Program postuniversitar de conversie profesională pentru cadrele didactice din mediul rural

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




Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature



© 2006

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.3.1.2. 4.3.8. 3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4. 3.4. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan.Contents 2. 4.1. 3. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 4.4.1. 2. 3. 2. 3.3. 4. 3. 3.1.3. 3. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2.2.4. 3.3. 3.1.3. 2.3.1. 3. 3. 3. 3. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve.2.2. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton.6.1.5. 2. 2. 5. 4. 5.2. 5.3. 5. 5. 5. 5.3.1. 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 5.1. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.5.2. 5. Gulliver. 4. 5.4. 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 . 5. 5. 4.3. 5. 5.1.4. 5.2.4. 4.2. 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.7.Contents 4. 4.2. 4. 4. 5.4.1. 5. 5. 4. Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 4.4.3. 5.2.4. 5.3. 5. Gallery of personalities SAA No. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.4.1. 6. 6. 6.1.1. 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. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. 6. 6. 6.2. 6. 6. 6. 6. 6. 6.3.2. 6. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 6. 6.3.3. The Seasons William Cowper.6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.2.

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

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

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

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

when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6. which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . other instruments meant to assist your study.3. • Further reading. • the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names). whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. Some terms may recur in several units. not just Being. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to. you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. Most of the books included there are available in any University library. in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities. For instance.1. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order).Introduction 4.1. Sometimes. but the phrase of which that word is part. The materials indicated in the Further reading section and in the Selective bibliography (see below) offer you supplementary information. For example.3. Thus. for the Great Chain of Being*. which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. will also appear in Units 5 and 6. at the end. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. the term Enlightenment. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words. You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. in Unit 1. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. with the pages where you may find relevant information. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained.4. if necessary or desired.

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

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

along the 17th and 18th centuries in England. glossary. a revision of the course material. The three assignments will count.1 2 Planning your course work is important as it will enable you to send your assignments to the tutor in due time. You have the possibility to monitor your work by verifying your answers. whose content follows a chronological line.lIntroduction The first and the last week should be reserved for the Introduction and. as 40% of the final grade. but which also focus on dominant genres and on outstanding. which will help you to organise and focus your knowledge. forms and styles.2 SAA no. of the evolution of literary genres. as well as a list of suggested further reading.3 3 3 8 SAA no. 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. representative authors. which you must write and send to your tutor. while the final written test will represent 60 % in your overall evaluation. It is structured in six units of study. Summary This course offers you an overview of the literary periods and trends. The course contains several auxiliary sections (summary. 8 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which you will find in the Reader accompanying the coursebook. there are SAAs. Many of these SAQs require your response to a literary text. and gallery of personalities). 5. together. respectively. and 6. as the course provides you with the solutions and suggestions for SAQs at the end of each unit. list of key words. At the end of Units 3. according to a pre-established schedule. Each unit includes a series of self-assessing tasks (SAQs). More information about the subjects in each unit is available in the selective bibliography which concludes the coursebook. 1. seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1. 1. 1.4.1. 1. 1. 1. 1.1. 1.2. 1. 1. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 .1.

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

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

3. 1. T F 3. 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 central concern of the Enlightenment. T F 5.4. Circle T (true) or F (false). The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole.1. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*.1. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . with its belief in the perfectibility of man. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. 1. appropriately. T F 2. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. the Enlightenment. to superstition and obscurantism.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. for each sentence. 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. T F 4. but also affective and instinctual. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. SAQ 1 The following exercise will help you revise some of the more important aspects concerning the intellectual and cultural background of the 17th and 18th centuries. the awareness of the complex interdependencies in a modern civilisation made it necessary to reconcile the individual pursuit of happiness and freedom with the general wellbeing. The 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. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. The growing spirit of individualism. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling This infusion of emotionalism in spiritual life may be seen as the sign of a certain evolution in the temper of the 18th century. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. continued the project of the Renaissance. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature.

This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. the decrease in the power of the Crown.1. in the orbit of the crown.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. 1. and both writers and audiences were. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life.4.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. T F 8. After 1688. It was the main focus of literary attention. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith. for proportion. 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. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. 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. It is significant. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. symmetry. including readers of more modest education. T F 7.1. with little or no classical knowledge. in one way or another.1. to 1. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling.2. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. that the notion of reading public emerges now. at the end of the unit. read again subchapters. for instance. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned. regularity. The division into Elizabethan.

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

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

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

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

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

mocks at certain theatrical conventions. but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. 1769). with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. Heroic plays. 1777). Duke of Buckingham. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste.3. In The Rehearsal (1671). She Stoops to Conquer. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation.4. 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. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism.g. 1773).g. The Conquest of Granada. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. John Gay. 1768.4. 1665. Under the influence of French tragedies. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). too. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. but it appealed to a wide middle class public. who demanded models of virtue and decency. 1669-70). and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. for instance. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 .The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. Henry Fielding). 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. or The Mistakes of a Night. 1722). in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. The School for Scandal. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. George Villiers.4. It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. 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. 1775. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. a stylish and sophisticated world. were a passing extravagance.

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

another Latin influence began to mould English prose style: that of Seneca and Tacitus*. prepared the English language for a variety of uses: in scientific. 1612. accomplished under the patronage of James I – established a model of English whose beauty. wealth and freshness greatly influenced the language of prose. as the growing complexity of life increased the need for social and intellectual communication.5. on clarity and rationality. This allegorical expression of Puritan faith. contributing essentially to the forging of a more straightforward and simple style. the essay* proved the most flexible. More and more. displaying a variety of styles. religious writings are particularly important. blending concision with wit. weaknesses. philosophical and theological writings. The Pilgrim’s Progress Among the prose forms widely used for intellectual argument. gave way to an ideal of prose style more suited to the Age of Common Man. struggles and William Blake: aspirations. Sermons were a widely popular form of prose-writing. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 21 . in which rhetorical figures were subordinated to rational lucidity. The development of an aphoristic style*. The language of prose tended to become plain and transparent. temptations. with its illustration to simplicity and natural flow of common speech. Gradually. The rhetorical extravagance and ingenuity which had still dominated the early 17th century (not only in prose). prose works written in English displayed a highly rhetorical style. influenced immensely Bunyan’s the language of prose. Francis Bacon’s Essays (1597. deliberately artificial and intricate. with its trials. Here.1. The English translation of the Bible – the “Authorised Version” of 1611. Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Of the literary forms that contributed significantly to the development of English prose. the virtues of common speech permeated the language of all kinds of writings. Journalism as a form of prose writing emerged during the Civil War and flourished during the 18th century. Francis Bacon was the first notable writer to plead for – and to illustrate – a prose style more suited for intellectual argument. Later in the century. suitable for conveying “the knowledge of things” and intelligible to the average Englishman. English as an instrument of literary and intellectual communication still competed with classical Latin. the universal language of the Renaissance. in political tracts and pamphlets. 1625) are prose classics in English literature. 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). Thomas Hobbes* and John Locke also insisted on the necessity of a language at once flexible and precise. Under the influence of Latin – especially of Cicero* –. he describes the Christian soul’s search for salvation in the form of an allegorical journey along the path of life. a precious and highly ornate language. Influence of Latin on prose style The prose of intellectual argument 1.5. The evolution of prose style At the beginning of the 17th century.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. 2.1. 2.2.9. 2. 2. 2. 2.1.1. 2.7. 2. 2. 2.2. 2.1.3. 2. 2. 2.3. 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. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. 2.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2. 2. 2. 2. the man of action King Lear: the madness of tragic grief To be or to seem: Othello Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience Shakespeare’s last plays The plot of The Tempest Major themes Symbols in The Tempest The play-metaphor The metaphysical poets Characteristics of metaphysical poetry The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 32 32 32 33 33 35 36 37 37 38 39 40 40 43 43 44 46 46 47 48 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 31 .2.

