17 and 18 Century British Literature | Deism | Age Of Enlightenment

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

5.5. 4.4.2. 3.2. 3. 4. 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.3.4. 4. 4. 4.1.3. 3. 4.Contents 2. 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. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.3.4. 3.5. 4. 3.1. 2. 3.1. 3.1. 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 3.3. 3.1.7. 3.4. 2. 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 . the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 4.3.1. 2. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton.5. 2.2. 3.2.1.

4.4. 4. 5. 5. 4. 5. 5.1.1. 4.3.1. 5.4.3. 5.2.4. 4. 5. 4.4. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.6. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.4.2. Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.3.4.4. 4.1. 5. 5.3.4. 5.1. 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 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Gulliver.5. 4.5. 5. 5. 5. 5. 4.5.4. 5.2.4. 5.3.3. 5.7.Contents 4.4. 5.2.2. 5.2. 5. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5. 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. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.3.4. 6. 6. 6.2. 6.3.1. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 6.6. 6.2. The Seasons William Cowper.4. 6. 6. 6. 6.2. 6. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.2. 6.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.2.1.1.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No.1.1. 6.4.4. 6.

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

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

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

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

You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources.3. for the Great Chain of Being*.Introduction 4. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. Most of the books included there are available in any University library. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. Thus. not just Being. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order). which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to. but the phrase of which that word is part. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1.3. you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. will also appear in Units 5 and 6. which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. in Unit 1.4. with the pages where you may find relevant information. For instance. The materials indicated in the Further reading section and in the Selective bibliography (see below) offer you supplementary information. at the end. • the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names). • Further reading. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course.1. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . if necessary or desired. Some terms may recur in several units. other instruments meant to assist your study.1. Sometimes. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge. the term Enlightenment. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities. For example. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words.

before you start solving the task. and 6.5. which will enable your tutor to assess your performance in the course work. and make sure you understand its general meaning or basic ideas.2 will cover units 4 and 5. some of these texts might seem difficult to you. the course contains three send-away assignments (SAAs). 1 will assess your knowledge of units 2 and 3. The cumulated weight of these SAAs in your final grade is 40%. The given explanation or translation into Romanian applies only to the respective context. difficult. or one word may be given an explanation/translation different from the one you might be familiar with. this should not take you too much time. don’t hesitate to use a good dictionary. in which the words and phrases supposed to be unknown. or misleadingly familiar to you are explained either in English or in Romanian. which contains the selection of texts you need in order to accomplish some of the course tasks. The table below represents the place. the number of tasks. The written test that you will sit at the end of the semester will add the other 60%. and the weight of each assignment: 6 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . while SAA no. As the texts are not very long. especially the poetry texts. These first two SAAs will therefore consist in more than one task. This is why the same word may appear with different explanations/translations in several glossaries. As we are dealing with 17th and 18th century literature. A send-away assignment (SAA) is signalled in the text by the icon accompanying this textbox. The Reader provides you with little glossaries for each text. 5. Assessment and evaluation Besides the self-assessment questions included in each unit. try to read each fragment more than once. The three SAAs are placed at the end of units 3. The Reader The course is accompanied by a Reader. In any case. If you should find these lexical notes insufficient for your understanding of a particular text. SAA no.lIntroduction 4. 5.

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

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

1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1.3.3. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 .1. 1.1. 1. 1. 1.4. 1. 1.4. 1. 1. 1.

1. the year of the Glorious Revolution*. The completion of this transition was to take place during the next age. science.1. which in England is in fact considered to have started in 1688. marked the entrance into modernity. of philosophical empiricism* determined to a great extent the attitudes to man in his relationship to society. in the latter part of the 17th century. religion. at the end of this period. the arts – all fields of human endeavour went through crucial transformations during the 17th century. in which the progress of England to modernity was steady in all fields. dramatic and prose genres and their main representatives in their proper literary-historical context within the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Unit objectives 1. nature and divinity during the Age of Reason. seen as extending up to the Restoration* (1660) were periods of gradual but irreversible changes in modes of thought. The end of “high Renaissance” (the flourishing of the Elizabethan* Age) and the “late Renaissance”. literature. obscurantism and intolerance. mentalities. philosophy. as well as the faith in progress. The intellectual scene Along the two centuries. colonial expansion and an extraordinary economic development made England. radical changes occurred in intellectual habits and preoccupations. Culturally the two centuries correspond to two movements whose basic tendency was the emancipation of man: the Renaissance* and the Enlightenment*. The victory of Reason over dogmatism.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. social and economic life. The gradual achievement of political stability. Political. of the Enlightenment. as the Enlightenment is often described. attitudes and practices.1.1. 10 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries constitute a complex period. The rise. a powerful flourishing nation. The growing critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. 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.

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

appropriately.3. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. T F 2. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. 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. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. the Enlightenment. for each sentence. but also affective and instinctual. the central concern of the Enlightenment. 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. T F 4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. Circle T (true) or F (false). 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. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. 1. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. continued the project of the Renaissance. 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 Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733).1. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. 1. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. to superstition and obscurantism. 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. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . T F 3. T F 5.1.4. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. The growing spirit of individualism.

It was the main focus of literary attention. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. including readers of more modest education. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. symmetry. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. for instance.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. 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. 1. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality.1. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith.4. for proportion. After 1688.1. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. It is significant. that the notion of reading public emerges now. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. read again subchapters. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. regularity. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. in the orbit of the crown. and both writers and audiences were. the decrease in the power of the Crown. T F 8. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. with little or no classical knowledge. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 . to 1. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. at the end of the unit. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life. The division into Elizabethan. in one way or another.2.1. T F 7. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition.

