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 4.3. 4. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 2.1.3. 3. 2.3. 3.2. 3. 3. 2. 4.4.4. 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. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton. 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 3.1.Contents 2.2. 3.2.3. 4.4. 3.7. 3. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve.3.6. 2. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3.3. 3. 4.5. 3. 3.1.1. 4.3.3. 3.3. 4.1. 3.5. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. 5.3. 5. 4.2. 4.2. 5. 5. 5. 4. 5.2.3. 5. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.5.7. 4. 4.4. 5. 4. 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5. 5.4.Contents 4. 5. Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 5.1. 4. 5.2.4. 5.1.3. 4.8.3. 5.4.3. 5.2.2. 4.4. 5. 4.1. Gulliver. 5. 5.4. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 5. 5.1.5.

6. 6. 6.4.1. 6.4. 6.5. 6.4.3. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 6. The Seasons William Cowper. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 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.1.3. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6.4. 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. Gallery of personalities SAA No.3. 6.2. 6. 6.1. 6. 6.7. 6.4. 6.2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. 1.4.1. 1. 1. 1.5. 1.3. 1. 1. 1.1. 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1.4.2. 1. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 .

attitudes and practices. obscurantism and intolerance. the arts – all fields of human endeavour went through crucial transformations during the 17th century. in the latter part of the 17th century. as the Enlightenment is often described. philosophy. social and economic life. literature. 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. The intellectual scene Along the two centuries. 1. of the Enlightenment. science. 10 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The victory of Reason over dogmatism. The completion of this transition was to take place during the next age.1. mentalities. The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries constitute a complex period. radical changes occurred in intellectual habits and preoccupations. marked the entrance into modernity. The gradual achievement of political stability. in which the progress of England to modernity was steady in all fields. seen as extending up to the Restoration* (1660) were periods of gradual but irreversible changes in modes of thought. Culturally the two centuries correspond to two movements whose basic tendency was the emancipation of man: the Renaissance* and the Enlightenment*. of philosophical empiricism* determined to a great extent the attitudes to man in his relationship to society. colonial expansion and an extraordinary economic development made England. The end of “high Renaissance” (the flourishing of the Elizabethan* Age) and the “late Renaissance”. a powerful flourishing nation. the year of the Glorious Revolution*. at the end of this period. as well as the faith in progress. religion. The growing critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. The rise. nature and divinity during the Age of Reason.1. which in England is in fact considered to have started in 1688.1.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. Political. dramatic and prose genres and their main representatives in their proper literary-historical context within the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Unit objectives 1.

The moral philosophy of the Deists argued that man was innately good.2. was an evidence of the creator’s good will. It was a highly intellectualised religious approach. that human life be enriched by new discoveries and powers. working according to impersonal laws which testified to the supreme intelligence of the Creator. The Royal Society endeavoured.” God was seen as the prime cause of a harmonious universe. It was to be counter-balanced by the Evangelical Revival*.1. which was left to develop by itself on the basis of these perfect laws. under the patronage of Charles II. and it was essentially optimistic. a reaction against mysticism and obscurantism.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Francis Bacon It is also during these two centuries that modern science was born. a religious movement which aimed at reviving the Evangelical spirit and the ideal of Christian life. the “universal Architect. The optimism of the Deists extended to human nature. 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.” 1. and which encouraged emotional effusion as a way of achieving communion with God. Engaging in a variety of original scientific experiments. manifest in its rationally and experimentally discernible laws. to reconcile Reason and Faith. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 11 . This new faith – Deism. In his work Novum Organum (1620) he explicitly states that “The true and lawful goal of the sciences is simply this. His well-known maxim “Knowledge is Power” points to the utilitarian conception of the role of science. Deists believed that the admirable order of the universe. initiated by Isaac Newton and John Locke*. endowed with a sixth sense: the moral sense. when The Royal Society “for the improving of Natural Knowledge” was founded. in a systematic effort. Deism attempted to give a rational foundation to religious thought. in 1662. the capacity of distinguishing right from wrong. combined the traditional confidence in the divine infinite wisdom with the intellectual spirit of the age. The scientific discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton*. had important philosophical and theological implications: the universe was now conceived as a perfect mechanism.” This idea will be echoed several decades later. in particular. or Natural Religion –. It was a rational alternative to religious dogmatism. 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). to “overcome the mysteries of all the works of Nature” and to apply that knowledge “for the benefit of human life.

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

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

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

you need to revise subchapter 1. 4. 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. James Thomson. religious faith – John Donne. for instance. It favoured conciseness. 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 3. George Herbert. Robert Herrick). If you have failed to make the right match. and it made extensive use of wit. at the end of the unit.2.3. …influenced English literary Neoclassicism. the ode*. or his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). combining classical restraint with force of argument and expressive clarity. original or translated epics. or meditative-descriptive poems like James Thomson’s The Seasons (1726-1730) or William Cowper’s The Task (1785). A “metaphysical” strain exists in Shakespeare’s final period of creation. Thomas Carew. concentration. Its name refers to a certain Metaphysical expressive strategy. and the Puritan Andrew Marvell must also be included here. John Dryden (in the former). The common vehicle for it was the heroic couplet – two rhyming The Augustan heroic lines containing a complete statement. the pastoral* lyric. in a variety of poetical forms: philosophical poems. which departed from the artificiality and poetry conventionalism of most Elizabethan poetry. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 15 . but English poets varied the highly conventional form of this kind of poem. the blank verse* – on the model of Milton in his great Blank verse epic* Paradise Lost (1667) – was extensively used in the 18th century. …addressed itself to learned readers. in its various forms – the song*. Alexander Pope. Apart from the classical poetic forms that survived into the Restoration and the Augustan Age. continued to be used throughout the 17th and 18th centuries: John Milton. The evolution of poetic forms The lyric. It appealed both to the intellect and to the emotions. In parallel. conveyed by means of a rich variety of rhetorical effects. acquainted with the great classical authors and works. Other lyric forms endured: the ode. They approached other themes besides love: e. A remarkable poetic development in the first half of the 17th century was the metaphysical poetry (John Donne. by the Romantic poets. Its perfect mastery is illustrated by works like Pope’s didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711). tight logical coherence and striking imagery. The sonnet fell into disuse during the late Renaissance and it was revived only towards the end of the 18th century. The heroic couplet was the perfect verse couplet structure of the Age of Reason. The chief model for The sonnet sequence Renaissance soneteers was Petrarch* and his love sonnets to Laura. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The most Renaissance lyric enduring poetic achievements of the early 17th century is the forms sequence of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609). the sonnet* – dominated Renaissance poetry. or religion and politics – John Milton. Thomas Gray and William Collins (in the latter). which are illustrative of a pre-Romantic* cross-current.g. Andrew Marvell.

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

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

read again subchapters 1. or in Philaster (1609) by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. his comedies become darker. Shakespeare’s Elizabethan phase included a number of exquisite romantic comedies. the satirical comedy. dealing with middle or lower class life and concentrating on personal and domestic maters – unlike “grand” tragedy. T F 7. at the end of the unit. The English play-house during the Renaissance accommodated a diverse audience. Ben Jonson* illustrates another form. T F 4. circle the appropriate letter: T (true) or F (false). intended to correct vices and follies by denouncing them. For each sentence. in the last period of creation. T F 2. His best plays. reflecting. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic example of domestic tragedy. The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) are social comedies of city life.4.1. identifying the four true ones. The mixture of serious and comic elements results in tragicomedy. 1. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson are the great masters. though each in a different way.2. centred on the theme of love. the hierarchy of English society. SAQ 4 For a revision of some important features of Renaissance English drama. and 1. T F 3. reminds of the fascinating villain-heroes of the Renaissance revenge tragedies by his extraordinary ambition and boldness.4. T F 6. but. in Paradise Lost. or The Silent Woman (1609). T F 5. Epicoene.4. T F Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 18 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The Jacobean and Caroline authors of revenge tragedies had Seneca as their model. or at least tinged with bitterness. If you have failed to identify the true statements.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background A distinct type in late Renaissance drama is domestic tragedy. as in All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-3) or Measure for Measure (1604-5). in miniature. whose fall from eminence marks the destruction of an order. Volpone (1606). read the following statements. Renaissance tragedy had four acts – a structure borrowed from Seneca. with its noble characters. as in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) or The Winter’s Tale (1610-11). The hero of revenge tragedy often destroys himself in his desire to right a wrong done to him or to another. Seneca’s tragedies inspired Jacobean and Caroline authors in the representation of atrocities on stage. 1. a genre which will survive into the 18th century. Comedy in the early 17th century In the field of comedy. Milton’s Satan.