Christopher Marlowe*. to the perception of man as a bundle of contradictions and the view of the universe as threatened by instability. well-ordered universe. Philip Sydney*. The former expansiveness. with its sense of confidence and optimism. The Elizabethan age: the English high Renaissance Features of the high Renaissance spirit 32 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The vision of a harmonious. The spirit that dominated this age was typical of the Renaissance. Increasingly prosperous and powerful owing to colonial expansion and economic progress. High Renaissance English literature has its most accomplished expression in Shakespeare’s work.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. stable and modern state.1. The emergence of the baroque sensibility The early and high Renaissance* in England developed under the Tudor monarchs*. the enormous vitality nourished by the trust in man’s powers – these are general features of the high Renaissance spirit that found their expression in literature as well. In the late Renaissance. and Edmund Spenser* complete the literary picture of the glorious Elizabethan Age. but the outstanding achievements of writers like Thomas Kyd*. anxiety and even pessimism. to scepticism. idealism and confidence gave way to a growing sense of disorder and violence. this spirit declined under the pressure of certain historical events* and cultural tendencies. Under Queen Elizabeth I. Renaissance England reached the climax in its flourishing. the sense of tradition as a guarantee for order. during whose reign England developed into a strong. Elizabethan England also witnessed an explosion of creative energies in the field of letters and arts.

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

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

hate. gratitude and ingratitude. craftsmen or servants. there is an astonishing variety of styles and registers. conflicts. envy. In Shakespeare’s whole work. his deep understanding of humanity. In his last period of creation (1608-1611). His characters emerge from the dramatic situation with an unsurpassed force of conviction. irrespective of the register in which they are conceived – tragic or comic. which brought him enormous success during his lifetime. in the great blank verse* soliloquies*. A whole human universe inhabits Shakespeare’s plays. and the range of his subjects is extremely diverse. but in the creation of characters and the exploration of their mind and heart. to the prose speech of simple folk. The richness and profundity of his comprehensive creation establish him as a universal genius. among other features. Shakespeare had a natural instinct for the stage. These plays may be seen as strongly influenced by the emerging baroque sensibility in their themes. and a perfect adequacy of the language to the character’s moral nature and to the dramatised experience or emotion. friendship. King Lear and Macbeth (1605). His later plays Shakespeare’s greatness as a dramatist comes. Shakespeare’s whole work is a synthesis of the concerns and convictions of the Renaissance. and a culmination of its literary art. aspirations and interests. jealousy. A wide range of feelings. loyalty and betrayal. romantic or trivial.” Shakespeare’s work is conventionally divided into several phases. It ranges from the sublime accents of pure poetry. Shakespeare seems to propose an alternative to the stormy and bloody worlds of his great 35 William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Language in Shakespeare’s plays The second period of creation: the great tragedies Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . According to the dramatic necessity. The beginning of the 17th century is also the beginning of his second phase (1600-1608). Othello (1604). Shakespeare’s genius. motifs and imagery. sometimes even trivial. He was not original in the use of his subjects: with a few exceptions. He was a master of every contemporary dramatic form. rendered accurately in their poetic truth.2. all mastered with supreme art. and French. states of mind. moral attitudes. medieval and contemporary sources – English. search for truth. etc. devotion. so that it displays a similar variety. from the variety of his work. His inventiveness and imagination were invested not in the intrigues. struggle for power. where the lyrical and dramatic elements are in perfect fusion. Italian. all of them are re-workings and adaptations of subjects taken from a variety of ancient. when his artistic maturity and depth of vision produced his four monumental tragedies: Hamlet (1601). language. but his enduring preeminence has been insured by his extraordinary insight into human nature. in plain. They are always credible. as well as in the tragic grandeur of the inner conflicts that they portray. sublime or burlesque. in which every character – major or minor – has a consistent individuality and is animated by passions.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. and experiences are given dramatic shape in his plays: love. or periods of creation. Shakespeare modulates the language in each play. transcending the artistic hierarchy of his age and consecrating him as always “our contemporary.

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

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

his obsessive quest for truth and certainty. the balance and confidence of the Renaissance man have been replaced by scepticism and mistrust. Madness becomes the refuge of the sensitive conscience from moral chaos.1. Compare your answer with the suggestions offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in which all the values on which he had relied have lost their meaning.The late Renaissance and the Baroque new consciousness that “something’s rotten in Denmark” plunges him into a nightmare. Hamlet: the philosopher vs. and this makes him now aware of the ironies and ambiguities inherent in the discrepancy between what is and what seems. The sign of this confusion is the typically baroque motif of Hamlet’s madness. 38 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . is eminently a philosopher’s effort. as well as the indicated fragment. which is only partly dissimulated. the man of action Hamlet’s penetrating spirit has discerned a reality of human nature that he had not suspected. In Hamlet’s tormented soul. revealing Hamlet’s dualistic vision.2. read again the preceding subchapter. 2.4. What is the essence of this divided view? Formulate your answer in the space left below. from the Reader contains a short meditation on man and the universe. at the end of the unit. It allows the hero to take distance from the corrupt order of the “prison” that Denmark has become for him. SAQ 3 Text 2. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. If they should differ significantly. His effort to see beyond the veil of illusion. and this may explain his indefinite postponing of the revenge.

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

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

is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. ____________________ 5. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. to 2. 1. it bleeds. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 .2. innocence and corruption. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. illusion and truth. disorder. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. The protagonist. at the instigation of his wife. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. you need to revise subchapters 2. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. who has a trusting nature. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. If any of your solutions should not correspond. kinsman and guest. The baroque motif of madness is. one of Duncan’s sons. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. he multiples his crimes. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. and unmotivated violence and cruelty. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. at the end of the unit.6. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. but. / It weeps. ____________________ 4. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 4 Each of the following sentences refers to one or several of the three tragedies mentioned so far. paradoxically.2. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. Macbeth.7. 2. underlining the theme of knowledge. ____________________ 2.2. ____________________ 3.

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

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

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

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

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

Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music. If any of your choices should be wrong. T F 5.2. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century. T F 7. 1.12.2. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. T F 4. was first intended to bring discredit on them. except that of terrifying him. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 . T F 3. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. 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. but each of them.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. of which three are false. You must find them among the following statements. The power of music has no effect on Caliban. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. revise subchapters2.3. in his own way. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. at the end of the unit. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies.9 to 2. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence. T F 2. Their styles are different. 2. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. T F 6.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty.

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

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

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

he develops one of his most famous conceits. at the end of the unit.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 9 Read Donne’s poem (Text 2. in the Reader). Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. paying special attention to the last three stanzas. Read the poem again. which explains what a metaphysical conceit is. If they should differ significantly. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 51 . in no more than 18 lines / 180 words. you need to revise subchapter 2. Here. Formulate your answer in the space left below. Explain the surprising analogy that he makes in order to speak about mutual love.6.2.. as well.