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

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

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

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

T F 4. Ben Jonson* illustrates another form.4. with its noble characters. or in Philaster (1609) by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. Epicoene. His best plays. or The Silent Woman (1609).4. whose fall from eminence marks the destruction of an order. his comedies become darker. in the last period of creation. SAQ 4 For a revision of some important features of Renaissance English drama. or at least tinged with bitterness. Shakespeare’s Elizabethan phase included a number of exquisite romantic comedies. intended to correct vices and follies by denouncing them. in miniature. T F 5. The Jacobean and Caroline authors of revenge tragedies had Seneca as their model. the satirical comedy. Volpone (1606).4. as in All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-3) or Measure for Measure (1604-5). as in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) or The Winter’s Tale (1610-11). For each sentence. T F 2.1. identifying the four true ones. read again subchapters 1. and 1. The hero of revenge tragedy often destroys himself in his desire to right a wrong done to him or to another. dealing with middle or lower class life and concentrating on personal and domestic maters – unlike “grand” tragedy. Comedy in the early 17th century In the field of comedy. at the end of the unit.2. 1. a genre which will survive into the 18th century. but. If you have failed to identify the true statements. reflecting. 1. T F 3. T F 7. T F Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The mixture of serious and comic elements results in tragicomedy. The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) are social comedies of city life. T F 6. reminds of the fascinating villain-heroes of the Renaissance revenge tragedies by his extraordinary ambition and boldness. read the following statements. Renaissance tragedy had four acts – a structure borrowed from Seneca. 18 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . though each in a different way. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic example of domestic tragedy. The English play-house during the Renaissance accommodated a diverse audience. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson are the great masters. in Paradise Lost.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background A distinct type in late Renaissance drama is domestic tragedy. Seneca’s tragedies inspired Jacobean and Caroline authors in the representation of atrocities on stage. circle the appropriate letter: T (true) or F (false). the hierarchy of English society. Milton’s Satan. centred on the theme of love.

but it appealed to a wide middle class public. too. were a passing extravagance. 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. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. John Gay. a stylish and sophisticated world. 1769). The School for Scandal. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste.4. There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. for instance. 1669-70). mocks at certain theatrical conventions. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). Duke of Buckingham. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. 1722). George Villiers. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. 1665.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. or The Mistakes of a Night. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans.4. 1768. 1773). Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. Under the influence of French tragedies.g. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. Heroic plays.3. In The Rehearsal (1671). with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. who demanded models of virtue and decency.g. The Conquest of Granada. 1775. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor.4. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. Henry Fielding). The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. 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. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. The painful intensity of Renaissance tragedy did no longer move the hearts of audiences that either were too frivolous or whose mind had been subtly influenced by Puritan morality. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. 1777). but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. She Stoops to Conquer.

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

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

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

Culturally. between which there is continuity. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. the image of the universe was changed.5. The victory of Reason over dogmatism. more carefully. at the end of the unit. Within these two centuries. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 . This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England. Within these two centuries. while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century. modern science was born. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. obscurantism and intolerance. If there should be major differences between them. intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular. and 1. in a paragraph of no more than 7 lines / 70 words. Summary This unit has offered you a brief introduction to the intellectual and literary developments of the 17th and 18th centuries. you will learn more about the periodical essay. as well as the faith in progress.1. these two centuries correspond. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture.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. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. roughly. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4. read again subchapters 1.5.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Literature of the Beginnings. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. 2003 (pp. 4. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele. Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson. Marvell satire: Dryden. Sir George Etherege. Editura Universităţii Suceava. John Vanbrugh). 3. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style. Cornelia. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson. Goldsmith.T. The English Eighteenth Century. English Literature and Civilisation. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. Collins. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. William Wycherley. The Novel in Its Beginnings.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1. John Gay Further reading 1.F.3. c. Dryden.). from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech.T. Pope. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Milton the pastoral: Milton. 9-32) 2. precision. 3. b. Blake the ode: Marvell.F.T. Luminiţa Elena. Cowley. Herrick. Duke of Buckingham.T. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. 7.2. Macsiniuc. Sir George Sedley. Milton. 8. 5. 6. Goldsmith. Thomson. Herbert. 4. 7-49) 3. d. artificial. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance.T.4. 2. the sonnet: Shakespeare. Carew. 6.T. Marvell. 5. Donne. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne.T. . Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers.F. there was a tendency towards simplicity.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. 2. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate. Preda.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general. Pope.T SAQ 2 a.T. 1983 (pp. Ioan-Aurel (ed. Dryden. Fielding. 2003 (pp.F. Turcu.

3.2.3. 2.2.1.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. 2.2. 2.3.2. 2.4. 2.2.2. 2.2. 2.7.3. 2. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius. 2.12.2. 2. 2. 2. 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

SAQ 3 Text 2. the man of action Hamlet’s penetrating spirit has discerned a reality of human nature that he had not suspected. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. from the Reader contains a short meditation on man and the universe. 38 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . his obsessive quest for truth and certainty. at the end of the unit.2. which is only partly dissimulated. If they should differ significantly. in which all the values on which he had relied have lost their meaning. Madness becomes the refuge of the sensitive conscience from moral chaos.4.1.The late Renaissance and the Baroque new consciousness that “something’s rotten in Denmark” plunges him into a nightmare. the balance and confidence of the Renaissance man have been replaced by scepticism and mistrust. His effort to see beyond the veil of illusion. The sign of this confusion is the typically baroque motif of Hamlet’s madness. is eminently a philosopher’s effort. Hamlet: the philosopher vs. It allows the hero to take distance from the corrupt order of the “prison” that Denmark has become for him. as well as the indicated fragment. read again the preceding subchapter. and this may explain his indefinite postponing of the revenge. 2. revealing Hamlet’s dualistic vision. and this makes him now aware of the ironies and ambiguities inherent in the discrepancy between what is and what seems. In Hamlet’s tormented soul. What is the essence of this divided view? Formulate your answer in the space left below. Compare your answer with the suggestions offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

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

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

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

extracted from this scene. in no more than 120 words / 12 lines. How can we interpret Macbeth’s hallucination about the voice crying “Sleep no more. Compare your answer with the one offered at the end of the unit. and he meets his punishment in the final battle. reveals how soon the abominable crime has begun to work on his spirit. Macbeth’s heroic strength of will enables him to survive the terrible inner torments. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 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.The late Renaissance and the Baroque burden of sin. SAQ 5 In Act II. 42 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” heard immediately after he has committed the murder? What does sleep represent for Macbeth here? Answer in the space left below. / Macbeth does murder sleep. His words to Lady Macbeth render his first thoughts after the murder. If there should be significant differences. from the Reader. from which the ultimate relief is suicide. 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. read the fragment once more. Macbeth joins his wife after he has killed Duncan. scene 2. Text 2.2. who ends up by losing the belief in any meaning of life.