In The Rehearsal (1671). John Gay. The School for Scandal.g. 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. 1665.4. Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The drama of sensibility – with sentimental comedy as its dominant type – emerged as a reaction to the Restoration comedy. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. 1773). 1769). of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. a stylish and sophisticated world. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. She Stoops to Conquer. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. 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. Duke of Buckingham. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. or The Mistakes of a Night. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society.4.4. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. George Villiers. 1768. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. Heroic plays. who demanded models of virtue and decency. Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies.3. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. 1722). and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. Under the influence of French tragedies. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. were a passing extravagance. but it appealed to a wide middle class public. mocks at certain theatrical conventions. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. Henry Fielding). which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays.g. The Conquest of Granada. 1775. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. 1669-70). but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. for instance. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . 1777). Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. too.

4. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit.4. If there should be major differences between them. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays. to 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background SAQ 5 What are the main varieties of comedy during the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least five of them in the space below.4. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. revise subchapters 1.2. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . together with their most outstanding representatives.

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).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. Here. the essay* proved the most flexible. another Latin influence began to mould English prose style: that of Seneca and Tacitus*. Thomas Hobbes* and John Locke also insisted on the necessity of a language at once flexible and precise. Francis Bacon was the first notable writer to plead for – and to illustrate – a prose style more suited for intellectual argument. The English translation of the Bible – the “Authorised Version” of 1611. English as an instrument of literary and intellectual communication still competed with classical Latin. More and more. This allegorical expression of Puritan faith. Sermons were a widely popular form of prose-writing. 1625) are prose classics in English literature. a precious and highly ornate language. the virtues of common speech permeated the language of all kinds of writings. he describes the Christian soul’s search for salvation in the form of an allegorical journey along the path of life. The evolution of prose style At the beginning of the 17th century. weaknesses. suitable for conveying “the knowledge of things” and intelligible to the average Englishman. with its illustration to simplicity and natural flow of common speech. displaying a variety of styles. with its trials. prepared the English language for a variety of uses: in scientific. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 21 . contributing essentially to the forging of a more straightforward and simple style. on clarity and rationality. blending concision with wit. religious writings are particularly important. Later in the century. The Pilgrim’s Progress Among the prose forms widely used for intellectual argument. The language of prose tended to become plain and transparent. influenced immensely Bunyan’s the language of prose. prose works written in English displayed a highly rhetorical style. 1612.1. Journalism as a form of prose writing emerged during the Civil War and flourished during the 18th century. Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Of the literary forms that contributed significantly to the development of English prose. temptations. Francis Bacon’s Essays (1597. Under the influence of Latin – especially of Cicero* –. The development of an aphoristic style*. deliberately artificial and intricate. Influence of Latin on prose style The prose of intellectual argument 1. Gradually. wealth and freshness greatly influenced the language of prose. in which rhetorical figures were subordinated to rational lucidity. in political tracts and pamphlets. the universal language of the Renaissance.5.5. as the growing complexity of life increased the need for social and intellectual communication. philosophical and theological writings. struggles and William Blake: aspirations. The rhetorical extravagance and ingenuity which had still dominated the early 17th century (not only in prose). gave way to an ideal of prose style more suited to the Age of Common Man. accomplished under the patronage of James I – established a model of English whose beauty.

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

5. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. If there should be major differences between them. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 . intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular. obscurantism and intolerance. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. Culturally. more carefully.. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Within these two centuries. at the end of the unit. these two centuries correspond. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. The victory of Reason over dogmatism. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century. Within these two centuries.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. the image of the universe was changed. 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. as well as the faith in progress.5. between which there is continuity.1. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4. This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England. modern science was born. roughly. and 1. read again subchapters 1. you will learn more about the periodical essay.

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

• epic: long narrative poem celebrating the achievements of heroic personages. This return to the Ancients is the foundation of Renaissance humanism. Thinkers like Thomas Hobbes.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. by the promotion of intellectual emancipation and the belief in social and moral progress. Tolerance. • empiricism: a philosophical orientation which established the primacy of experience in the process of knowledge.e. or from history. legend. John Locke. reconciling a materialist account of reality with a rationalist attitude (i. it evokes an attitude to life which stresses the individual’s dignity. the conviction that reality is ordered according to laws that are accessible to human reason). • Evangelical Revival: a trend which started within the Anglican Church (the official. the folk tradition. widely used in all ages. social contract. which began as an educational programme (the humanities – humaniora) propagating those values in Greek and Latin culture which could be harmonised with Christian values.C. • Enlightenment: ideological and cultural movement in the 18th century in Europe and America. and by the search for a model of society in which man’s rights and duties should be exercised in freedom. Montesquieu. • classical revival: the intellectual. The founder of the revival of classical learning was Petrarch (see note below). The founders of English empiricism were Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and John Locke (1632-1704). Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Paine (the United States) are among the great representatives of this movement. and contributed to the intellectual preparation of the French Revolution (1789). in which personal opinions and observations are presented in a formal or informal manner. In a broader sense. Concepts like human rights. humanism.): “Man is the measure of all things”. the humanism of the Renaissance refers to a view of life which we find summarised in the maxim of the Greek philosopher Protagoras (480-410 B. The subjects and heroes are taken either from myth. Voltaire. state church) as a reaction against the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 25 • . The victory of the Parliamentary forces led to the abolition of monarchy in 1649. characterised by anti-dogmatism and the cult of reason as the supreme guiding principle in human action. The open conflict between king and Parliament set the whole nation to war. separation of powers were central to Enlightenment political. • essay: a prose composition of varying length. Diderot (France). pragmatism. worth and capacity for self-accomplishment. civil rights. individual liberty. anti-obscurantism. social and moral thought. • Elizabethan: related to the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). until 1660. Rousseau. David Hume (Britain). illustrating the close link between religion and politics in English history. artistic and literary life of the Renaissance was defined by a revived interest in the classical culture and its ideals. when it was restored. rejection of arbitrary authority and of absolutism are some of the characteristic attitudes of this age. anti-fanaticism. It is one of the most flexible and adaptable prose forms. natural law.

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

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

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

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

d.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general. Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers. Thomson. 7. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică.T. Goldsmith. Cornelia. Cowley. Sir George Sedley. The English Eighteenth Century. John Gay Further reading 1. 5.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. Pope. Fielding. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech. Milton the pastoral: Milton. 4. 1983 (pp. Blake the ode: Marvell. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Marvell satire: Dryden.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1. 5. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. John Vanbrugh). c. there was a tendency towards simplicity. Herrick. 9-32) 2. 4. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. 8. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate. Donne. Duke of Buckingham. Collins. precision.F.T. Milton.T. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson. Preda. Dryden. William Wycherley. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. Macsiniuc.T.4.T. 6. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare. The Novel in Its Beginnings.T.F. Sir George Etherege.T.). The Literature of the Beginnings. 2003 (pp. Marvell.F. 2003 (pp.3. artificial.2. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 7-49) 3. 2. Pope. Luminiţa Elena. 3. Ioan-Aurel (ed. English Literature and Civilisation.T SAQ 2 a. 2. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style. the sonnet: Shakespeare.F. Herbert. . 6. Carew. Dryden. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele. 3.T. Turcu. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne. b. Goldsmith. 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. 2.3.8. 2. 2.3.1. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs.2.2.3. 2.2. 2. 2. 2.7. 2. 2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2. 2.2.10. 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 . 2.5. 2. 2. 2.