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

How does he use this contrast in order to speak about his religious experience? Analyse this conceit in no more than 12 lines / 120 words.3.3. Donne suggests his contradictory.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. and read the poem again. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. and love of country. according to some critics. at the end of the unit. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart.7. revise subchapter 2.6. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. Marvell left. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). nature. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. In the last six lines. As a Puritan* patriot. from the Reader. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. 2.5. If there should be significant differences. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*.

however. Just as the dew-drop is “trembling. anticipating the early Romantic attitude to nature. The carpe diem* motif was popular in Renaissance poetry. in contrasting colours. On a Drop of Dew 2.7. on the scaffold. It is a seduction poem. He showed a deep love for the countryside. Marvell emphasises the dignity with which the defeated king met his fate. which begins with a most accurate description of a dew-drop on a rose petal.” and finally dissolves itself “into the glories of the almighty Sun.3. these details as emblems of a transcendent reality. a masterpiece of metaphysical wit. What begins as a nature poem is extended into a religious poem by means of a metaphysical conceit. Although loyal to the Puritan cause. developed then into a complex analogy with the pure Christian soul and its relation with earth and with heaven. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Carpe diem 54 . as if Nature itself were a “mystic book. 2. 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. pictured with remarkable precision.e. The theme of love in Marvell’s poetry Of Marvell’s love poems. in this respect. Nature as “mystic book” Another side of Marvell’s poetic personality is illustrated by his nature poetry.” so the Christian Soul denies the earth and its “impure” pleasures.” associated with his mistress’s preference for a prolonged courtship. A natural detail. The most illustrative poem.3. His nature poems have usually a mystical tendency.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. Marvell does not portray Oliver Cromwell and his opponent. for fear that it might grow] impure. On the other hand. and thus he can find reason to praise both of them. and many of his poems reveal his delight in the contemplation of rural nature. aspiring to union with almighty God. in which the speaker develops an ingenious argument in order to persuade his mistress to give up her coyness [i. The speaker’s argument opposes the “deserts of vast eternity. is On a Drop of Dew. reveals thus its symbolic dimension to the poet’s contemplative mind. shyness] and accept his passionate love. King Charles I Stuart. which illustrates the poet’s skill in combining the playful and the serious.e.e.8. in which both of them act according to a divine order. but Marvell’s poem extends it into a meditation on time. Gifted with a sharp sense of observation of natural detail. He rather sees the events and the fate of the two rulers in the context of a providential history.” whose visible beauties are the key to spiritual truths. to change the form of ruling power). Marvell often sees. behaving with royal grace in his last minute. the most accomplished is To His Coy Mistress. lest it grow [i.

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

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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


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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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

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

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

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

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

The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan. 3.4.1. 3. 3.3. 3.2.2. 3.2.3. 3.2. 3.4.4. 3. 3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.4. 3. 3. 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3. 3.5.5. 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 .3.3.4. 3.

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

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

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

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

angels). it does not matter if this task is fulfilled soon or late. light denied?”). since. If he is to transcend time by literary fame. he had asserted himself as a successful publicist. Milton laments the passing of his youth without any sign of poetic ripeness. The only thing that matters is that he should have “grace to use it so. Lamenting the loss making his political and religious views known in a series of influential of his eyesight essays. foolishly: how can God expect him to fulfill his task if He has decided to make him blind? (“Doth God exact daylabour.3. As a Christian poet. that. who carry out the divine his daughters will.” “mean or high” as it may be. He has reached the age of twenty four. he Paradise Lost to commands “thousands” (of spirits.” to carry out the task in such a way as to make his achievement count in eternity. patiently. written in 1631. they have been fortunately able to prove their maturity at the right time. i. Sonnet XVII After almost twenty years. as King of Heaven. Milton meditates on his loss of sight.” with no “bud or blossom” to promise ripe fruit.” By this time.” It would be arrogance to think that God needs “either man’s Milton dictating work or gift” to assert His greatness. 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. that the unfolding of his poetic destiny is not only a matter of time.3. by the acceptance of one’s fortune – of God’s “mild yoke. When he wrote Sonet XVII. In Sonnet XVII. but finds consolation in his faith in Providence. but of God’s eternal will. and the theme of blindness was to accompany the great themes of his coming masterpieces. he must admit. Milton has the strong sense that his poetic accomplishment is a task imposed by God (his “great task-master”). Sonnet VII In Sonnet VII (“How soon hath time”). Patient and dignified waiting for God’s will to be fulfilled is also a way of serving Him.e. at his age. confessing his temptation to ask. Milton was still invoking Patience to avoid the anxiety caused by his feeling of “unripeness. with a certain sadness.” that they are “timely happy spirits”. God: the poet’s “great taskmaster” 3. Since for God time is in fact eternity (“All is…as ever” in God’s eye). in another poem of this kind (Sonnet XVII). but also by Christian humility. The life of study and leisure that the poet had been leading was a period of prolonged apprenticeship*.The works of John Milton 3. A sad biographical circumstance increased Milton’s anxiety in this respect: he was going blind. he admits. Milton’s eye-sight was definitively compromised.1. In the first part of the sonnet. Patience – a Christian virtue – teaches him that God is served not only by actions. To prevent such a complaint. in 1652.2. but he had not fulfilled his great poetic promise. and that the passing of the time will eventually confirm if he is destined for glory. other young men have demonstrated “inward ripeness. in which the accumulation of knowledge was meant to create a solid foundation for his future great work. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 67 . and confronts the evidence of a “late spring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in the Reader contains four fragments from Book IX. _______ b. at last. Milton continues to expand moments of the biblical Genesis.4.” is the one who will. by inciting her to disbelieve God’s threat. which will bring her close to the condition of God. in which these moves are illustrated. _______ Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. from the speech by which Satan tempts Eve into disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. Seduced by the illusion of the Tree of Knowledge. the consequences of man’s original sin are unfolded in episodes of great poetic and emotional intensity. which marks the conquest of the world by Satan. He denigrates God. as God himself predicts: His Son. but he also adds symbolic episodes. He tries to introduce into Eve’s mind the doubt about God’s being “the author of all things. and he proudly boasts of it in the Pandemonium. He tries to dispel Eve’s fear of death. read once more the indicated text and do the exercise again. 75 Book X: the world open to Sin and Death Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . hoping to arouse her pride. _______ e. _______ f. the destined “restorer of Mankind*. at the end of the unit. Write the number(s) of the corresponding fragment(s) in the indicated space. Match these sentences with the fragment. accusing Him of keeping Adam and Eve ignorant so that He may hold them in a state of servitude. they taste its fruit.” _______ g. in the middle of this speech. a. _______ c. 3. The sentences below describe various moves in Satan’s strategy of seduction. but are terribly humiliated to find that they are tasting only dust and ashes. on a separate sheet.6.8. but His fear that His power might be weakened if His creatures equalled him in knowledge. He tries to arouse Eve’s suspicion that God’s reason for His interdiction may not be man’s own good. such as the building of a huge bridge across chaos by Sin and Death. If any of your matches should be wrong. but. or fragments. annihilate Sin and Death. The world after the Fall In the next books. at the end of each sentence. He tempts Eve with the promise of absolute knowledge. the whole assembly of fallen angels are temporarily turned into monstrous hissing snakes and dragons. He tries to awaken in Eve the spirit of defiance and insubordination. This emphasises the idea that Satan’s victory is not final.The works of John Milton SAQ 5 Text 3. Satan’s victory seems complete. He flatters Eve. _______ d.

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

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

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

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

If there are significant differences. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words. revise subchapters 3. “and “The mind is its own place. “A mind not to be changed by time or place. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell.. at the end of the unit. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero. and read the indicated fragment again. in Hell.) B.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3.5. and 3. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A.5.3. Read the whole fragment carefully.2. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers.1. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .