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

Prospero plans a safe return to Naples for the wedding of Miranda and Ferdinand. The grossest instincts of human nature and a fundamental viciousness are symbolically embodied in the grotesque figure of Caliban. whose youth and innocence are the premises for the undoing of the wrongs of the past. Major themes An important theme in The Tempest is that of the nature of power.” “on whose nature / Nurture [i. and it is significant that this act is accompanied by his decision to abandon his magic.” who can be controlled only by the art of magic. He forgives his treacherous brother and those involved in his usurpation.” he had also failed to see his brother’s true character. the scholar-magician. The theme of power Ariel vs. and then to Milan. Prospero’s project acquires a wider dimension through the union of Ferdinand and Miranda. Evil is not absent in The Tempest: there are echoes of Shakespeare’s previous plays in the motif of the usurping brother planning murder. evil Elizabeth Green – Ariel: The Tempest (1922) 44 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . who reveals himself to them as “the wronged duke of Milan.e. but. On the island. to master himself.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Prospero’s initial plan had been revenge. or of the wickedness of the servant turning against his master. he regains his authority and learns again the arts of power. the personification of Prospero’s imagination.” claiming his throne. who now repent. “neglecting worldly ends. Ariel.2.10. now. At the opposite pole. he has a change of heart and sees in the union of the lovers a possibility of reconciliation and of a new beginning. he learns. the control of intelligence over nature. more importantly. Ariel is commanded to bring all the characters before Prospero. His act of forgiveness is the highest demonstration of princely power. in Ferdinand and Miranda civilisation and nature are united in their most innocent forms. influenced by Ariel. at the end. 2. assumes a certain responsibility for his own dethronement: absorbed in his studies. The power of innocence to redeem evil and restore order and the values of humanity is another important theme. represents pure spirit. education] can never stick. While Caliban and the plotting courtiers and servants demonstrate that both nature and society are capable of corruption. Caliban Innocence vs. for the emergence of a regenerated world. Prospero. and to return to the world in his full humanity. one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating creations. In the final act. a “thing of darkness. to break his staff (symbol of supernatural power) and to drown his book (symbol of supernatural knowledge).

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

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

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

to bring not only his imagination and emotion into play. “More matter and less words” 2. from a most ordinary circumstance.” A new kind of poetry emerged. a metaphysical poem is not a piece of abstract thinking. that the poet detaches himself from his own feelings in order to better understand and analyse them. as well as in ordering and mastering intense emotion. a cold intellectual exercise. secret] resemblances in things apparently unlike. The metaphysical conceit The poetic device by which such opposites are brought together and reconciled is the conceit. Characteristics of metaphysical poetry Metaphysical poetry displayed a new quality of writing. and a blend of the commonplace and the sublime.3. all metaphysical poets are self-conscious and analytic. As extended comparisons. and which blended expressive conciseness with density of meaning. Dr. argumentative quality. and the emotions involved. as “a combination of dissimilar images. Starting with the last decade of the 16th century. often extended by the use of hyperbole* or oxymoron*. a metaphor or an analogy.” as “the most heterogeneous ideas yoked [i. There is always a connection between the abstract and the concrete. conceits were abundant in Elizabethan dramatic and lyrical poetry. Irrespective of the kind of experience they endeavour to render. In spite of its logical. By means of conceits. The impression is that this experience. which was in fact the expression of a new spiritual context.1. but also his reason. united] by violence together.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. and almost always such a poem starts from a very personal situation.” Conceits were effective instruments in developing an argument and in rendering complication and subtlety of thought. linked. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Discordia concors 48 . The main features of metaphysical poetry are concentration and logical coherence. and to unify diverse and even discordant aspects of inner and outer reality into a single experience. hidden. Samuel Johnson* was to describe (in 1779) the kind of wit which characterised a metaphysical conceit as discordia concors*. A poem in this tradition is usually focused on an idea or line of argument. or discovery of occult [i.e. The reader is expected to approach such a poem with an active mind. but metaphysical conceits were far-fetched* comparisons. This is an elaborate figurative device. meant to surprise and delight the reader by their wit*. which is developed through the exploitation of an image in all its possible implications. is contemplated from a certain distance. The thought goes hand in hand with the feeling. writers had to face a new exigency. which starts from a comparison. with patterns of rhythms closer to those of spoken language than to the requirements of literary tradition.e. by the ingenuity with which they forced the perception of similarity in the most unexpected elements. regardless of the subject of the poem.3.2. a demand for “more matter and less words. which helps the poet to develop his subject. the poet was able to reconcile contradictory states of mind and feeling.

Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. If they should differ considerably. and the same realistic force.3.1. In the following subchapters. Use the space left below. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. its decorative use of classical mythology. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion.3. at the end of the unit. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell.3. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. and 2. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. pastoral* conventions.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. and allegory. and a highly original one.2. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences.3. 2. revise subchapters 2. In the treatment of both themes.

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

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

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

at the end of the unit. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. and love of country. according to some critics. revise subchapter 2.5. and read the poem again. nature.3. Marvell left. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. How does he use this contrast in order to speak about his religious experience? Analyse this conceit in no more than 12 lines / 120 words. If there should be significant differences.7. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). from the Reader. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. Donne suggests his contradictory. As a Puritan* patriot. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. In the last six lines. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. 2.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love.6.