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

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

you will be acquainted. Metaphysical poetry blends passion and reason. SAQ 1 Fill in the spaces left below with those features of the Baroque (B) which contrast with the following features of the high Renaissance (R): 1. read again the preceding subchapters. exuberance B: Compare your answers to those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be major differences. complicated feeling and analytical detachment. at the end of this unit. as well as some of the metaphysical poems of John Donne and Andrew Marvell. optimism. The Tempest. with the two most relevant accomplishments of the late Renaissance English literature: William Shakespeare’s great tragedies (Hamlet. R: confidence. In the following two subchapters.The late Renaissance and the Baroque complexities. R: celebration of life’s joys B: 3. 34 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . as expressions of the baroque spirit of the age. King Lear. Othello and Macbeth) and his last romance play. classical balance. respectively. and it is appealing simultaneously to the sensibility and the intellect of the reader. sense of form B: 4. R: vision of the world as harmonious and well-ordered B: 2. R: cult for order and symmetry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and unmotivated violence and cruelty. / It weeps. one of Duncan’s sons. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality.6.2. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. kinsman and guest. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . ____________________ 2.2. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. to 2. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). underlining the theme of knowledge. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. who has a trusting nature. ____________________ 5. The protagonist. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. illusion and truth. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. innocence and corruption. disorder. 1. If any of your solutions should not correspond. Macbeth. ____________________ 3.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. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood.7.2. but. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. ____________________ 4. 2. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. you need to revise subchapters 2. paradoxically. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. he multiples his crimes. it bleeds. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne.2. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. at the end of the unit. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. The baroque motif of madness is. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. at the instigation of his wife.

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

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

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

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

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

Their styles are different. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies.2. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music. T F 6. You must find them among the following statements.2. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. at the end of the unit. revise subchapters2. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. T F 3. 2. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. T F 4. T F 2.9 to 2. in his own way. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century. except that of terrifying him.3. was first intended to bring discredit on them. of which three are false. T F 7. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. The power of music has no effect on Caliban. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 . 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. Prospero had lost his power as the duke of Milan because his studies distanced him from the immediate world which he was supposed to rule. but each of them. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. If any of your choices should be wrong. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 1. T F 5.12.

3. The impression is that this experience. and almost always such a poem starts from a very personal situation. which starts from a comparison. which was in fact the expression of a new spiritual context.e. the poet was able to reconcile contradictory states of mind and feeling. to bring not only his imagination and emotion into play. By means of conceits. Samuel Johnson* was to describe (in 1779) the kind of wit which characterised a metaphysical conceit as discordia concors*. with patterns of rhythms closer to those of spoken language than to the requirements of literary tradition. A poem in this tradition is usually focused on an idea or line of argument. from a most ordinary circumstance. often extended by the use of hyperbole* or oxymoron*. Starting with the last decade of the 16th century. In spite of its logical. but also his reason. which is developed through the exploitation of an image in all its possible implications. linked. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Discordia concors 48 . Dr.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2.2.” A new kind of poetry emerged. that the poet detaches himself from his own feelings in order to better understand and analyse them. argumentative quality. secret] resemblances in things apparently unlike. The reader is expected to approach such a poem with an active mind. Irrespective of the kind of experience they endeavour to render. a cold intellectual exercise. meant to surprise and delight the reader by their wit*. united] by violence together. and a blend of the commonplace and the sublime. regardless of the subject of the poem. and which blended expressive conciseness with density of meaning. is contemplated from a certain distance. This is an elaborate figurative device. as well as in ordering and mastering intense emotion. and to unify diverse and even discordant aspects of inner and outer reality into a single experience. and the emotions involved.” as “the most heterogeneous ideas yoked [i. a metaphysical poem is not a piece of abstract thinking. Characteristics of metaphysical poetry Metaphysical poetry displayed a new quality of writing.3. conceits were abundant in Elizabethan dramatic and lyrical poetry. as “a combination of dissimilar images. As extended comparisons. hidden. The metaphysical conceit The poetic device by which such opposites are brought together and reconciled is the conceit. The main features of metaphysical poetry are concentration and logical coherence. a metaphor or an analogy. The thought goes hand in hand with the feeling. by the ingenuity with which they forced the perception of similarity in the most unexpected elements. a demand for “more matter and less words. but metaphysical conceits were far-fetched* comparisons. or discovery of occult [i. all metaphysical poets are self-conscious and analytic.e.1.” Conceits were effective instruments in developing an argument and in rendering complication and subtlety of thought. writers had to face a new exigency. which helps the poet to develop his subject. There is always a connection between the abstract and the concrete. “More matter and less words” 2.

the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. and allegory.3. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. In the treatment of both themes. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. If they should differ considerably. 2. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. its decorative use of classical mythology. pastoral* conventions. and 2. In the following subchapters.3. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words.1. and the same realistic force. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. Use the space left below. revise subchapters 2.2. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. at the end of the unit.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. and a highly original one.

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

you need to revise subchapter 2. paying special attention to the last three stanzas. Formulate your answer in the space left below. in no more than 18 lines / 180 words. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 51 . Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit.2. Explain the surprising analogy that he makes in order to speak about mutual love.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 9 Read Donne’s poem (Text 2.3. which explains what a metaphysical conceit is. as well. Read the poem again.6. in the Reader). he develops one of his most famous conceits. Here. If they should differ significantly..

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

living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. Marvell left.7.5. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.3. 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. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. Donne suggests his contradictory. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . nature. and read the poem again. from the Reader. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. at the end of the unit. and love of country. In the last six lines. As a Puritan* patriot. 2. according to some critics. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. If there should be significant differences. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. revise subchapter 2.6.

in contrasting colours. His nature poems have usually a mystical tendency. A natural detail. and many of his poems reveal his delight in the contemplation of rural nature. He showed a deep love for the countryside. What begins as a nature poem is extended into a religious poem by means of a metaphysical conceit. Just as the dew-drop is “trembling. King Charles I Stuart. anticipating the early Romantic attitude to nature. in this respect. Marvell does not portray Oliver Cromwell and his opponent. The most illustrative poem. a masterpiece of metaphysical wit. Marvell often sees. the most accomplished is To His Coy Mistress.” associated with his mistress’s preference for a prolonged courtship. pictured with remarkable precision. on the scaffold.7. reveals thus its symbolic dimension to the poet’s contemplative mind. and thus he can find reason to praise both of them. shyness] and accept his passionate love.” and finally dissolves itself “into the glories of the almighty Sun.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) Its classical perfection manages to hold in balance the ambivalence of attitude and the complication of thought characteristic of the metaphysical trend. as if Nature itself were a “mystic book. which begins with a most accurate description of a dew-drop on a rose petal.” whose visible beauties are the key to spiritual truths. Marvell emphasises the dignity with which the defeated king met his fate. in which both of them act according to a divine order. for fear that it might grow] impure. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Carpe diem 54 . The theme of love in Marvell’s poetry Of Marvell’s love poems. He rather sees the events and the fate of the two rulers in the context of a providential history. developed then into a complex analogy with the pure Christian soul and its relation with earth and with heaven. On the other hand. lest it grow [i.” so the Christian Soul denies the earth and its “impure” pleasures. Nature as “mystic book” Another side of Marvell’s poetic personality is illustrated by his nature poetry. It is a seduction poem. 2. Gifted with a sharp sense of observation of natural detail. aspiring to union with almighty God. these details as emblems of a transcendent reality.e. behaving with royal grace in his last minute. On a Drop of Dew 2.3. The carpe diem* motif was popular in Renaissance poetry.3. to change the form of ruling power). but Marvell’s poem extends it into a meditation on time. The speaker’s argument opposes the “deserts of vast eternity. in which the speaker develops an ingenious argument in order to persuade his mistress to give up her coyness [i.e. Although loyal to the Puritan cause. which illustrates the poet’s skill in combining the playful and the serious.8. 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. is On a Drop of Dew. however.