” “Our great Progenitor [i. but W. Although Paradise has become a forbidden place for them. He has the revelation of the grandeur of God’s plan and of the “goodness infinite” of the Creator. The way in which Milton refers to Adam and Eve throughout the poem points out his reverence to the original pair.” “mother of human race.” but also “our credulous mother. precursor]. Blake: The expulsion from Milton deals with it as one of the central paradoxes of the human condition. The consequences of their fall are great because their virtues – so tragically tested – are great.” Eve is the “Mother of Mankind. but as a consequence of their wrong choices. the titanic dimension of his suffering.3. In his last conversation with Michael. the protagonists of Milton’s ambitious epic leave it not in hopeless disgrace. as well as his identification with them in their condition of creatures that have fallen. There is a tragic combination of greatness and weakness in their portrayal. Satan’s torments in Hell. man has paid a terrible price for the wisdom of not imitating Satan. Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Poetically. But it is an evidence of Milton’s genius that.The works of John Milton 3.5. deprived of worth. but armed with the wisdom of faith. Milton is the heir of the Renaissance in his glorification of man and his virtues. Created in God’s image. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 81 . he justifies “the ways of God to men” by showing the necessity of the divine grace. While Satan’s pain is always accompanied by the proud defiance of God. Milton depicts Adam and Eve’s fall not as the result of depravity. in Book XII. Adam is called Sire* of Men. there is not any doubt left about his fundamental evil. of turning all evil into good by the supreme act of divine grace: the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for man. ancestor. of understanding and accepting his limits.” The insistent use of the adjective “our” suggests Milton’s invitation to the reader to join him in his identification. are set against Adam and Eve’s lamentations after the fall. As a humanist. but who can hope for redemption*. Fallen man is not a hateful creature. He is now more aware of his freedom and his potentiality. He is now able to understand God’s final purpose. in spite of the fascination and seductive power with which he is invested. As a Christian. Both Adam and Eve display a certain Satanic fascination with the possibility of overcoming their condition through knowledge. the character of Satan is Milton’s greatest achievement in Paradise Lost.” “Our Author.e. Adam’s enlarged understanding emerges in perfect fusion with his strengthened faith. gifted with reason – a divine Eden 1808) attribute –. of their wrong use of the freedom given by God. and Milton expresses both admiration and compassion for them.” “Patriarch of Mankind.” “our general mother. the sorrow of the fallen humans at their own weakness and their final recognition of their fault entitles them to God’s mercy.

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

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

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

before the final battle. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. in Heaven • his oscillation between remorse and pride • his oscillation between self-justification and self-blame for his rebellion against God • his consideration and rejection of the possibility of rehabilitating Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 85 .2. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2.1. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. At the beginning of Book IV. A revision of subchapter 3.2. 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. at the end of the play.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. in which he explores his inner hell. In both of them. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. 1.2. 2.4. and the last paragraph of 2. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3.6. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth.1. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul.. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%.C. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. God’s creation. romantic in The Tempest –. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. and thus of destroying man.3.. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. Text 3. and 2.). one of the greatest Roman poets. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience.5. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. Send-away assignment no. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. • Read attentively this fragment. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. Texts 2. 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.

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

Satan feels God’s absolute power as a limitation to his enormous ambition. Luminiţa Elena. 2. comforting himself that he exchanged submission for sovereignty. and the image of the terrible gates. the intelligible and the unintelligible (the dark void). i. and for him servitude in Heaven is the real hell. Forced to look ahead. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 3. Incapable of obedience to God. 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. These lines suggest Satan’s formidable strength of will and the independence of his indestructible spirit. with passive virtue. faith and love untested. David. Man is not a free creature. 435-449) 2. A Critical History of English Literature. Turcu. 2. then it is like Heaven for a spirit that cannot accept constraints. 4 SAQ 6 For Adam and Eve. The same rational spirit separates what is vital from what is “adverse to life” (the “infernal dregs”).e. g. b. as God has made him.The works of John Milton Architect”).. He wants man’s obedience to be the result of an act of free choice. of human solidarity. Satan is willing to exchange the happiness of Heaven for the torments in Hell. d. The Literature of the Beginnings. This line illustrates both his aspiration to complete independence and his ambition. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). It is his will and desire that give value to things around. Daiches. His gift of Reason to man has no justification (it is “useless and vain”). 153-163) 3. c. 1983 (pp. 141-152) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 87 . e. Their hesitant steps suggest their awareness of the difficulty of all choice. SAQ 8 God cannot be pleased with blind submission. English Literature and Civilisation. 1.e. unless he is put in the situation of making choices. Editura Universităţii Suceava. unless he exercises his will and reason. who draws a firm line between the formed and the formless (chaos). i. under the guidance of Providence. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. vol. 2003 (pp. 2. is meant to keep alive the memory of their transgression.). From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. guarded by fear-inspiring armed angels. If God leaves man’s loyalty.4. Paradise is now a forbidden place. Ioan-Aurel (coord. SAQ 5 a. f. Preda. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. Further reading 1.3. 2. to be dictated by Reason. of the responsibility that accompanies freedom. 1969 (pp. 1. If Hell is a space of freedom. but at least they have the mutual comfort of their love.4. SAQ 7 1.

4. 4.3. 4. 4.1. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve.4. 4. 4.6. 4.1. 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.3.2.2. 4. 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .5.4. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.2.3. Gulliver. 4.4. 4.2.4. 4.2 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4. 4. 4.4.4. 4. 4.1. 4.1.

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

Gallantry. and. Dominant forms in Restoration drama The main kinds of drama were heroic tragedy and comedy of manners. and its audience was restricted to the exclusive and fashionable circles in London. Restoration comedies dealt primarily with sexual intrigue and the pursuit of pleasure – including the pleasure of cynical manipulation of others.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. and satirised the aspiration of social climbing and the ideal of virtue and respectability of the middle classes. both of them highly conventional forms. Another dominant dramatic form during the Restoration was the comedy of manners. It made fun of the people from the countryside. The highest achievement of this kind of baroque theatre was provided by John Dryden’s plays*. although each in its own way and for different reasons. and the plays of the Restoration Wits*. The Puritan rigidity and austerity of the former period were repudiated. Conquest and seduction. reflected the hedonism* and promiscuity encouraged at court by Charles II himself (nicknamed “the Merry Monarch” for his pleasure-loving way of life). Heroic tragedy* was a dramatic development from the epic poem.3. ending in Heroic tragedy the death of the hero or heroine or both and the triumph of honour.2.1. grandiloquent declamations and sentimental exaltation. lust. jealousy. sumptuous costumes. magnificent settings. The conception of character in Restoration comedy was indebted to the Renaissance comedy of humours*. wit*. on the one hand. the cynicism. and the characteristic theme was the conflict between love and honour. the 90 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the licentiousness* and frivolity characterising Restoration comedy were accompanied by a cult for elegance. were essential for the true man of the world. ridiculing their crude manners and lack of sophistication. above all. fashionable manners. Restoration comedy and its character types Restoration comedy was “class drama. Sensational turns of situation. refinement and sophistication.” reflecting the aristocratic ethos of the time. Restoration comedy was a mirror of the Comedy of manners environment in which it developed. but they were loveless marriages and love affairs without warmth and affection. and absolute villains. 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. exotic places. or Court Wits. Marriage and the games of love were a prevailing theme. A certain coarseness of feeling. adultery. One of the most common types was the rake – the libertine. betrayal and mockery were recurrent motives in the comic plots of Restoration drama. The range of character types in Restoration comedy was very diverse. an artificial. of incredible cruelty and perfidy. on the other. with characters conventionally distributed into fabulously valiant heroes and virtuous beautiful heroines. or in the survival of love over the criminal machinations of the villains.1. The action was usually set in remote. 4.