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

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

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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


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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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

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

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

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

5. 3. 3.2.4. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 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.1.2.3. 3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. 3.4. 3.2.3. 3.3.3. 3.3. 3. 3. 3.1. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton.4.5. 3. 3. 3. 3.1.4. 3.

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

As in other poems. In the Sixth elegy. for instance. 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. Virgil*. Ovid*. However. and his first notable poems were seven Latin elegies*. the Nativity Ode* is a landmark in his creation. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso To Milton’s long years of preparation for the fulfilment of his vocation belong also two poems. With the Restoration*. This poem was intended as the first in a series about the significant moments of the Christian year. etc. 3. but his maturity and experience enabled him to bring to fulfilment the most important part of his poetic work. which are in fact complementary: L’Allegro [“the cheerful man”] and Il Penseroso [“the pensive/melancholy man”]. They deal with contrasting moods of poetic inspiration.2. in the perfect integration of classical allusion and pagan mythology with Christian spirituality.” The Latin elegies The Nativity Ode 3. these two sides are usually kept apart in these poems. L’Allegro describes a day – from morning till sunset – in the life of the cheerful man. is in touch with divine secrets. he started to move away from themes and concerns which were defining for the classicist spirit of the Renaissance. Milton wrote with the same ease and grace both in English and in Latin. Milton places emphasis on the dignity of agricultural labour and the 64 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . However. He sought inspiration in biblical mythology. who. His models were the great Greek and Latin poets (Homer*. As his poetic personality gained in self-confidence. In some of them. celebrating the birth (the “nativity”) of Christ and its inauguration of a new order for humanity. by his aspiration to be a Christian epic* poet. the pastoral* image of the shepherd becomes a metaphor for the poet-priest engaged in the exploration of high Christian themes. in the treatment of the theme of love and the use of Greek mythology. his political hopes ended.The works of John Milton The Christian humanist poet a position that he occupied from 1649 until 1660. in these poems Milton appears highly preoccupied by his poetic vocation. like a priest.1.2. as it is also an ambitious assertion of Milton’s own literary birth as a “poet-priest. or the two sides of the poet’s soul.). but Milton did not complete his plan. in the optimism and exuberance accompanying the contemplation of reviving nature. Milton follows Ovid in the emphasis on sensuous enjoyment. with its pastoral delights. On the other hand. to whose excellence he aspired to rise. approaching the great religious themes that enabled him to assert his genius. Milton’s first important poem in English on a religious theme was written in 1629: On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity. Milton’s Christian humanism consists in this fusion of classical form and Christian themes. As a poet. and he was perfect master of a variety of styles.

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

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

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

Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. read again subchapter 3. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. and 3. and he worked at it over several years.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. at the end of the unit.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and the two sonnets. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. Dante* –. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same.2.3. 3. respectively. and of leaving to posterity an undying work. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation.1. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. in the Reader). If there should be significant differences.4. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. when he was already blind. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. Virgil. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza).2. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. Read these sonnets (Texts 3.

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

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

If there should be major differences. in the Reader. and what are its implications? Answer in no more than 15 lines/150 words. at the end of the unit. read again the text. more carefully. which contains God’s justification for allowing man to fall.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. What is God’s argument.4. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 71 .

The idea of Good coming out of Evil is central to Paradise Lost.The works of John Milton 3. Raphael’s warning to Adam In Book V.” to fill in the “vacant room [i. In Milton’s interpretation.4. visits Adam in Paradise to warn him about the danger from Satan. The rest of Book V and Book VI are a retrospective account of the war in Heaven. and he explicitly warns Adam: “remember. King Anointed*”.3. that cannot change].” Man himself was created as a “better race. he tells him about his own experiences after he was created. Adam is grateful to Raphael. so that he may know more about his enemy. sweetness. Raphael tries to restrain Adam’s curiosity about “things above this world.4. and its impulse was God’s desire to create “good out of evil. innocence and “virgin modesty. in Milton’s poem. with her “absolute” loveliness and grace.” and that this happiness depends on his free will. not before repeating his warning. Blake: The downfall of the his own power and pre-eminence. Milton displays an extraordinary evocative power.” Raphael leaves them. both in the large-scale description of the making of celestial bodies or in the sublime picture of the primal waters.” and reminds him that obedience to his Maker means enjoying the present happy state.4.e. The story of the “deep fall / Of those too high aspiring who rebel angels (1808) rebelled / With Satan” is given by Raphael as a “terrible example” of the reward for disobedience. Satan. In Book VIII. Adam asks Raphael to tell him the story of the fallen angels. It is interesting that. the divine creation took place after the fall of Lucifer. in Book VII. The six days of the biblical Genesis are developed by Milton into an impressive poetic vision. and in the description of more familiar details of earthly Nature. and most evident in the treatment of the fall of Adam and Eve. sent by God. He draws Adam’s attention that God has made him “perfect. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural The divine creation: Good coming out of Evil 72 . the “divine historian. as this diminished W. instigated by Lucifer. Adam admits that. and.” He explains to Adam that true wisdom lies in the desire to know those things which directly concern one’s own being.e. without aspiring to know things above his power of understanding. and wishes to know more about the celestial motions. The creation of the world Raphael also tells Adam the story of the creation of the world and of man. in order to prolong his guest’s visit. Raphael once again advises him against trying to penetrate the secrets of the “great Architect. space]” left by the fallen angels.” for the evocation of the making of the world. whose pride had been hurt when God proclaimed His Son the “Messiah. in the multitude of its phenomena and living forms. God entrusted His Son with the act of Creation and the latter’s “powerful Word / And Spirit” gave life and order to “unformed” matter and turned chaos into cosmos. and fear to transgress!” 3. and about his perfect happiness in the company of “divinely fair” Eve. after the defeat of the rebel angels. the angel Raphael. not immutable [i.