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

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

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

2.4.6. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton.4.4. 3.4.1. 3.1. 3. 3.1.5.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. 3. 3.2. 3. 3. 3.3. 3. 3. 3. 3.3. 3.2.3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3.5.1. 3.

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

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

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

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

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

and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. and of leaving to posterity an undying work. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. and the two sonnets. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. read again subchapter 3. Virgil. Dante* –. when he was already blind. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. respectively.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet.2.1. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. If there should be significant differences. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza).3. at the end of the unit.4. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. and he worked at it over several years. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. 3. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. in the Reader).2. and 3.

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

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

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

Milton displays an extraordinary evocative power. and he explicitly warns Adam: “remember. and fear to transgress!” 3. It is interesting that.” and reminds him that obedience to his Maker means enjoying the present happy state. instigated by Lucifer. in the multitude of its phenomena and living forms. in order to prolong his guest’s visit.The works of John Milton 3. as this diminished W. whose pride had been hurt when God proclaimed His Son the “Messiah. not before repeating his warning. and most evident in the treatment of the fall of Adam and Eve. he tells him about his own experiences after he was created.” Raphael leaves them. that cannot change]. space]” left by the fallen angels. and its impulse was God’s desire to create “good out of evil. Raphael’s warning to Adam In Book V. 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. The creation of the world Raphael also tells Adam the story of the creation of the world and of man. and.” and that this happiness depends on his free will. both in the large-scale description of the making of celestial bodies or in the sublime picture of the primal waters. Blake: The downfall of the his own power and pre-eminence. Adam admits that. In Milton’s interpretation. Raphael tries to restrain Adam’s curiosity about “things above this world. so that he may know more about his enemy. The six days of the biblical Genesis are developed by Milton into an impressive poetic vision.e.” to fill in the “vacant room [i. with her “absolute” loveliness and grace.e. sweetness. The idea of Good coming out of Evil is central to Paradise Lost.4. King Anointed*”. Raphael once again advises him against trying to penetrate the secrets of the “great Architect.3. The rest of Book V and Book VI are a retrospective account of the war in Heaven. sent by God.” for the evocation of the making of the world. Adam asks Raphael to tell him the story of the fallen angels. and about his perfect happiness in the company of “divinely fair” Eve. in Milton’s poem. Satan. the “divine historian. in Book VII. without aspiring to know things above his power of understanding. the divine creation took place after the fall of Lucifer. after the defeat of the rebel angels. not immutable [i. innocence and “virgin modesty.” Man himself was created as a “better race. the angel Raphael.4.4. In Book VIII. He draws Adam’s attention that God has made him “perfect.” He explains to Adam that true wisdom lies in the desire to know those things which directly concern one’s own being. and wishes to know more about the celestial motions. visits Adam in Paradise to warn him about the danger from Satan. Adam is grateful to Raphael. and in the description of more familiar details of earthly Nature. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural The divine creation: Good coming out of Evil 72 . 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.

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

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

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

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

at the end of the unit. while Adam has more in common with a tragic hero. The heroes of Paradise Lost Many critics have remarked the paradox that the heroic spirit of Milton’s epic is embodied in Satan. which they fully assume. read the fragment again. It may be argued. more carefully.The works of John Milton SAQ 6 Text 3. in the Reader represents the ending of Paradise Lost. If they should differ in major points. 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.9. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. that both Satan and the human couple are heroic – each in a different way in their endurance of the bitter consequences of their sin. 3.5. however. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 77 .

he naturally assumes the role of a leader. 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. Before his fall. and his extraordinary courage “never to submit or yield” inspires his followers. In Hell. 78 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and he finds inner strength only in the intensity of his hatred.The works of John Milton 3.1. Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell The most fascinating of Milton’s heroes is undoubtedly Satan.e.” as he cannot help comparing their bliss with his own condition in Hell. William Blake remarked that Satan is Milton’s most accomplished creation. and that Milton gave the full measure of his literary genius in the character of Satan because he instinctively supported the idea of freedom. he had been the first Archangel. where there is “neither joy nor love. This sight is for him “hateful” and “tormenting. but for him freedom does not mean equality: among the rebel angels. he is envious of God’s omnipotence.5. Pride is one of Satan’s most prominent features in Pride and ambition Paradise Lost. In moments when the fallen angels feel despair at having lost Heaven. He displays majesty and grandeur even in his fallen condition. “great in power / In favour and pre-eminence. but he also knows that this freedom is a form of punishment. “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. He is envious Envy and hate of God’s Son and His title as King of Heaven. From the beginning of the poem. Over a century after the poem’s publication. This is why he is in a continual state of frustration and anger.” Envy accompanies Satan’s thirst for power. unwilling to serve a power that he considered tyrannical. and his longing for the delights of his former existence torments him like an inner hell. since it is accompanied by suffering and torment. Satan seems to comfort himself with the thought that at least he is free. in whom they saw an embodiment of the spirit of freedom and of resistance to tyrannical oppression. the Romantic poets were to establish the view that Satan is actually the main hero. and his great ambition is “to reign. made happy in their innocent love. Satan appears indeed as a champion of freedom. Satan knows how to inflame again their ambition of re-ascending and their thirst for revenge.” only the pain of longing and unfulfilled desire.

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

revise subchapters 3. “A mind not to be changed by time or place.) B.2.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A. and read the indicated fragment again.1. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words.5. and 3.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.5. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero. in Hell. “and “The mind is its own place.. If there are significant differences. Read the whole fragment carefully. at the end of the unit.3.

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

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

at any time. Subchapter 3. however. Baroque: see the Glossary in Unit 2.The works of John Milton in two of his sonnets. the creation of the world and of man. the fall of man and the loss of Paradise. his love of freedom. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 83 . Adam and Eve are treated both with the typical Renaissance admiration for man’s potential and virtues. 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.3. offers a brief presentation of the subject and structure of the poem. as a sign of consecration or sanctification. put in the service of evil. In Milton’s vision of the original sin. but also in which man may. Milton justifies the fall of man and his exile from Paradise in the context of a providential history. and with the Christian compassion for their unhappy choice. and the promise of man’s reconciliation with God through the sacrifice of Christ.” and its great Christian theme is that of felix culpa. in which divine grace will eventually turn all evil into good. Civil War: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.5. Undoubtedly. the most fascinating and complex creation is Satan – Lucifer in his fallen condition. apprenticeship: the training for a trade or for any kind of activity. The central events in Milton’s epic are the fall of Lucifer and of the rebel angels.4. The declared aim of Milton’s epic is “to justify the ways of God to men. Milton emphasises his fortitude and strength of will. which are. concerns itself with Milton’s heroes in Paradise Lost. Satan is dominated by powerful negative passions which keep him the prisoner of an inner hell. His destructive energy represents a negation of the creative power of the divine word. Subchapter 3. which interprets poetically key moments in biblical history and elements of biblical mythology. be tested for the responsibility which must accompany the exercise of his free will. presented in subchapter 3. his courage and majesty. and the culmination of his poetic achievement as a Christian humanist. Milton’s impressive epic poem Paradise Lost (1667) is the fruit of his mature vision.