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

Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). frivolity.1.4. Restoration comedy praised wit. 1. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. 4. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. by doing the exercise that follows. at the end of the unit. T F 8. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. read again subchapters 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. T F 9. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. T F 3. simple action.1. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. William Congreve. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration.1. refinement and sophistication.1. to 4. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. T F 2. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. T F 4. such as the impoverished gallant. hedonism and amorality at Court. It displays typical Restoration characters.3. T F 7. elegance. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. T F 6. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . T F 5.

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

which presents Millamant's demands.. at the end of the unit. Millamant is also in love. If there should be significant differences. but she accepts Mirabell's marriage proposal on certain conditions. under the appearance of frivolity. they establish and agree on the terms of a "contract.1." Presenting their expectations from each other in a half-joking way.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 2 In Congreve's play The Way of the World.1. read again subchapter 4. Mirabell is a reformed rake. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.. in no more than 15 lines / 150 words. who is sincerely in love with Millamant and wishes to marry her. 94 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Read Text 4.4. What is the idea of marriage that her conditions suggest? Answer in the space below. In a witty dialogue. as well as the indicated fragment. they seem to be playing a game. However. in Act IV. their agreement has serious implications.

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

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

to those of Nicolas Boileau*. The rationalist poetics* of Neoclassicism owed greatly to Horace*. or art*. SAQ 3 Text 4. What are the main ideas in this fragment.3. at the end of the unit.3.2. Emotion was supposed to be filtered and controlled by reason. If there should be significant differences. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 97 . in the Reader represents a fragment from Samuel Johnson’s Preface to his 1765 edition of Shakespeare’s works. and the indicated fragment. but also to imported French ideas – e. and what Neoclassic conviction do they imply? Answer in the space below. and beauty was the result of the balanced combination of talent and inspiration with skill.g. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. read again subchapter 4. a combination achieved through reason. in a paragraph of no more than 4 complex sentences (80-100 words / 8-10 lines).The Restoration and the Augustan Age A rationalist poetics All the faculties involved in the process of creation were seen as subordinated to Reason.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Voyage to Brodingnag III. philosophical. where mad scientists are engaged in phantasmagoric projects. From this last country. Gulliver can’t help seeing his fellow humans as disgusting Yahoos. as well as an unequalled master of satirical wit and irony. Glubbdubdrib. In his last voyage. an uncompromising defender of truth. Jonathan Swift.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.4. the Yahoos. appear in the utmost state of degeneracy. These satires have established his reputation as a champion of moral virtue. Gulliver is finally expelled. and literary. curious and resourceful.A Voyage to Laputa. whose adventures as a surgeon and then the captain of several ships take him through the most unusual places.4. Swift alludes satirically to a multitude of aspects from the contemporary political. In Luggnagg. bigger than himself. he learns about the Struldbruggs. Gulliver is cast on the shore of a country inhabited by the Houyhnhnms.” therefore a potential threat to that civilisation. intelligent speaking horses. respectively. Back in England. social and intellectual realities. justice and freedom. Like many of his contemporaries. Balnibarbi. In it. religious. The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Consisting of four books. It is an allegorical satirical travel book.3. and his nostalgia for the perfect world of the 105 I. Laputa. The most powerful expression of Swift’s satirical genius is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World “by Lemuel Gulliver. Gulliver’s Travels pretends to be the record of the most astonishing experiences of an average man. like extracting sunshine from cucumbers. popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. whose admirable society is built entirely on rational principles. with elements of the marvelous or fantastic fable. His hurt sensitivity and disillusionment are conveyed in a series of prose satires which cover a wide range of issues – political.A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . he is shown the Academy of Lagado (a burlesque of the Royal Society). or softening marble to make pincushions. absorbed in mathematical speculations and music. Gulliver finds himself among people who are twelve times smaller and. In his third voyage he visits several strange places. building houses starting from the roof. with a sharp sense of observation. In Balnibarbi. the flying island.4. because he is perceived as a Yahoo endowed with “a rudiment of reason.A Voyage to Lilliput II. and the disappointment and anger at seeing reason so often abused. In Lilliput and Brobdingnag. but the significance of his work may be extended to the philosophical question of the human condition itself. Jonathan Swift Pope’s friend. a race of immortal people whose eternal life is in fact a curse of endless decay. combining the conventions of utopia* and of the imaginary voyage. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 4. Swift was divided between the idealist confidence in man’s capacity of selfimprovement. is inhabited by impractical intellectuals. and where human creatures. a hater of pedantry and pretence. is one of the greatest satirists in world literature.” a work which Swift published anonymously in 1726. Luggnagg and Japan IV. economic. in his potential as a rational creature.

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

Their non-human shape suggests that the absence of passion. ruled by an enlightened monarch. Gulliver. his vulnerability increases. with its religious controversies among Anglicans. as he is in permanent danger from creatures so much larger than him.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.5. he sees ideal creatures. The Houyhnhnms may be an allegorical embodiment of moral perfection attained through the exercise of pure reason. and they constitute a miniature picture of England. he is actually physically vulnerable in this world. In the Houyhnhnms.6. physical size indicates allegorically features of human nature. he contemplates with shame and despair all the imperfections of the human race. The error of Gulliver* is that he adopts an impossible deal of perfection. the highest offices in the state are obtained by those who know how to entertain the king best. in his last adventure. the frustrated idealist After the comic-disturbing examples of unreason witnessed in his third voyage. Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia In the first two books of Gulliver’s Travels. means de-humanisation. The fourth voyage. ambitious. governed only by reason. and the utopian commonwealth of Brobdingnag. Gulliver in Brobdingnag 4. with the hardest dilemma and the deepest humiliation. forgetting that man holds a middle place in the Great Chain of Being*. of the capacity for affection. its political parties – Whigs and Tories –. Political corruption is institutionalised (for example. The Lilliputians’ physical smallness is accompanied by moral flaws – they prove to be mean. Their society is deeply divided by absurd dissensions: for example. or between those who break a boiled egg at the round end – the "Big Endians" – and those who break it at the pointed end).4. by dancing on a rope. but their universe is completely deprived of emotion and feeling. issues or figures.4. vain. In spite of Gulliver’s dimensions (an allegorical representation of his complex of superiority). his real humiliation is caused by the unflattering contrast between his own race and civilisation. to integrate Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 107 . etc. Gulliver’s failure to accept the mixed essence of man.). and he realises how far man is from moral perfection. its thirst for war – the endless conflict with France. Dissenters and Catholics. The Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms are a double mirror for Gulliver. In Brobdingnag. However. Gulliver is confronted. etc. between those who wear shoes with high heels and with low heels. He is no longer certain of the essence of his own nature. jumping over or creeping under a stick. In the Yahoos. and his position in that strange land is highly ambiguous. 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. from which he chooses to leave. cruel and hypocritical. These comic details are satirical allusions to contemporary or recent events.

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

find anti-utopian elements in it. and to revise subchapter 4. If there should be major differences. For Gulliver. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . you need to read the fragment again. and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable. The careful reader will. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect. however. more carefully. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4.4. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia.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.6.6. from the Reader. Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit.