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

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

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

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

The works of John Milton SAQ 6 Text 3. read the fragment again. that both Satan and the human couple are heroic – each in a different way in their endurance of the bitter consequences of their sin. at the end of the unit. 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. while Adam has more in common with a tragic hero. in the Reader represents the ending of Paradise Lost. which they fully assume. It may be argued. The heroes of Paradise Lost Many critics have remarked the paradox that the heroic spirit of Milton’s epic is embodied in Satan.9. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 77 . 3. however. If they should differ in major points. more carefully.5.

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

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

5. at the end of the unit.” (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. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers.5. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero. revise subchapters 3. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell.3.2. and 3. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words.) B. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and read the indicated fragment again. in Hell. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A..1. “A mind not to be changed by time or place. Read the whole fragment carefully. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. If there are significant differences. “and “The mind is its own place.

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

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

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

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

. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. 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. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience.1. Texts 2. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. 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. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. • Read attentively this fragment. 2. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. God’s creation. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death.2.5. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. and 2.6. one of the greatest Roman poets. before the final battle. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda.2. in Heaven • his oscillation between remorse and pride • his oscillation between self-justification and self-blame for his rebellion against God • his consideration and rejection of the possibility of rehabilitating Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 85 . A revision of subchapter 3.2. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. at the end of the play. 1. in which he explores his inner hell. and the last paragraph of 2.C. with special attention to the indicated subchapters.4. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul.). in Milton’s Paradise Lost.3. In both of them. Text 3. At the beginning of Book IV. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. Send-away assignment no. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration).1. romantic in The Tempest –. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero.. and thus of destroying man.

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

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

4. 4.1.2. 4.4.4. 4.1. 4.4. 4. 4.2. 4.2 4.3. 4.4.4. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 4.1. 4.3.5. 4.2. 4.4. 4. 4.1. Gulliver. 4.1.3. 4. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 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. 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 .

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

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

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

T F 7. at the end of the unit. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. refinement and sophistication. William Congreve. T F 3. simple action. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*.4. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. such as the impoverished gallant. T F 5. 1. T F 6. Read the statements below and identify five true ones.1.1. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. T F 8. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . hedonism and amorality at Court. 4. T F 9. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). If any of them should turn out to be wrong. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love.1. Restoration comedy praised wit.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. elegance. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. to 4.3.1. T F 4. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. It displays typical Restoration characters. read again subchapters 4. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). T F 2. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. by doing the exercise that follows. frivolity.

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

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

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

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

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

or. but to be a functional part of the community. its effects were considerable on prose. The writer's art was a form of social communication. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity. and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace. of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities. Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.4. “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. manners and taste.5.2. of critical debate in every field. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Ostentation. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure. eloquence with restraint. precision and clarity. It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*. where nothing seems to be studied. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit.” Augustan wit 4. Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. 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. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style.2. refinement with wisdom.3. 4. It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*. “grace and strength united. as Oliver Goldsmith defined it. In the context of general progress. of quick accumulation of information. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason. and of the increase and diversification of the reading public. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower. affectation were rejected. too. unnecessary ornament.

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

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

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

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

appears also as a stormy spirit. Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. 4. king David. The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury. The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. are mingled: the evil conspirator. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions.4. hypocrisy.4. in which Dryden’s praise and criticism. Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. Samuel. often touched by ironic humour. contradictions and dark aspects. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne. intrigues. Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. brave and fearless man. 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 . urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force. turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. to religious debates and literary practices. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion. 1743). the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart. selfishness. genuinely gifted for leadership. folly. admiration and condemnation. The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II.4. at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. its cult of reason and common sense. and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury. from political and social life. Bayes*. 4. the Duke of Monmouth. Pope. and satire became their formidable weapon. and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden. Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. greed. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682).1.2. 15-18). The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time. disloyal and excessively ambitious. stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation. Political and religious dissensions. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets. a passionate. struggle for power and profit. Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence.

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

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

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

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

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

however.6. For Gulliver. The careful reader will. and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable. from the Reader.6. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and to revise subchapter 4. If there should be major differences. find anti-utopian elements in it. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4.4. Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 8 Swift’s ironic method is to mislead the reader by giving the appearance of rationality to the absurd. more carefully. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect. you need to read the fragment again.

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

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

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

e. He excelled in all literary genres of his time.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • cosmic harmony and order manifested in the appearances of this world. wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Nicolas (1636-1711): outstanding French poet and critic. John (1637-1700): one of the most outstanding figures of the Restoration and the Augustan Age.3 in Unit 1) and of comedies of manners. He established the periodical essay as a literary genre. He was equally successful as an author of heroic dramas (see again subchapter 1. author of poems. in which he outlines the features of an ideal. founder of literary journalism. Gallery of personalities • • • Addison. for the notion of sentimentalism. essays and dramatic works. Tatler: a “tattler” is a person who gossips. making literature “dull. and he contributed significantly to the dissemination of the values of the Enlightenment in England. Joseph (1672-1719): representative of English literary Neoclassicisn. this phrase suggests the lack of inspiration.4 in Unit 1. Pope’s satire warns thus about the dangers of lowering literary standards.1. Marriage à la Mode (1672) distinguishes itself by its brilliant wit combats and effective social satire.” from Greek u = not. squire: a country gentleman. polite learning: the knowledge acquired through classical education (polite: refined. and topos = place). Boileau. sprout up: to begin to grow or develop. poetics: the system of principles and conventions which govern a certain literary form.4.4. especially the main landowner in a village. Dryden. of imagination and originality. whose poem L’art poétique (1674) established the canons of taste and the standards of literary judgement for European Neoclassicism. he translated from ancient authors. and he was the pioneer of modern English literary criticism.3 in Unit 5.” utopia: a genre in fiction whose name comes from Sir Thomas More’s work Utopia (1516). Neoclassicism: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. and sentimental novel in subchapter 5. of taste or skill. or literature in general. the conception about literature and the creative act of a certain literary school or writer. perfect society (literally: “no place. Among the latter. Restoration Wits: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. i. sentimental comedy see again subchapter 1. polished). or who chats or talks idly. uncreated word: with reference to the literary world. elegant. 113 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.