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

The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B.5. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. At the beginning of Book IV. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. Texts 2. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. and 2. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. 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. romantic in The Tempest –.). whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. In both of them. 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. in Milton’s Paradise Lost.2..3.4. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed.2.6. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul.. • Read attentively this fragment. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. A revision of subchapter 3. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan.1. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3.1. 2. God’s creation. before the final battle. and the last paragraph of 2. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve.2. Text 3. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. one of the greatest Roman poets. 1. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration).C. and thus of destroying man. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. at the end of the play. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. in which he explores his inner hell. 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 . Send-away assignment no.

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

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

4.3.2 4. 4. 4. 4. 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. 4.1.2. Gulliver. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3. 4. 4. 4.4.6. 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.2.4. 4.1. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 4.1. 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. 4.4. 4. 4.

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

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

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

Read the statements below and identify five true ones. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). such as the impoverished gallant. frivolity.4. T F 9. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. William Congreve. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*.3. T F 7. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. 1. refinement and sophistication.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. hedonism and amorality at Court. T F 4. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. It displays typical Restoration characters.1. read again subchapters 4. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). T F 5. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. to 4. at the end of the unit. simple action. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. T F 3. T F 8. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances.1.1. 4.1. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . elegance. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. Restoration comedy praised wit. by doing the exercise that follows. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. T F 6. T F 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. If there should be major discrepancies. read again subchapter 4. 3. 2.1. 1. more carefully. a cultivated mind and superior understanding. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3. which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration. cheerful disposition. common sense. Identify at least eight such features. 8. 6. at the end of the unit. 5.The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club. 4. 7. and write them in the indicated spaces below. it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion. Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions. The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. folly.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. 4.4. The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time. greed. hypocrisy. Pope.1. king David. are mingled: the evil conspirator. and satire became their formidable weapon.4. its cult of reason and common sense. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne. 1743). and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden. disloyal and excessively ambitious. Political and religious dissensions. Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury. It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. genuinely gifted for leadership. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart. struggle for power and profit. the Duke of Monmouth. Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. intrigues. urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. Bayes*. 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 . Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets. Samuel. 4. 15-18). turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. from political and social life.4. stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. to religious debates and literary practices.2. in which Dryden’s praise and criticism. The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II. often touched by ironic humour. appears also as a stormy spirit. selfishness. a passionate. The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury. admiration and condemnation. contradictions and dark aspects. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682). with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation. brave and fearless man. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness.

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

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

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

jumping over or creeping under a stick. the frustrated idealist After the comic-disturbing examples of unreason witnessed in his third voyage. In the Yahoos. vain. he sees ideal creatures. his real humiliation is caused by the unflattering contrast between his own race and civilisation. Their non-human shape suggests that the absence of passion. etc. and his position in that strange land is highly ambiguous. Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia In the first two books of Gulliver’s Travels.4. by dancing on a rope. issues or figures. to integrate Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 107 . and the utopian commonwealth of Brobdingnag. He is no longer certain of the essence of his own nature. of the capacity for affection. in his last adventure. The Lilliputians’ physical smallness is accompanied by moral flaws – they prove to be mean.5.6.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. In the Houyhnhnms. from which he chooses to leave. In Brobdingnag. ruled by an enlightened monarch.). as he is in permanent danger from creatures so much larger than him. Their society is deeply divided by absurd dissensions: for example. Dissenters and Catholics. The Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms are a double mirror for Gulliver. Political corruption is institutionalised (for example. but their universe is completely deprived of emotion and feeling. These comic details are satirical allusions to contemporary or recent events. forgetting that man holds a middle place in the Great Chain of Being*. means de-humanisation. the highest offices in the state are obtained by those who know how to entertain the king best.4. and he realises how far man is from moral perfection. However. The fourth voyage. with its religious controversies among Anglicans. etc. its thirst for war – the endless conflict with France. cruel and hypocritical. governed only by reason. The Houyhnhnms may be an allegorical embodiment of moral perfection attained through the exercise of pure reason. between those who wear shoes with high heels and with low heels. or between those who break a boiled egg at the round end – the "Big Endians" – and those who break it at the pointed end). with the hardest dilemma and the deepest humiliation. In spite of Gulliver’s dimensions (an allegorical representation of his complex of superiority). his vulnerability increases. 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. Gulliver. its political parties – Whigs and Tories –. The error of Gulliver* is that he adopts an impossible deal of perfection. ambitious. he is actually physically vulnerable in this world. Gulliver is confronted. Gulliver’s failure to accept the mixed essence of man. he contemplates with shame and despair all the imperfections of the human race. physical size indicates allegorically features of human nature. Gulliver in Brobdingnag 4. and they constitute a miniature picture of England.

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

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

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

it may also refer to a woman’s lover. 111 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . For instance. Dulness as “Great Anarch” is the ruler of spiritual chaos. dress or behaviour which is not natural. his craftsmanship. affectation: a manner of speech.” where Dryden would come regularly. In her empire of darkness and confusion. profession or interest. They were usually frequented by people of the same social rank. Augustan: see Augustan Age in the Glossary in Unit 1. “Will’s Coffee House. well-dressed man. but is intended to impress others. political or religious orientation. gathered people of the literary profession or interested in literary matters. acquiring quickly the status of real “institutions” of opinion. they were convenient places for socialising and for the dissemination of news. baroque: see again subchapter 2.1. and the Glossary in Unit 2. which designated a fashionable. in the 2nd Book of Kings (verses 15-18). art: in the Neoclassic doctrine. beaux: plural of beau (“handsome” in French). the acquired competence of the writer.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Key words • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The Restoration The Augustan Age heroic tragedy comedy of manners Neoclassicism rationalist poetics Nature/Human Nature art wit to delight and instruct periodical essay The Spectator’s Club satire allegory utopia irony Glossary • • • Achitophel: the story of Absalom and Achitophel is told in The Old Testament. Art may generally refer to the work of man. achieved by training and practice.1. all the acquisitions of the human spirit become meaningless. In Pope’s satire. greatly concerned with appearances. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1. coffee houses: since the 1650s. Anarch: a personification of anarchy. admirer. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. or escort. or human skill (as contrasted to the work of Nature).

Pope replaced Theobald by Colley Cibber. justice of the peace: a person appointed by the crown to judge less serious cases in small courts of law. Bayes: a name which was frequently applied satirically to a writer. which conceived of every being in nature as having its well-established place in an uninterrupted chain of increasing degrees of complexity.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • comedy of humours: see Jonson in the Glossary in Unit 1.4. surviving through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the 18th century. characters were constructed on the basis of a particular disposition. Great Chain of Being: an ancient world-picture. dulness: in a strict sense.e. or “humour. a word designating a person who is stupid or slow to learn. honour. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. but to the whole of created reality. licentiousness: uncontrolled sexual behaviour. mock-heroic epic: see mock-heroic style and epic in the Glossary in Unit 1. trait .” which means easy to fool or persuade to believe something (from “to gull”: to cheat. shortness of sight or imperfect sense of things. In the 1743 version of The Dunciad. heroic tragedy: see again subchapter 1. unexciting. to deceive). a strictly ordered hierarchical system. who in 1730 had become Poet Laureate. figuratively: undeveloped or inactive.” diction : see poetic diction in the Glossary in Unit 1. “Dull” also means uninteresting. in which the destruction of one “link” would bring chaos.3 in Unit 1. Mr. fallow: (about land) left unplanted or unseeded. Bayes. landscape. Dunciad: the title is coined after The Iliad. referring not only to external nature. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. fop: a man who is excessively concerned with fashion and elegance. In this kind of comedy. boring.” another word for “laurel”. Pope uses the word in the enlarged sense of “all slowness of apprehension. Dryden himself had been attacked several times as “Mr. hedonism: a lifestyle devoted to the seeking of sensual pleasure. In Pope’s satire. and distinction. Gulliver: the name sounds very similar to the adjective “gullible.3 in Unit 1 (heroic drama).” a “force inertly strong” which corrupts understanding and confuses the mind.” Nature: an inclusive concept. the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 112 . who had criticised Pope for his edition of Shakespeare (1725). Bayes” refers to Lewis Theobald. i. inclination. industry: the quality of being hard-working or of being always employed usefully. the bay-leaf crown was the ancient emblem of fame. slowness in thinking and learning. stupidity. It derives from “bay. from dunce. “Mr.