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

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

honour. boring.4.3 in Unit 1 (heroic drama). who in 1730 had become Poet Laureate. “Dull” also means uninteresting. It derives from “bay. “Mr. Bayes” refers to Lewis Theobald. In Pope’s satire. dulness: in a strict sense. justice of the peace: a person appointed by the crown to judge less serious cases in small courts of law. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. industry: the quality of being hard-working or of being always employed usefully. unexciting. trait . heroic tragedy: see again subchapter 1. who had criticised Pope for his edition of Shakespeare (1725). the bay-leaf crown was the ancient emblem of fame. which conceived of every being in nature as having its well-established place in an uninterrupted chain of increasing degrees of complexity. mock-heroic epic: see mock-heroic style and epic in the Glossary in Unit 1. in which the destruction of one “link” would bring chaos. the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 112 . Great Chain of Being: an ancient world-picture.” which means easy to fool or persuade to believe something (from “to gull”: to cheat. Bayes. Pope replaced Theobald by Colley Cibber.3 in Unit 1. fop: a man who is excessively concerned with fashion and elegance. In this kind of comedy. to deceive). Pope uses the word in the enlarged sense of “all slowness of apprehension. licentiousness: uncontrolled sexual behaviour. Dryden himself had been attacked several times as “Mr.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • comedy of humours: see Jonson in the Glossary in Unit 1. and distinction. Mr. Gulliver: the name sounds very similar to the adjective “gullible. characters were constructed on the basis of a particular disposition. In the 1743 version of The Dunciad. inclination. hedonism: a lifestyle devoted to the seeking of sensual pleasure. stupidity. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. or “humour. landscape. figuratively: undeveloped or inactive.” diction : see poetic diction in the Glossary in Unit 1. referring not only to external nature. Bayes: a name which was frequently applied satirically to a writer. a strictly ordered hierarchical system. i. surviving through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the 18th century.” Nature: an inclusive concept. fallow: (about land) left unplanted or unseeded.” another word for “laurel”. Dunciad: the title is coined after The Iliad.e. shortness of sight or imperfect sense of things.” a “force inertly strong” which corrupts understanding and confuses the mind. but to the whole of created reality. slowness in thinking and learning. a word designating a person who is stupid or slow to learn. from dunce.

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

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

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

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

5.5.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. 5.4.2. 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. 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 . 5.6. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5.3.1. 5.4.4. 5.2.4. 5.4.1. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.6.2.8. 5. 5.4. 5.3.4. 5. 5.2. 5.2. 5. 5.2.

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

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

Women were … 3. and public/social norms and conventions. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. 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. on the other. read again subchapters 5. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. The rise of the middle classes … 2. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century.1.1. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century.2. 1. on the one hand. at the end of the unit. If there should be major differences. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5.1. … 4. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .

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

________________________ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.3. at the end of a process in which he/she learns to accord private impulse with social expectation. and his/her experiences provide a satirical survey of the contemporary society. trivial subjects. Its hero is a marginal figure who aspires to social success. 1. mocking their elevated style by applying it to common. ________________________ 7. ________________________ 4. ________________________ 6. ________________________ 2. at the end of the unit. deliberately reducing the importance of plot or emotional conflict. It presents a tale of mystery and horror. It explores the labyrinth of emotion and feeling. after each sentence. 122 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . ________________________ 8. • SAQ 2 What kinds of novels do the following sentences describe? Write the answer in the space indicated by the continuous line. ________________________ 5. The achievement of maturity leads to the hero’s satisfactory social integration. in their confrontation with moral choice. usually with supernatural ingredients. It explores the diversity of social manners and their articulation with moral values.. this illustrates the concern of the Enlightenment with the development of the individual as a social being. 3. in an atmosphere of gloom. It is concerned with the individual’s full assertion as a social being.1. read again subchapter 5. It centres on intellectual debate and confrontation of ideas. 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 offers more delight in ________________________ action than in character.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. If you have failed to match any of the descriptions with the right type of novel.

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

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

2.2.. and 5. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). to the awakening of religious conscience. In his initial struggle with despair. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. Gradually. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat. read again subchapters 5.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. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases.2. 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.3. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 . Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. In this light. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. as a political or economic utopia. at the end of the unit. Isolation is no longer a misfortune.2.1. If it should differ considerably.” 5.

3.” desires and “delights. 3. inventiveness. 4. ingenuity). Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. subchapter 5. morally autonomous. He takes pleasure in his work).” However.” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise.2. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour. Robinson is cast out from the “edenic” safety and happiness of his father’s home into an uncertain world of toil. in the space below. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter. its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress. describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot. at least four features of the hero’s character as they are illustrated by this description. with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. as well as the fragment in the Reader. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction. In this connection. Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value. 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Changed in his “notion of things.. at the end of the unit. or the felix culpa*. SAQ 4 Read Text 5.2. 2.g. You may render these features either by a single noun (e. which will serve his instinct for independence. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise. as a self-reliant individual. It has its spiritual rewards. Enumerate.. g.. the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall. perseverance. Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism. 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. if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work. Like Adam. perspicacity. you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God. 1. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion. or by a sentence (e.

Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. read the fragment and subchapter 5. whose reality is difficult to doubt.2. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. the promise of symbolic meanings. 2. containing. His simple. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable. 4. on a separate sheet. at the same time. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. clear language. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. at the end of the unit. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . of familiar detail. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories.4 once more and do the exercise again. rendered in a simple. the frequent enumerations and inventories. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. he paid little attention to matters of form. solid world.4. concreteness. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience. 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. The richness of concrete detail. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. His linear. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. the most common objects and actions in their particularity. with unmatched vividness. clarity. which. 3. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. 1.2. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action.

Back to Bedfordshire as mistress of the house. his exploration of unconscious motivation makes him a forerunner in the great tradition of the novel of psychological analysis. Her diary – intended for her parents – falls into Mr. Mr.6. In her new state. or the History of a Young Lady (1748). At the same time. The plot of Pamela. His influence was considerable. hoping that she will give in. impressed by Pamela’s unusual beauty and grace. Pamela continues a diary. in Bedfordshire. 128 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In Pamela. or Virtue Rewarded Pamela is a simple countryside girl who works as a maidservant in the house of Lady B_. who is now convinced of the purity of her motives and of her innocence. B_. the latter’s son. Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel Richardson is the first to combine a sense of social reality with the interest in individual psychology. There. Faced with her resistance.2. As the first great sentimental novelist.5. which Richardson found best suited for the realistic rendering of psychological and moral complexity. the tone is rather that of a comedy of manners and the ending is in the spirit of the Cinderella* tale. of individual freedom threatened by arbitrary power. unanimously loved and admired. whose affection she finally gains. not only in England but also on the Continent. Richardson’s prominent place in the history of the English novel is ensured by two novels: Pamela. Upon the death of her mistress. the double victim of the libertine aristocrat who raped her and of her narrow-minded. Both novels concentrate on the microcosm of the family and develop the themes of the trial of innocence. B’s relatives and friends. of the struggle between virtue and vice. Mr. B_ abducts her and keeps her a prisoner for a while in his Lincolnshire house.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.2. Both are written in the epistolary manner*. the death of the heroine turns her into a tragic figure. In Clarissa. cruel and greedy relatives. B_’s hands. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) 5. recording the details of her ordeal. Pamela has one more test to pass: winning the approval of Mr. but also the agitation of her heart and its conflicting impulses. Her disarming combination of graceful modesty and pride helps her come victorious in an encounter with haughty Lady Davers. as well as for his didactic purpose. Mr. tries to seduce her and make her his mistress. Pamela differs from Clarissa in tone and ending. Richardson focuses on the relation between feeling and virtue. B_’s sister. sensibility and morality. He acknowledges his love and proposes marriage to her. or Virtue Rewarded (1740) and Clarissa. Pamela decides to thank Providence by doing as much good as she can to those around her. His focus on the inner life of feeling and emotion prefigures the Romantic* sensibility.