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

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

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

5.3. 5.2. 5. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.1. 5.3.1.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 5.3. 5.1. 5. 5.4. 5.5. Unit objectives The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. 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 . 5.3. 5.3. 5.2. 5. 5.4. 5.4.3. 5.4. 5.4. 5.6. 5.5.

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

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

Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century. on the other. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment.1. 1. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. read again subchapters 5. The rise of the middle classes … 2. Women were … 3. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. and 5.1. at the end of the unit. The novel’s interest in the tensions between the public and the private reflected … Compare your answers with those given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations. … 4.2. and public/social norms and conventions. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. on the one hand.1. If there should be major differences.

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

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

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

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

to the awakening of religious conscience. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat. and 5. 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. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design.1. at the end of the unit. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. In this light.2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 3 How does the description “honest cheat” apply to Robinson Crusoe? Answer in no more than 8 lines / 80 words. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation.2. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). as a political or economic utopia. Gradually. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance..2.3. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 . Isolation is no longer a misfortune.2. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word.” 5. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. If it should differ considerably. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. read again subchapters 5. In his initial struggle with despair. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions.

Changed in his “notion of things..2. 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The celebration of homo faber characteristic Puritan tendency to self-scrutiny and introspection. 1. perspicacity. subchapter 5. 3. It has its spiritual rewards.” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise.g. Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value. if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience. 4.” desires and “delights. you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5. its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise. perseverance. He takes pleasure in his work). Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.. or the felix culpa*. as well as the fragment in the Reader. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction. as a self-reliant individual.2. 2. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour. at least four features of the hero’s character as they are illustrated by this description. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter. Enumerate. morally autonomous. with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. Like Adam. If you should fail to find any of the features mentioned there. the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall. You may render these features either by a single noun (e. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion. In this connection.. ingenuity). Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism. at the end of the unit. Robinson is cast out from the “edenic” safety and happiness of his father’s home into an uncertain world of toil. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work. SAQ 4 Read Text 5. in the space below. which will serve his instinct for independence. g.2.3. describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot. inventiveness.” However. or by a sentence (e.

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

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

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

and 5.6.2. read again attentively subchapters 5.”? Answer in the space left below. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. between hate and admiration. 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. though in quality [i.2. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. If there should be significant differences. to obey Mr.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. as a servant. at the end of the unit.8.e. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave.7.2. 5. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger.

events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. on the one hand. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. her sentimental response to them. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings.4. B_ follows a similar evolution. excerpted from Pamela. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. 1. however. which are captured in the process of their emergence.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. read again subchapter 5. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. on the other. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist.. and his developing love. at the end of the unit.2.9. in the Reader). The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. 2. In Pamela’s letters and diary. What counts. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will.. and considering also Text 5.

modest and gentle creature. Pope. but a voice external to the story. B_’s aunt. 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. burlesque and comic satire. above all. Joseph Andrews is presented as Pamela’s brother. More unexpected Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Lady Booby and Joseph Andrews (engraving by James Heath. required a narrator who should be no longer a character. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) 5. “written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes*. The careful narrative architecture of his novels. and the long central section of the novel – its picaresque part – describes Joseph’s adventures on the road. Fielding’s combination of realism and comedy inaugurated a lasting tradition of realistic fiction as an instrument of criticism of manners. but also by the maid. His rejection of both leads to his dismissal. they mirror a wide range of human types. Fielding was a master of parody. A somber discovery marks the climax of confusion: it appears that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. who opposes her brother’s marriage to a simple country-girl. 1790) 132 . started as a parody. Mrs. including Pamela and her husband. which is doubled by the fact that Joseph is pursued not only by the mistress. The result was the first comic novel of manners in England. and the first comprehensive literary picture of the manners and mentalities of the age. Parodic accents are revived: Pamela is not Richardson’s humble. Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Fielding is the creator of the novels of manners. Joseph’s sweetheart. He is also the first novelist who displayed a remarkable sense of form.1. whose servant he was. Abraham Adams. to his native village. Slipslop. His acknowledged literary models were Swift. and. Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend. in London. Omniscient narration afforded a comic vision of life. Fielding abandons parody. irony. the author asserts himself. priggish* upstart. emulating his sister in the exemplarity of his virtue.3. Cervantes.” Mr. Mr. Mr. but a snobbish. The hero’s companions are Parson Abraham Adams and Fanny Goodwill. All important characters meet here. performed by means of comic satiric devices. Booby. Treating seriously of male virtue results in comic effect. Through the omniscient* narrator.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.3. so that he sets out for home. as well as their inclusiveness. and he thought to propose his own version of morality. Lady Booby’s estate in Somersetshire is the scene for the novel’s last series of adventures. Fielding considered the Puritan morality preached by Rhichardson’s Pamela as narrow and ungenerous. Fielding uses the technique of reversal as a parodic device. At this point. His works are panoramic reflections of the age. author of Don Quixote” (1742). controlling the narrative and imposing his own values explicitly. relationships and actions. He is the object of seduction of “Lady Booby*.

read the text once more. carefully. which closes the plot. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. Cervantes. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. T F 6. T F 3. alluding thus to the older genre. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. T F 2. 1. Wilson. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration.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. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. Mr. is an ingredient of romantic plots. T F 7. whom they had met during their journey. at the end of the unit. 5. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. T F 5.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. which turns out to be gentle*. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction.5. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions.2. Read Text 5. in the spirit of comedy. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. Fielding likes to play with genres. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. for true or false) for each of them. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . T F 8. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. For instance. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. T F 4.3. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F.

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . through its moral and temperamental types. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel.3.5. 1.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. 3. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama.4.. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. Fielding is the most “Augustan. provide the first theory of the novel.. incorporated in the substance of his works. drawing short comparisons. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. at the end of the unit. 5. read again subchapters 5.3. Explain them. 5. 2. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. unaffected. He is a moralist.2. 5. and he believes.2. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. like many Augustan writers. At the same time. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation.4.. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech.3.2. and 5. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. If they should differ substantially.8. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony.. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. preoccupied with the reformation of manners.

