. His house was known to all the vagrant* train*. a boy. a mustra) wandering rătăcire to relieve to bring alleviation (a uşura. a alina. 208 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . he climbed the loftiest bough*. hoinar. Unpracticed he to fawn*. modelat. Or hers. but his sad emblem now. Go. whose trembling hand Turns on the wretched* hearth* the expiring* brand*! (…) (…) yonder* see that hoary swain*.2. to scold (a dojeni. a mângâia) TEXT 6. He chid* their wanderings*. George Crabbe. the matron* pale. or seek for power. look within. Oliver Goldsmith. devout (evlavios. Or theirs. whose age Can with no cares except his own engage. Go! if the peaceful cot* your praises share. More skilled to raise the wretched* than to rise. Whom the smooth* stream and smoother sonnet please. And passing rich* with forty pounds* a year. to all the country dear.Reader UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY TEXT 6. passing rich trecând drept bogat. nor wished to change his place. looks up to see The bare arms* broken from the withering* tree On which. cucernic) e’er ever to fawn to seek attention and admiration by flattering (a se ploconi. cerşetor train alai. that offspring* round their feeble* fire. distant godly pious. The Village Ye* gentle* souls who dream of rural ease*. chid: to rebuke. Who. a linguşi) fashioned potrivit. a aprecia the wretched cei sărmani/nenorociţi vagrant vagabond. Remote* from towns he ran his godly* race. If peace be his – that drooping* weary* sire*. but relieved* their pain: The long-remembered beggar was his guest. and ask if peace be there. Then his first joy. croit to prize a preţui.
o’er over to exalt to raise. and.3. whom the heart feels as a family TEXT 6. generos ease tihnă. William Cowper. As varied. to elevate. The Task (1785) God made the country. coarse. sorbitură grove crâng. and far Beyond dim earth exalts* the swelling* thought. With all the social offspring of the heart*. liniştit cot căsuţă drooping aplecat. părinte offspring vlăstar. ales. The love of Nature. simple. încovoiat weary exhausted (istovit) sire (poetic) tată. raised To rapture* and divine astonishment. (…) As fast the correspondent passions rise. urmaş feeble plăpând. cămin expiring dying (care se stinge) brand tăciune yonder (poetic) there hoary swain săteanul cărunt/nins/venerabil propped proptit. slab matron mamă de familie wretched biet. sprijinit. losing vitality (care se usucă) loftiest bough ramura cea mai înaltă TEXT 6. should most abound And least be threatened in the fields and groves*? draught înghiţitură. nenorocit hearth vatră. the large ambitious wish To make them blest. lacking adornments staff toiag bare arms ramurile/crengile desfrunzite withering decaying.Reader ye you (pl. jalnic. to excite swelling expanding rapture ecstasy. gifts That can alone make sweet the bitter draught* That life holds to all. Of human race. What wonder then that health and virtue. dumbravă Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 209 . to stimulate.) gentle nobil. linişte. chief*. and as high: Devotion. pace smooth calm.4. through the breast Infuses every tenderness. Inflames imagination. unconfined*. the sigh for suffering worth* Lost in obscurity. 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. (…) The sympathies of love and friendship dear. James Thomson. disdain (dispreţ) tyrant pride the arrogance of arbitrary or unjust power the social offspring of the heart the community. and man made the town. rezemat rude rudimentary. ecstatic joy unconfined unlimited chief most important suffering worth men of merit and virtue who suffer scorn contempt. the noble scorn* Of tyrant pride*.
luncă) wooly made of or feeling like wool (lânos) to rejoice to feel or show great joy thy your meek very quiet. God bless thee. William Blake. piping* loud. Gave thee clothing of delight.The Lamb (from Songs of Innocence) Little Lamb who made thee*? Dost thou know* who made thee? Gave thee life. not violent (blajin. wooly* bright. I’ll tell thee: He is called by thy* name. Into the dangerous world I leapt*. Infant Sorrow (from Songs of Experience) My mother groaned*. leapt: a sări. Gave thee such a tender voice. gentle and uncomplaining (blând. By the stream and o’er* the mead*. bound: a lega strâns. exhausted to sulk to be silent and resentful a se bosumfla. Bound* and weary*. a închide weary tired. I thought best To sulk* upon my mother’s breast. Little Lamb. God bless thee. a înlănţui. For he calls himself a Lamb: He is meek*. He became a little child: I a child and thou a lamb.Reader TEXT 6. Helpless. William Blake. I’ll tell thee. Striving against my swaddling bands*. a suspina wept to weep (wept): a plânge leapt to leap. naked. a ţâşni. who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb. my father wept*.5.6. Little Lamb. who made thee who made you dost thou know do you know bid thee feed ţi-a oferit hrană. Little Lamb. Struggling in my father’s hands. cuminte. 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. Softest clothing. Making all the vales rejoice*! Little Lamb. a fi supărat/îmbufnat 210 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . te-a poftit să te hrăneşti o’er over mead meadow (pajişte. to groan a geme. and he is mild*. supus) mild gentle. We are called by his name. îngăduitor) TEXT 6. and bid thee feed*. Like a fiend* hid* in a cloud.