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

Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel.e. and 5.7.”? Answer in the space left below. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words.2. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. to obey Mr. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. as a servant.8. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . though in quality [i. read again attentively subchapters 5. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. at the end of the unit. If there should be significant differences.2. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master.2.6. 5. between hate and admiration. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. 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.

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

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

Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. T F 8. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. which closes the plot. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. alluding thus to the older genre. which turns out to be gentle*. whom they had met during their journey. T F 5. For instance. T F 4. Wilson. in the spirit of comedy. Cervantes. T F 2. read the text once more. T F 6. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F.3. is an ingredient of romantic plots. for true or false) for each of them. T F 3. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. T F 7. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Read Text 5.2. Mr.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. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 .5. 5. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. Fielding likes to play with genres. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. 1. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. at the end of the unit. carefully. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration.

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

like many Augustan writers. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. He is a moralist. read again subchapters 5. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. unaffected. and 5. preoccupied with the reformation of manners.4.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. At the same time. at the end of the unit. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel.5. through its moral and temperamental types. Fielding is the most “Augustan. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. provide the first theory of the novel. 5.. drawing short comparisons. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony.8. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. 3. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined.2. incorporated in the substance of his works. 2. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. His commentaries and reflections on his own art..3. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 5. and he believes. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. 1. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson.. Explain them.2.3.2. 5.4.. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each.3. If they should differ substantially.

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

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

Ch. SAQ 10 In Vol. at the end of the unit.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel take a lightly ironic distance from suffering. V.4. read again subchapter 5. Read this short chapter (Text 5. To remember the features of the tragic hero.. Sterne introduces the theme of Fortune – a theme which he will develop with a characteristic mixture of sentimental pathos and comic wit. see again the fall of princes. It is a combination of wisdom and mirth*. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 138 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which enables man to keep a healthy spirit and to get around the evils of life by joking about them. Write the answer in the space left below.3. as well as the fragment from the Reader. in the Reader) attentively and explain why Tristram’s selfdescription as a “small HERO” suggests a tragi-comic vision of life. I. restricting it to 12 lines / 120 words. If the difference is considerable. in the Glossary to Unit 2.6.

even a black sheet introduced at the death of Yorick. Tristram has the consciousness of his tragi-comic predicament. watched as if by a slow motion camera. Sterne defamiliarises them. makes the reader aware of them. The zigzagging narrative. in Sterne’s novel. drawings and graphs. Tristram resorts to other means of communication. coherent plots. to a certain view of writing. frustrates our expectation of chronological linearity commonly associated with an autobiographical account. This impression is increased by Tristram’s effort to be exhaustive in his presentation. only in the middle of Volume III that we find the author’s Preface. The structure of the book is equally odd. He thus exaggerates parodically the realistic pursuit of accuracy and immediacy. Tristram is earnestly trying to tell the story of his life and his opinions as accurately as possible. and to involve the reader both imaginatively and sentimentally. i. Sterne’s rambling narrative. but also to how it is told. but also as an author. He delights in minute descriptions of postures and small gestures. does not seem to move towards any climax. etc. with its multitude of dashes. Digressive narrative Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 139 . The narrator explicitly refuses to keep the story straight. with its blank pages for the reader to fill in. points of suspension. there are numberless digressions and interpolated stories. For example. by drawing his attention not only to what is told. the “imperfections of words.4.” The confused chronology and the digressive excesses frustrate also our expectation of a plot. Typographically.” Not only as a man. and gives the impression of stagnation. its unpredictable returns to various moments in the past. 5. which he calls “the sunshine of reading. by exploiting them in a parodic way. there are several dedications scattered through the book. 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. The difficulty he experiences as a writer is due to the limits of language. The “Shandean” view of writing This ambivalent view of life corresponds. so different from Fielding’s tight. marking a moment of affectionate recollection.4.5. It is.e. the book is a comic oddity. the restriction of the hero’s “life” to a few episodes breaks the convention of autobiographical focus. and he takes great delight in digressions.4. Tristram constantly oscillates between the comic despair at his incapacity to master his narrative and the delight he takes in complete narrative freedom. Faced with the problems of accurate representation through words. for instance. The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions By taking extreme freedoms with narrative and compositional conventions. asterisks.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.

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

at the end of the unit.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. and 5. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . Instead of continuing the story. Write them in the spaces indicated below. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. go again through subchapters 5. and read the fragment attentively once more. In this way. 2. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. 1.. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. If they differ significantly. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it.7.4. which he discusses in the very text of the work.4. 3. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them.5.6.

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

fixed idea. but producing a different sound. The hero – the picaro (i. exact representation of life. to the lower ranks of society. parson: an Anglican priest in charge of a local church. Concretely. characteristically. who achieves success owing to beauty and virtue. parody: the satirical imitation of a serious work. see again the Glossary in Unit 1). “beyond fiction”. Cinderella is the prototype of the obscure and neglected young person. which dominated Western aesthetics until the end of the 18th century. fun. a Fool.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Glossary • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Augustanism: the features of style and the aesthetic views of a writer belonging to the Augustan Age (for the latter. harpsichord: an old musical instrument. a term associated with the aesthetic view according to which the work of art is an imitation – a representation – of reality. in which its form becomes explicitly its subject. lifelikeness: closeness to life. attitude and subject are deliberately distorted so as to make them appear ridiculous. picaresque: the origin of English picaresque novels is in the Spanish picaresque fiction of the 16th century. Bildungsroman: German term. ends up by marrying Prince Charming. or education. omniscient: describes the perspective of a narrator who appears to know all about the characters and their action. He is forced to 143 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . minuteness: exactness in the rendering of small detail. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1.3 and the Glossary in Unit 3. a hobbyhorse is a toy. gentle: of good breeding. mimetic: the adjective derived from mimesis (Greek: imitation). played like a piano. literally: novel of formation. felix culpa: see subchapter 3. literacy: the ability to read and write.e. gaiety. epistolary manner: in a novel. tone.e. persecuted by her stepmother and ugly stepsisters. Cinderella: an old fairy story. rogue) – belongs. consisting of a stick with a figure of a horse’s head at one end. which became popular in England through translation and imitation. It was Aristotle who articulated this theory. belonging to a high social class (as in gentleman). hobby horse: a favourite topic or an obsessive. whose style. jester: a professional clown employed by a king or nobleman. and he seeks social integration. a term designating the contemporary mode of fiction – postmodern fiction – which is essentially self-reflexive. or “narcissistic” – i. the way of telling the story through a character’s letters or through an exchange of letters. booby: silly or stupid person. mirth: laughter. metafiction: literally. in which the poor heroine. happiness. The letter (epistle) as a literary species was widely used in the 18th century.

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

as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. as illustrated by this fragment. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words.1. • the coherence. 1. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself.4. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. 3. and 5. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. In order to win the good graces of the king. with special attention to subchapter 4. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. Remember that. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. in grading your paper. You will have. Text 5. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. the king rejects this tribute.1. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel.1. Horrified. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task.. SAA no. Text 4.. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island.2.4. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. clarity. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. 2. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. therefore. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). to revise the preceding unit.