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

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

in the Reader) attentively and explain why Tristram’s selfdescription as a “small HERO” suggests a tragi-comic vision of life. which enables man to keep a healthy spirit and to get around the evils of life by joking about them. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Sterne introduces the theme of Fortune – a theme which he will develop with a characteristic mixture of sentimental pathos and comic wit. If the difference is considerable.4. restricting it to 12 lines / 120 words. Ch. V. Write the answer in the space left below. 138 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It is a combination of wisdom and mirth*. I. To remember the features of the tragic hero. as well as the fragment from the Reader. at the end of the unit. Read this short chapter (Text 5.3. read again subchapter 5.6. see again the fall of princes.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel take a lightly ironic distance from suffering. in the Glossary to Unit 2.. SAQ 10 In Vol.

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

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

The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. If they differ significantly. at the end of the unit. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing.. and 5. 3.7. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. go again through subchapters 5.4. and read the fragment attentively once more.4. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. 2. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. Write them in the spaces indicated below. In this way.6. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 .5. which he discusses in the very text of the work. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Instead of continuing the story. 1.

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

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

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

4. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. in grading your paper. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. the king rejects this tribute. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. to revise the preceding unit. 3. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment.1. with special attention to subchapter 4. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule.4. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. clarity. as illustrated by this fragment. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. You will have. • the coherence. and 5. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. 1. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5.2. Text 5. SAA no. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. Text 4.. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. Horrified. In order to win the good graces of the king. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words.1. therefore.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself.. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. Remember that. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment.1. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). 2. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government.

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

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

Cornelia. 2003 (pp. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. 179-195. Allen. 76-80) 2. 712-718. 116127. A Critical History of English Literature. Daiches. David.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). 701-704. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Penguin Books Limited. 143-163. Macsiniuc. 731-736) 3. 37-42. 1991 (pp. 1969 (pp.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. The English Novel. 598-602. 53-59. Walter. vol. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 217-231. 43-46. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 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. 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. 6.2.3. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.4.2. The Seasons William Cowper.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6.1. 6. 6.4.1. 6. 6. Unit objectives English pre-Romantic poetry Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.4. 6. 6. 6. 6. 6. 6.3.2.

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

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

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

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

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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


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English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

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

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

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

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


English pre-Romantic poetry

Illustration to (1905 edition)

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.

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

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

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

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

in Blake’s last poem. a tribute to Milton. and his whole work.” He is a true Romantic in his belief that poetic creation is a spontaneous. The classical Muses were for him the “Daughters of Memory”*. His rebellion against the “systems” which limit the energies of the Imagination takes a literary form in his Prophetic Books*. and he denounces the evils of civilisation. He distrusted all systems of thought and institutions that restrained man’s freedom and imagination. Plate from the poem Jerusalem (1805-1820). 6.” asserting that ”Imagination has nothing to do with Memory. Blake was a rebel. They are.” Blake worshipped Imagination as the only true way to spiritual freedom. and he opposed to them the “Daughters of Inspiration. says. or be enslaved by another man’s.” or “I write when commanded by spirits. in which Blake creates a mythology of his own.” This is Blake’s own creed. in a way. which oppresses man in the name of Reason and Progress. for instance: “I copy Imagination. Like the other English Romantics. original and strange. 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. Los*.English pre-Romantic poetry innocence of man in his condition before the Fall – the “childhood” of humanity –. whom Blake (like the other Romantics) venerated. a prophet. One of Blake’s mythological creatures in these poems.2.4. is one of the most powerful assertions of Romantic creativity. He insisted on the visionary and inspired quality of his writings – he asserted. Jerusalem: “I must create a system. / I will not reason and compare: my business is to create. by William Blake 162 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the Romantic visionary Blake is also frequently assimilated to the first generation of Romantic poets. and whom he saw as the embodiment of the revolutionary impulse. unpremeditated act. Blake.

As the poet emphasises in the Introduction. 6. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence In 1789 – the year of the French Revolution –. What chiefly impressed Blake in Milton’s Paradise Lost was its astonishing display of classical-humanistic erudition. by their remarkable lyrical delicacy. these are “happy songs / Every child may joy [i. poetic creation was the spontaneous fruit of inspiration. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). If you have made mistaken choices. T F 7. The Echoing Green. As a poet. which are the expression of his Romantic rebellion against all forms of constraint. which echoed the rhythms of popular verse. T F 3.3. 163 Songs of Innocence (1789) Title page of Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Blake enjoyed a great popularity during his lifetime.e.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 Read the following sentences and identify the four true statements which describe features of Blake’s work. Blake’s works combine the handwritten text with picture and decoration – a technique that reminds of mediaeval manuscripts. T F 6. innocent delights. T F 5. of the world seen through the eyes of the child. The Blossom. echoing with laughter and sustained by love and by the belief in the goodness of nature. It was the year of a revolution in poetry as well. Spring. The extreme formal simplicity and the apparent lack of sophistication of these short poems anticipated the Romantic rejection of poetic diction*. The main influence in Blake’s work were the ancient Greek and Latin poets admired by the Augustans. The subchapter that follows will acquaint you with some of the poems illustrating Blake’s “double vision” in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. For Blake. with its repertoire of rhetorical conventions.4. 1. or Cradle Song offer a glimpse into a world filled with simple. and the three statements that are false. at the end of the unit. revise the whole subchapter. Songs of Innocence marked a new departure in English poetry. and its origin was visionary experience. Blake composed his first significant work: Songs of Innocence. enjoy] to hear. their clarity of expression and their musicality. T F 2. Blake is a creator of myths in his Prophetic Books. T F 4. the association of childhood with edenic nature is opposed to civilisation as the fallen condition of man.” They build a charming picture of the universe of childhood. that is. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The Shepherd. Poems like Infant Joy. Laughing Song.