So I turned to the Garden of Love. And laughing is heard on the hill. green pajişte verde at rest calm. let us play. And the gates of the Chapel were shut. a sălta. Besides. Nurse’s Song (from Songs of Innocence) When the voices of children are heard on the green*. And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst*. Where I used to play on the green. bore. And every thing else is still. And we cannot go to sleep. And then go home to bed. in the sky the little birds fly.” The little ones leaped* and shouted and laughed And all the hills echoed*. And binding* with briars* my joys and desires. for it is yet day. The Garden of Love (from Songs of Experience) I went to the Garden of Love. tranquil.Reader TEXT 6. That so many sweet flowers bore*. the sun is gone down.” “No. My heart is at rest* within my breast.7. go and play till the light fades away*. iarbă neagră) TEXT 6. to disappear to leap (leaped/leapt) a sări. “Then come home my children. robă walking their rounds făcându-şi rondul binding to bind. and let us away* Till the morning appears in the skies. And ‘Thou shalt not’* writ* over the door. bound: to tie briar a wild bush with branches that have thorns (măceş.8. And the hills are all covered with sheep. come leave off play.” “Well. William Blake. And tomb-stones* where flowers should be. no. William Blake. borne: to give birth to grave mormânt tomb-stone piatră funerară gown mantie. And the dews* of night arise. a ţopăi to echo a răsuna Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 211 . And I saw it was filled with graves*. well. Come. at ease dew rouă let us away să megrem to fade away to die. And Priests in black gowns* were walking their rounds*. midst middle ‘Thou shalt not’ ‘You shall not’ (the interdictory formula beginning the ten commandments in the Bible) writ written bore to bear.
And he opened the coffins and set them all free. Dick. And got with our bags and our brushes to work. never mind it. weep!” So your chimneys I sweep. Were all of them locked up in coffins* of black. freamăt dale vale. Tom. Nurse’s Song (from Songs of Experience) When the voices of children are heard on the green And whisperings* are in the dale*. they need not fear harm. The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind. foşnet. My face turns green* and pale. Your spring and your day are wasted* in play. and that very night. for when your head's bare.Reader TEXT 6. The Chimney Sweeper* (from Songs of Innocence) When my mother died I was very young. weep. was shaved: so I said “Hush*. if he'd be a good boy. Then come home. And the dews of night arise. and in soot* I sleep. You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair. and shine in the Sun. Ned and Jack. Though the morning was cold. They rise upon clouds. whisperings şoapte. Joe. weep. He'd have God for his father and never want* joy. William Blake. And my father sold* me while yet my tongue Could scarcely cry “weep*. they run. 212 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . As Tom was a-sleeping. a irosi TEXT 6. Tom was happy and warm. he had such a sight*!– That thousands of sweepers. Then down a green plain leaping. all their bags left behind. And so Tom awoke. William Blake.10. And wash in a river. And the Angel told Tom. my children.9. the sun is gone down. And by* came an Angel who had a bright key. vâlcea my face turns green as in “green with envy” to waste a pierde. and we rose* in the dark. laughing. Then naked and white. and sport* in the wind. So if all do their duty.” And so he was quiet. There’s little Tom Dacre. And your winter and night in disguise. who cried when his head That curled* like a lamb’s back.
And because I am happy and dance and sing. Crying “weep*. nedreptate misery intense unhappiness or suffering TEXT 6. weep!” in notes of woe*! “Where are thy* father and mother? say*?” “They are both gone up to church to pray. 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). a se juca to want to feel the need or longing for something. lest* you drive* an angel from your door. William Blake. The Chimney Sweeper (from Songs of Experience) A little black thing among the snow. Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands. Till into the high dome* of Paul’s* they like Thames’ waters flow. Or like harmonious thunderings* the seats* of heaven among. And smiled among the winter’s snow. Holy Thursday (from Songs of Innocence) ‘Twas* on a Holy Thursday*. with wands* as white as snow. alături. They clothed me in the clothes of death. Because I was happy upon the heath*. Who make up a Heaven of our misery*. The children walking two and two in red and blue and green. hornar sold to sell. The hum* of multitudes was there. coşciug by aproape.Reader chimney sweeper coşar. în preajmă to sport a zburda. And taught me to sing the notes of woe. wise guardians of the poor. fii liniştit sight vision coffin sicriu.12. to be lacking something rose to rise (rose. risen): a se scula. Beneath them sit the aged men. They think they have done me no injury*. these flowers of London town! Seated* in companies they sit with radiance* all their own*. potoleşte-te. Now like a mighty* wind they raise to heaven the voice of song. Then cherish* pity. Grey-headed beadles* walked before. their innocent faces clean. it is ironic that “sweep” becomes “weep” (a plânge) soot funingine to curl a se încreţi/cârlionţa hush taci.11. And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King. but multitudes of lambs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 213 .” weep see explanation above woe intense grief/sorrow/unhappiness thy your say? ia spune! heath câmpie stearpă injury rău. a se deştepta TEXT 6. O what a multitude they seemed. William Blake.
rece. ghimpe where-e’er wherever to appal to make someone feel shocked and upset (a îngrozi) 214 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Holy Thursday (from Songs of Experience) Is this a holy thing to see. 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. a monument of baroque architecture seated aşezaţi radiance great happiness that shows in someone’s face. when the ascension of Christ to heaven is celebrated beadle an officer in British churches in the past. fruitful fecund. And where-e’er the rain does fall.13. neroditor thorn spin. And their ways are filled with thorns*. 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. and to the Last Judgement. It is eternal winter there. fertil. sterp. who helped the priest in various ways. In a rich and fruitful* land Babes reduced to misery. a iubi) lest ca să nu.Reader ‘twas it was th Holy Thursday Ascension Day. the 40 day after Easter. lugubru bare gol. soft. roditor fed to feed (fed): a hrăni usurous cămătăresc (see again the Glossary) bleak sterp. And their fields are bleak* and bare*. Nor poverty the mind appal*. in the Revelation) to cherish to treasure something (a preţui. a goni TEXT 6. William Blake. For where-e’er* the sun does shine. Babe can never hunger there. Fed* with cold and usurous* hand? Is that trembling cry a song? Can it be a song of joy? And so many children poor? It is a land of poverty! And their sun does never shine. re-built th in the late 17 century.
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