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

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

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

1.2.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6.3. 6. The Seasons William Cowper.4.2.3.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6.2. 6. 6.4.4. 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.4.1. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 150 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 149 . 6. 6. 6. 6.2. 6. 6. 6.4.2. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.2. 6. 6.4. 6.2.

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

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

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

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

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

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

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

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

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


English pre-Romantic poetry

Illustration to (1905 edition)

The Village

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience.1. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. If there should be major differences between them. but he is no longer able to do that. except as an act of remembering. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.7.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 .4.4. to 6. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted.2. to regain the vision of Innocence. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state.. revise subchapters 6. at the end of the unit. and read the poem again more carefully.

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

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

Milton. orphaned children from the charity schools to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. the 39th day after Easter. or of gold or silver paint. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. 2 in Unit 4. Among the most important of them are America. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law.1. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. the Passions. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. primitive: original.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors.2.3. See also subchapter 4. with His laws formulated as interdictions. etc. The Book of Los. to attend the religious service. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit.3. The Four Zoas. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. in Unit 5. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. philosophical and political convictions. Jerusalem. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1. as well as against the sophistication. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. Pity. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. The custom in London was to bring the poor. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. etc. in Unit 3. A Prophecy. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless.. on which the Ten Commandments were written. wild landscapes. 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.1. The Book of Urizen. belonging to the beginnings.

• 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. meant to win a patron’s favour. 6. clarity. in grading your paper.. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . and Holy Thursday (Texts 6.9. SAA no. Send-away assignment no.8. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. 6.12. 6. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. with his law of love. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song. 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. The Chimney Sweeper. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. and 6.. gardens or estates. Remember that.11. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution.).. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. • the coherence.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.” usurous: from usury. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words.13.. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment.10. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

into thin air: And. like this insubstantial pageant* faded*. the gorgeous palaces. Te-am învăţat de toate. revels festivitate teatrală pentru curteni foretold to foretell. Yea*. TEXT 2.5. Actorii Ţi-am spus. cu singurul folos Că ştiu acum să-njur – dea ciuma-n tine Şi-n limba ce m-ai învăţat.Reader Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi) Prospero: Slugoi scârbavnic. Scoteai doar mugete. chiar pământul. etc. afară doar De-un dram de bunătate! Mi-a fost milă. Cu tot ce-a moştenit. foretold: a anunţa. Te-am surghiunit aici. As I foretold* you. În stare de orice. pe drept. framework (clădire. dar proasta-ţi fire. colour. like the baseless* fabric* of this vision. scene I) Prospero: Our revels* are now ended. literary) truly. au fost. Deşi-ai fost dăscălit. când meritai Mai mult decât o temniţă. ca-nchipuită scena-aceasta. duşi. Leave not a rack* behind. The cloud-capped towers*. We are such stuff As dreams are made on. Caliban: M-ai învăţat vorbi. indeed pageant splendid public show or ceremony faded to fade: to lose brightness. all which it inherit. structure. a spune dinainte melted to melt: a se topi. The Tempest (Act IV. turnuri Cu turlele în nori. Şi întocmai Ca funigeii viziunii. şi-n văzduh S-au destrămat cu toţii. rack a floating cloud Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi) Prospero: Serbarea noastră s-a sfârşit. consistency. ţi-am arătat Al vorbei meşteşug. se vor topi Şi. a se dizolva baseless unfounded (fără bază. temelie) fabric building. Biserici maiestoase. palate mândre. când tu. avea ceva Ce bunul simţ nu rabdă. and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. fiară. dar. William Shakespeare. duhuri. shall dissolve And. alcătuire) cloud-capped towers towers whose tops are capped (covered) by clouds yea (archaic. M-am străduit sa te deprind cu graiul. were all spirits and Are melted* into air. Plămadă suntem precum cea din care Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 181 . toţi. nepricepând Nici tu ce bălmăjeşti. the great globe itself. Nici spulber n-au să lase-n urma lor. These our actors. The solemn temples.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who. whose trembling hand Turns on the wretched* hearth* the expiring* brand*! (…) (…) yonder* see that hoary swain*. or seek for power. and ask if peace be there. a boy. he climbed the loftiest bough*. fiind considerat bogat pound liră remote far away. Unpracticed he to fawn*. a alina. Or theirs. a aprecia the wretched cei sărmani/nenorociţi vagrant vagabond. cucernic) e’er ever to fawn to seek attention and admiration by flattering (a se ploconi. 208 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the matron* pale. whose age Can with no cares except his own engage. but relieved* their pain: The long-remembered beggar was his guest. Go! if the peaceful cot* your praises share. distant godly pious. to all the country dear. By doctrines fashioned* to the varying hour. cortegiu şir chid to chide.1. look within. croit to prize a preţui. Go. but his sad emblem now. a linguşi) fashioned potrivit. a mustra) wandering rătăcire to relieve to bring alleviation (a uşura. Whom the smooth* stream and smoother sonnet please. chid: to rebuke. George Crabbe. propped* on that rude* staff*. Nor e’er* had changed. The Village Ye* gentle* souls who dream of rural ease*. a mângâia) TEXT 6.2. cerşetor train alai. More skilled to raise the wretched* than to rise. Oliver Goldsmith. The Deserted Village A man he was.Reader UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY TEXT 6. that offspring* round their feeble* fire. Whose beard descending swept his aged breast. Remote* from towns he ran his godly* race. He chid* their wanderings*. modelat. passing rich trecând drept bogat. His house was known to all the vagrant* train*. Or hers. nor wished to change his place. Far other aims his heart had learned to prize*. devout (evlavios. And passing rich* with forty pounds* a year. looks up to see The bare arms* broken from the withering* tree On which. hoinar. If peace be his – that drooping* weary* sire*. to scold (a dojeni. Then his first joy.

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

who made thee who made you dost thou know do you know bid thee feed ţi-a oferit hrană. and he is mild*. For he calls himself a Lamb: He is meek*. bound: a lega strâns.Reader TEXT 6. Little Lamb. my father wept*.5. leapt: a sări. We are called by his name. Making all the vales rejoice*! Little Lamb. Little Lamb. supus) mild gentle. wooly* bright. a închide weary tired. Striving against my swaddling bands*. I’ll tell thee: He is called by thy* name. 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. He became a little child: I a child and thou a lamb. God bless thee. Bound* and weary*. and bid thee feed*. Gave thee clothing of delight. who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb. God bless thee. exhausted to sulk to be silent and resentful a se bosumfla. a înlănţui. Helpless. Infant Sorrow (from Songs of Experience) My mother groaned*. Little Lamb. te-a poftit să te hrăneşti o’er over mead meadow (pajişte. I’ll tell thee. William Blake. gentle and uncomplaining (blând. cuminte. luncă) wooly made of or feeling like wool (lânos) to rejoice to feel or show great joy thy your meek very quiet. Softest clothing. By the stream and o’er* the mead*. Like a fiend* hid* in a cloud. William Blake. naked. a ţâşni. Into the dangerous world I leapt*. not violent (blajin. Struggling in my father’s hands. Gave thee such a tender voice. a fi supărat/îmbufnat 210 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . piping* loud.The Lamb (from Songs of Innocence) Little Lamb who made thee*? Dost thou know* who made thee? Gave thee life. I thought best To sulk* upon my mother’s breast. to groan a geme. îngăduitor) TEXT 6.6. a suspina wept to weep (wept): a plânge leapt to leap.

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

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

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

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

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