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

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

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

ultimately of imagination. English Literature and Civilisation. the rulers’ habit of surrounding themselves by favourites whose role is to flatter and to encourage them in their abuses. 537-550) 2. and no personal choice in the matter of marriage. The Houyhnhms are not divided by quarrels. The civilised art of satire is opposed to the coarseness and brutality of personal attack and insult. Macsiniuc. The spirit of competition. 5. so the satirist is merciless in his denouncing human flaws. David. which breeds imaginary ills. the generalises extension of friendship and benevolence. 3. The individual is of no importance. 1983 (pp. decency and civility are certainly desiderata of any civilisation. The irrational greed and avarice. A Critical History of English Literature. and the hierarchy of their society is based on racial discrimination (“inferior” Houyhnhnms will fatally be servants). Cornelia. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). The tendency to idleness. the ability of the worst to set themselves as leaders. the “fineness. Anti-utopian aspects: the absolutisation of reason. Ioan-Aurel (coord. deprives their thinking of flexibility and nuance. The English Eighteenth Century. the silly behaviour of women determined to draw attention to themselves. which makes social progress inconceivable. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. and the equal education of males and females was a progressive Enlightenment ideal. Daiches. the jealousy (envy) and the aggressiveness towards one’s fellows. In the absence of affective attachment. 180-187) 3.).” SAQ 7 1. only the species counts. The Novel in Its Beginnings. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd.” the subtlety of his accusations. the exclusion of opinion.. conflict and self-interest. They practice population control. 2.33-66) 116 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The incapacity of choosing a ruler according to real merit. Both of them need skill – or “art” – to do this in a satisfactory way. the education in the spirit of moderation and industry. the “unnatural appetite” for things whose value doesn’t justify the effort and energy spent in their acquisition and preservation. SAQ 8 Utopian aspects: The cultivation and exercise of reason. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 2003 (pp. Preda. vol. 4. The art of the accomplished satirist consists in the elegance. civility and friendship become a cold and superficial form of social relationship. which is meant only for procreation. Further reading 1. 1969 (pp. Womankind’s lustfulness and inclination to coquetry.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Just as the executioner will implacably carry out the capital punishment. The tyranny of reason also rules out affection and emotion: they have no particular feelings for their own offspring. which are the literary equivalent of a man’s “slovenly butchering. 5.1. 5. 5. 5.3. 5. Unit objectives The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.1.5. 5. 5.4.2. 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.1.5.2. 5. 5.6.2. 5.4. 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5.4.3. 5.6.4. 5. 5.2.2. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 118 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 144 145 146 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 117 . 5. 5. 5.2.3. 5.2.

1. and whose protagonists were of noble stock. Background and main concerns The novel’s emergence is commonly associated with the aspiration of the middle classes to overcome cultural marginality. and generally about women. in the early years of the 18 th century. mostly imitations of French models. the rise of the middle classes. The late 17 th century had seen a flourishing of this kind of fiction. in various aspects of the novels discussed in this unit. tolerance. Not only were women the most numerous “consumers” of novels. 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. emancipation and progress received unprecedented prominence and were vital for the self-assertion of the new class. and there is a connection between. in the light of the author’s aesthetic principles ♦ describe the peculiarities of the narrative technique and style used by the studied authors ♦ define the concept of metafiction and describe metafictional strategies in Sterne’s novel Unit objectives 5. a certain tendency to women’s emancipation. This new literary form embodied the democratic and revolutionary impulse of a century in which the issues of individual liberty. 5.1. Women’s education was beginning to be encouraged. Such tales gratified the fantasies of a class of readers who were still barred from public self-assertion. whose vast majority was middle-class. and their involvement with literary life was increasing. of a genre which became the main rival of the novel: the romance. A significant part of this new reading public consisted in women. natural rights. but there was a considerable amount of novels written by women. and the development of the novel. The general growth of literacy* in the 18 th century led to the rise of a new. Novel and romance in the 18th century The dominance of female readership explains the enduring popularity. exotic settings. more inclusive reading public. Romances were long narratives combining heroic adventure and passionate love. confined to the 118 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . whose action was often set in remote.1.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ identify.

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

The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations.1. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1. 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. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. and public/social norms and conventions. on the one hand. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. The rise of the middle classes … 2. read again subchapters 5. and 5. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. Women were … 3. at the end of the unit. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. … 4. If there should be major differences. 1. on the other. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century.2.1.

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

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

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

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

as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. If it should differ considerably. read again subchapters 5. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word..2. to the awakening of religious conscience. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions.2. Isolation is no longer a misfortune. as a political or economic utopia. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). 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. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness.” 5. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. In his initial struggle with despair.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. at the end of the unit. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 .3.2. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. Gradually. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat. In this light.1. and 5.2.

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

but on the complexity of character and human relationship. at the same time. on a separate sheet. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories. he paid little attention to matters of form. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. the promise of symbolic meanings. 3.2.2. read the fragment and subchapter 5. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. 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. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself.4. solid world. of familiar detail. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality.2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. at the end of the unit. concreteness. containing. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. which. The richness of concrete detail. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. the frequent enumerations and inventories. rendered in a simple. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure.4 once more and do the exercise again. 1. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. whose reality is difficult to doubt. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5. 2. clear language. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. the most common objects and actions in their particularity. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. His simple. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. clarity. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable. with unmatched vividness. His linear. 4. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature.

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

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

read again attentively subchapters 5. at the end of the unit. between hate and admiration. to obey Mr. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. though in quality [i.7. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave. as a servant. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination.2. If there should be significant differences. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel.2. 5. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger.e. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.6. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess.8. and 5.2. 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. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations.”? Answer in the space left below. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable.

as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. excerpted from Pamela. on the one hand. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. read again subchapter 5. which are captured in the process of their emergence. B_ follows a similar evolution. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique.4. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. and his developing love. 2.2. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. In Pamela’s letters and diary. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives.. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. What counts..9. however. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. on the other. 1.3. and considering also Text 5. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. at the end of the unit. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. in the Reader). her sentimental response to them. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus.

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

For instance. alluding thus to the older genre. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false. read the text once more. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. at the end of the unit. which turns out to be gentle*. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. T F 2. 5. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. Read Text 5. T F 6. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. which closes the plot. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. in the spirit of comedy. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters.3.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.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. T F 4. whom they had met during their journey. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). T F 3. Wilson. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. is an ingredient of romantic plots. for true or false) for each of them. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . carefully. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. 1. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles.5. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. T F 7. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. Fielding likes to play with genres. Mr. Cervantes. T F 8.2. T F 5.

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

unaffected. 2. 5. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province.4. at the end of the unit. 5. preoccupied with the reformation of manners. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. and he believes. 1.. through its moral and temperamental types.. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. read again subchapters 5.3.5. If they should differ substantially. incorporated in the substance of his works.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 .2. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 5.. and 5. At the same time.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature.2.. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. provide the first theory of the novel. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. drawing short comparisons. He is a moralist.2. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. 3. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Fielding is the most “Augustan.8. like many Augustan writers. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists.3. Explain them.4.

The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. the history of a private life. i.4.4. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended. at every point. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5. other interesting things to relate. as well as of Parson Yorick. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps. With Sterne.” in every sense. Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals. unpredictable narrative. which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son. and his long. that. Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision.4. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant. that he was. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III. instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account. at the age of five. Walter.2. of his uncle.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre.1. a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction. the narrator. Fielding had demonstrated. by accident. does not manage to give a shape to his story. In spite of his promises. He digresses continually. corporal Trim. the priest who baptised Tristram. which isolates each of them in his mental universe. Tristram. the relation between life and literature. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768. moulds reality into a literary pattern. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. Walter Shandy. His father. 5. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia). who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. that his brother Bobby died suddenly. is an erudite philosopher. we are drawn into an extremely irregular.e. However. in Joseph Andrews. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel. he seems to have.