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

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

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

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

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

English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience.. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. except as an act of remembering. at the end of the unit. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. revise subchapters 6.1. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. to 6. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted.2. and read the poem again more carefully.4. If there should be major differences between them.4. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 .7. but he is no longer able to do that. to regain the vision of Innocence.

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

because the life of the poor was not actually reflected in such official records. putting fences round) common land. enclosure: in the latter half of the 18th century. Initially. enclosed portions of land were turned into private parks and gardens. the nine Muses were indeed the daughters of Mnemosyne. Haunted castles. in Unit 4. the term “Gothic” referred to the mediaeval inspiration of such tales of mystery. favour melancholy or morbid themes. The Neoclassic principle of decorum did not. Gray is sadly ironic. Gothic novel: a type of fiction that emerged in opposition with the realistic novel in the 18th century. Imagination was free Energy. which has survived in parts of Scotland. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. ruins. The Celtic variety spoken in Ireland and Scotland is called Gaelic. for instance. civilisation rural universe primitivism melancholy sentimentalism humanitarianism childhood imagination Innocence and Experience double vision Glossary • • • annals: yearly record of events. passion. Their father was Zeus. or Erse. Sometimes. for the sake of more profitable farming. graveyards. the enclosures meant ruin. For the small farmers. Celtic: related to the Celts. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Ireland and Wales. chimney sweeper: in the 18th century. A tendency in 18th century poetry went precisely against this rule. The first Gothic novel was Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764). decorum: see subchapter 4. children were often employed for the cleaning of chimneys. the changes in agriculture led to the enclosing (i. which they could climb more easily. 171 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .English pre-Romantic poetry Key words ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● pre-Romantic nature vs. Energy: for Blake. It was a kind of work that contributed to the child mortality rate. and horror. and they were forced to find work in towns or to emigrate to America.e. Daughters of Memory: in Greek mythology.2.2. the members of an Indo-European people who inhabited Britain before the arrival of the Romans. while Reason was concerned with setting limits. Celtic refers also to the language spoken by the Celts. as the next subchapter will show. goddess of Memory.

1. philosophical and political convictions. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. in Unit 5. The Book of Los. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. Pity. See also subchapter 4. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics. in Unit 1. on which the Ten Commandments were written. orphaned children from the charity schools to St. etc. Among the most important of them are America. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. or of gold or silver paint.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. the 39th day after Easter. etc. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. Jerusalem. The Four Zoas.. Paul’s Cathedral. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people.3. in Unit 3. belonging to the beginnings. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. 2 in Unit 4. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. A Prophecy. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries.1. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics.2. to attend the religious service. primitive: original. The custom in London was to bring the poor. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1.3. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). wild landscapes. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. as well as against the sophistication. the Passions. with His laws formulated as interdictions. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. The Book of Urizen. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. Milton. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism.

• the coherence. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. • 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. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. 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). your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). and 6. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate. Send-away assignment no. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 .).8. The Chimney Sweeper.. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau.11. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. 6. gardens or estates.13. meant to win a patron’s favour.. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. with his law of love. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song. Remember that. clarity. in grading your paper. 6.12.9... 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment.10. 6. 6. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task.” usurous: from usury. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. SAA no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

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

I think. I hope. perfidious traitor*! deservest* thou to smart. I could have no notion of what it was to be so affected! But prayer. intrigă plainly în mod deschis. mai mult chiar to overcome a depăşi. 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. îndrăzneală crept to creep (crept): a se strecura. a înştiinţa mischief neajuns. before summons* came. In the diction.) couldst thou could you serve how couldst thou serve me thus? Cum ai putut să te porţi astfel? notice to give notice: a preveni. avertizare likewise de asemenea hadst (you) had thou hadst so well maintained thy post you put up resistance successfully avowed făţiş therefore aşadar. and resignation to the Divine Will. and therefore*. only dangerous attacks! After all. Joseph Andrews (Preface) Now. a se furişa to beseech (besought) a ruga cu stăruinţă. of which many instances will occur in these works […]. nicidecum traitor trădător (noun) deservest well …deservest thou to smart: you [i. for giving up so weakly. însemnare TEXT 5. mâhnire partial to având o slăbiciune pentru nay (literary) ba mai mult. and when likewise* thou hadst* so well maintained thy post* against the most violent and avowed*. sever grief durere. who had used me so hardly.5. în consecinţă to tear (tore. a implora grieved amărât. and introducing a greater variety of characters. and consequently. Yet. we have carefully excluded it from our sentiments and characters.Reader measure excuse me? I never before knew. mâhnit severe trial încercare grea unguarded imprudent tender years vârstă fragedă ye you (pl.e.) treacherous trădător (adj. a copleşi to be sure cu siguranţă to own a mărturisi presumption cutezanţă. a rupe memorandum notă. when I get home. differing from comedy. 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. or tear* it out of my writing. whereas the grave romance sets the highest* before us: lastly. burlesque itself may be sometimes admitted.my heart] fully deserve to suffer summons chemare. in this. necaz wert were inconsiderately (în mod) nesocotit. nechibzuit thyself yourself thy poor mistress biata ta stăpână (not) in the least câtuşi de puţin. in its sentiments and diction*. întristat. that as in the one these are grave and solemn. for there it is never properly introduced. a comic romance* is a comic epic poem* in prose. as I thought. în mod clar rigorous aspru. of inferior manners. torn) out a smulge. containing a much larger circle of incidents. It differs from the serious romance in its fable* and action. by preserving the ludicrous* instead of the sublime. But though we have sometimes admitted this in our diction. [Memorandum*. Henry Fielding. O my treacherous*. thy whole self. to consider of this. and to one too. I must either not show you this confession of my weakness. will enable me to get over this heavy trial. and the benefits of your good lesson and examples. unless* in writings of the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 203 .] plot uneltire. so in the other they are light* and ridiculous: it differs in its characters by introducing persons of inferior rank.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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