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

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

4.” Not only as a man. with its multitude of dashes. drawings and graphs.4. so different from Fielding’s tight. by exploiting them in a parodic way. asterisks. even a black sheet introduced at the death of Yorick. The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions By taking extreme freedoms with narrative and compositional conventions. This impression is increased by Tristram’s effort to be exhaustive in his presentation. and to involve the reader both imaginatively and sentimentally. for instance. coherent plots. the restriction of the hero’s “life” to a few episodes breaks the convention of autobiographical focus. there are numberless digressions and interpolated stories. The structure of the book is equally odd. 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. Digressive narrative Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 139 . i. but also to how it is told. only in the middle of Volume III that we find the author’s Preface. He delights in minute descriptions of postures and small gestures.5.” The confused chronology and the digressive excesses frustrate also our expectation of a plot. makes the reader aware of them.e. with its blank pages for the reader to fill in. does not seem to move towards any climax. by drawing his attention not only to what is told. The narrator explicitly refuses to keep the story straight. Sterne’s rambling narrative. its unpredictable returns to various moments in the past. For example. Faced with the problems of accurate representation through words. but also as an author. It is. Typographically. there are several dedications scattered through the book. frustrates our expectation of chronological linearity commonly associated with an autobiographical account. the book is a comic oddity. points of suspension. Tristram constantly oscillates between the comic despair at his incapacity to master his narrative and the delight he takes in complete narrative freedom. the “imperfections of words. marking a moment of affectionate recollection. watched as if by a slow motion camera. The “Shandean” view of writing This ambivalent view of life corresponds. The difficulty he experiences as a writer is due to the limits of language. and he takes great delight in digressions. to a certain view of writing. which he calls “the sunshine of reading. Sterne defamiliarises them. The zigzagging narrative. Tristram is earnestly trying to tell the story of his life and his opinions as accurately as possible. etc. He thus exaggerates parodically the realistic pursuit of accuracy and immediacy.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Tristram has the consciousness of his tragi-comic predicament. 5.4. and gives the impression of stagnation. in Sterne’s novel. Tristram resorts to other means of communication.

makes Tristram Shandy a work of metafiction. Tristram draws the narrative “lines. It is a half-amused. ultimately. the narrated time and the time of reading. halfsceptical meditation on the condition of literature and its relation with reality. Metafictionally. metafiction is fiction about fiction. they may be related to themes the problem of fictional representation and its limits. Tristram Shandy questions the mimetic illusion that realistic fiction endeavours to create.6. There are themes in Sterne’s Metafictional novel which may be called “metafictional”. as it explores – halfseriously. The unpredictable. the process of its own writing. experimental character affords the reader a glimpse into the novelist’s dilemmas and arsenal of choices. into the “laboratory” of his literary consciousness. In volume VI. on the author’s vision of life. random course of the narrative has a correspondent in the theme of Fortune. the theme of time corresponds to the narrator’s concern with the distinction between the time of writing.e. The main subject of Sterne’s novel is. which is connected. the permanent inquiry into what a novel can do and cannot do. works which call attention to their own devices. Tristram constantly draws attention to the way in which he manipulates fictional time. making the reader aware that “literary time” is arbitrary and conventional. 140 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Sterne’s particular approach to narrative correponds to a certain vision of human experience. Another prominent theme with a metafictional relevance is that The theme of time of time and its relation with the imagination. Its extravagant. formless reality. Tristram Shandy may be called the first philosophical novel in English. however.” with their digressions. at the structural level.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Tristram Shandy as metafiction The constant reference to the devices and conventions operating in fiction. also concerned with the way in which consciousness refracts external reality.e. The randomness of the narrative is a mirror of the narrator’s sense of his own life as tragi-comically governed by accident. One such theme in Tristram Shandy is that of human communication – or rather incommunication –. The meaning of metafiction depends. As metafiction.4. with the narrator’s desperate effort to be allinclusive and his incapacity of managing his narrative. in the first four volumes. of life as pure chance. half-comically – the distinction between subjective and objective time. on the possibilities of fiction to render in an intelligible pattern the elusive. Basically. i. i. 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 author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. Write them in the spaces indicated below.4. at the end of the unit. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. In this way.4. go again through subchapters 5. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions.5. and 5. Instead of continuing the story. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 .The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. 3. If they differ significantly.. and read the fragment attentively once more. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. 2. 1. which he discusses in the very text of the work. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them.7. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel.6.

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

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

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

in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. 3. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. Text 4. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment.4. to revise the preceding unit. with special attention to subchapter 4. Remember that. in grading your paper. Horrified.. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. the king rejects this tribute.2..The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. therefore. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. SAA no. as illustrated by this fragment. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention.1. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. In order to win the good graces of the king. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island.1. clarity. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). 2. Text 5. You will have. 1.1. 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 30%.4. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. • the coherence. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. and 5. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words.

the capacity for learning from mistakes. 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. optimism. patience. SAQ 2 1. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. 4. plainness. and by the form of autobiographical record. 3. 5. realistic account. 5. SAQ 3 Defoe’s own phrase refers to the purpose of his novels: to entertain and to instruct. industriousness. In the social order. but this is a way of accomplishing more efficiently his honest intention of conveying a moral message. He thus “cheats” the reader with the illusion of truth. 6. immediacy. inventiveness. 2. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … offering the middle class readers models of moral and ethical conduct and of social success. She will accept humbly her social inferiority. 3. Women were … a consistent part of the novel’s reading public. she may be deprived of the privilege of class and fortune. SAQ 4 Tenacity.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. 4. rationality. 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. and also authors of novels. SAQ 5 factuality. all souls are equal. but she lives with the deep conviction that in the spiritual order of a Christian world. concreteness. He delights the reader with an extraordinary adventure and a story of success. on contemporary social reality and on the experience of the common individual. The rise of the middle classes … coincides with the emergence of the novel as a literary genre. sharp sense of observation. 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 . pragmatism. … novels focused on the ordinary and the familiar aspects of life. 2. vividness. resilience. which is given an air of authenticity by the meticulous.

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

Allen. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 53-59. 1991 (pp. David. 701-704. 1969 (pp. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 143-163. Macsiniuc. Daiches. vol. 731-736) 3. 76-80) 2.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”).The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. Walter. 217-231. Cornelia. 598-602. A Critical History of English Literature. Penguin Books Limited. 37-42. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. 116127. 43-46. The English Novel. 179-195. 2003 (pp. 712-718. 6. 6.4.4.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 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. 6.4. 6.2. 6. 6.2. 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.4.2. 6.1. 6.2. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.3. 6.1. 6.2.4. The Seasons William Cowper.2. 6.2. 6. 6. 6.1. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6.

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

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

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

and the 18 th century abounded in optimistic utopias about an idyllic.g. but also literary forms. the inspiration from folk myths and legends. an interest developed in popular forms of poetry. In the following subchapters. the interest in rural life and its contrast with civilisation. the new feeling for nature – these were features indicating that literary taste was changing. The emphasis on sentimental response. and indeed the tendency along the century was to abandon it for poetic forms that allowed more freedom. In the latter part of the century. The return to blank verse 6. The great novelists (e. The pre.2. patriarchal society in which men could enjoy fully their natural right to freedom. This change in taste concerned not only themes and subjects. The sentimental opposition between town and country was to become a convention in 18 th century literature. the interest in the local and national past. characteristic of the Enlightenment. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 153 .1.3. The rural universe in 18th century poetry The emerging Age of Sensibility oriented the critical spirit. Henry Fielding) would often associate the turbulent. 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. William Blake would call the heroic couplet* the “great cage” of Augustan poetry. and the emergence of a distinct poetic attitude towards nature. and the simplicity of country life with moral virtue. busy life of the city with moral confusion. towards the highest achievement of man’s Reason: civilisation itself. Towards the end of the century. sometimes within the context of Augustan conventions.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. A return to blank verse – for which Shakespeare and Milton were the great models – allowed greater flexibility of expression. such as the song and the ballad. valued for their simplicity and directness by the first Romantics (William Wordsworth. Elements of a pre-Romantic sensibility can be found all along the century. There was a growing suspicion that civilisation may have a corrupting effect on man’s innate goodness. the state of nature began to be idealised.Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The transition from the Augustan to the Romantic age was slow and long. Under the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau*. Samuel Taylor Coleridge).

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

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

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

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

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


English pre-Romantic poetry

Illustration to (1905 edition)

The Village

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If it should differ in major respects. by ambiguity and even obscurity. This suggests that the world of Experience is more opaque and uncertain. in Songs of Experience. innocent question (“Little Lamb.English pre-Romantic poetry 6.4. The two stanzas of The Lamb contain the child’s simple. while The Tyger consists only in an accumulation of questions. the event of a child’s birth becomes the symbol of the fall into the world of Experience. Quote the respective words or line(s) and give your comment in the space below. The implication is that knowledge in the state of Experience is always incomplete and fragmentary. but also if this creator is also that of the gentle lamb. in the Reader – and find out in its lines suggestions for at least one aspect which defines this “dangerous” world. dangerous tiger. and the rhythms of the poems are also more difficult. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit. The speaker in the latter poem wonders not only who created the “fearful symmetry” of the powerful. revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. Knowledge in the world of Experience The clarity and directness of Songs of Innocence is replaced. provoking more anxiety than certainty. you]?) and his own answer. in a paragraph of 10 lines / 100 words at the most. with no explicit answer.6. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 167 .6. The counterpart of The Lamb in Songs of Experience is The Tyger* and this pair of poems illustrates very well the contrastive vision in Blake’s work.e. Read this poem – Text 6. who made thee [i. SAQ 8 In Blake’s poem Infant Sorrow.

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

to regain the vision of Innocence. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.7. at the end of the unit. and read the poem again more carefully.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state.2.4. except as an act of remembering. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. If there should be major differences between them. to 6. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted.1. revise subchapters 6.4. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 . but he is no longer able to do that.. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience.

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

Ireland and Wales. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. goddess of Memory. civilisation rural universe primitivism melancholy sentimentalism humanitarianism childhood imagination Innocence and Experience double vision Glossary • • • annals: yearly record of events. and horror. Haunted castles. The first Gothic novel was Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764). enclosure: in the latter half of the 18th century. as the next subchapter will show. The Neoclassic principle of decorum did not. A tendency in 18th century poetry went precisely against this rule. or Erse. the term “Gothic” referred to the mediaeval inspiration of such tales of mystery.e. and they were forced to find work in towns or to emigrate to America. Initially. Their father was Zeus. for the sake of more profitable farming. passion. which they could climb more easily. the members of an Indo-European people who inhabited Britain before the arrival of the Romans. Celtic refers also to the language spoken by the Celts. putting fences round) common land. which has survived in parts of Scotland. Sometimes. because the life of the poor was not actually reflected in such official records. for instance. Gray is sadly ironic. The Celtic variety spoken in Ireland and Scotland is called Gaelic. It was a kind of work that contributed to the child mortality rate. graveyards. the nine Muses were indeed the daughters of Mnemosyne. Daughters of Memory: in Greek mythology. Celtic: related to the Celts. For the small farmers. 171 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the enclosures meant ruin.English pre-Romantic poetry Key words ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● pre-Romantic nature vs. enclosed portions of land were turned into private parks and gardens. while Reason was concerned with setting limits. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.2. favour melancholy or morbid themes. Gothic novel: a type of fiction that emerged in opposition with the realistic novel in the 18th century. the changes in agriculture led to the enclosing (i. decorum: see subchapter 4. chimney sweeper: in the 18th century. in Unit 4. Imagination was free Energy. ruins.2. Energy: for Blake. children were often employed for the cleaning of chimneys.

The custom in London was to bring the poor. 2 in Unit 4. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. The Book of Urizen. to attend the religious service. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. with His laws formulated as interdictions. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. A Prophecy. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. See also subchapter 4.1.3. philosophical and political convictions. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. etc. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. Paul’s Cathedral. in Unit 5. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. in Unit 1.2. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. primitive: original. in Unit 3. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. Pity. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. as well as against the sophistication. The Book of Los. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. Jerusalem. etc.. Milton. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. wild landscapes. the Passions. The Four Zoas. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. Among the most important of them are America. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 .1. belonging to the beginnings. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. or of gold or silver paint. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics.3. the 39th day after Easter. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. on which the Ten Commandments were written. orphaned children from the charity schools to St.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors.

Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection.. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. 6. gardens or estates. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . 6.. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. The Chimney Sweeper. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.12. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power.13.)..English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. in grading your paper. 6. clarity. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. SAA no.11. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. Send-away assignment no. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. meant to win a patron’s favour.” usurous: from usury. with his law of love. 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).10. and 6.9. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance.. Remember that. • the coherence.8. • 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. 6. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song.

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

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

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

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

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

William Shakespeare. brief* candle*! Life’s but a walking shadow. TEXT 2.3. The death of each day’s life. isprăveşte (stinge-te) brief short in duration candle lumânare to strut a umbla/păşi/călca mândru. out. a înnoda ravelled destrămat. and tomorrow. trivial. Creeps* in this petty* pace from day to day. a se furişa) petty inessential. sore* labour’s bath. Macbeth (Act V. scene V) Macbeth: Tomorrow.Reader TEXT 2. iar la ospăţul vieţii Cel mai de seamă fel. semeţ.” the innocent sleep. Balm of hurt minds. Macbeth (Act II. El. cu un aer important to fret to be distressed. scene II) Macbeth: Methought* I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep. neînsemnat) out (interjection) termină. to be in a state of anxiety and agitation (a se agita. to creep. That struts* and frets* his hour upon the stage. desfăcut sleeve mânecă sore causing grief or sorrow (dureros. And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. it is a tale Told by an idiot. Sleep that knits up* the ravelled* sleeve* of care. 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. trifling (mărunt. William Shakespeare. And then is heard no more. full of sound* and fury. şi-a doua mană A marii firi. chinuitor) course fel de mâncare chief most important.2. a poor player. To the last syllable of recorded time. principal nourisher that which gives (someone) what is needed to grow. and tomorrow. Chief* nourisher* in life’s feast* (…). crept to move quiety and slowly (a se târî. methought past tense from methinks (archaic): it seems to me to knit up a împleti. great nature’s second course*. desfirat. scalda grelei trude şi balsamul Durerii sufleteşti. cel ce desface Fuiorul încâlcit al grijii – somnul: El. moartea vieţii fiecărei zile. ţanţoş. a se frământa) sound zgomot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 179 . Signifying nothing. Out*.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

beheld to behold. Waved over by that flaming brand*. the gate With dreadful faces thronged* and fiery* arms: Some natural* tears they dropped. The world was all before them. Through Eden took their solitary way. beheld (archaic. care arde natural firesc 192 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . all the eastern side beheld* Of Paradise. They.Reader TEXT 3.9. with wandering steps and slow. where to choose Their place of rest. looking back. so late* their happy seat*. but wiped them soon. and Providence their guide. John Milton. sălaş flaming brand sabia de foc/flăcări thronged (with dreadful faces) plină (de chipuri de temut) fiery în flăcări. hand in hand. Paradise Lost (Book XII) They. literary): to look at so late până nu demult seat locaş.

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

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

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

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


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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural



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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural



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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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