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Specializarea LIMBA ŞI LITERATURA ENGLEZĂ Forma de învăţământ ID - semestrul III
SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE
Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural
LIMBA ŞI LITERATURA ENGLEZĂ
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature
Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Nici o parte a acestei lucrări nu poate fi reprodusă fără acordul scris al Ministerului Educaţiei şi Cercetării
ISBN 10 973-0-04576-3; ISBN 13 978-973-0-04576-5.
1.1. 1.1.1. 1.1.2. 1.1.3. 1.1.4. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.4.1. 1.4.2. 1.4.3. 1.4.4. 1.5. 1.5.1. 1
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background
Unit objectives The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading
9 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 31 32 32 33 33 35 36 37 37 38 39 40 41 43 43 44 46 46 47 48 i
2.1. 2.1.1. 2.1.2. 2.2. 2.2.1. 2.2.2. 2.2.3. 2.2.4. 2.2.5. 2.2.6. 2.2.7. 2.2.8. 2.2.9. 2.2.10. 2.2.11. 2.2.12. 2.3. 2.3.1.
The late Renaissance and the Baroque
Unit objectives The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. the man of action King Lear: the madness of tragic grief To be or to seem: Othello Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience Shakespeare’s last plays The plot of The Tempest Major themes Symbols in The Tempest The play-metaphor The metaphysical poets Characteristics of metaphysical poetry
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural
22.214.171.124. 4.3. 2.1.5. 3.3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4. 126.96.36.199.3.3.3. 188.8.131.52.7. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.184.108.40.206. 220.127.116.11. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton. 4.3. 3.1. 2. 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. 3. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 4. 3. 18.104.22.168.2. 3.3.1. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 3.1.Contents 2.1. 2.1. 4. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan. 3. 4.4. 3.2.4. 3. 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.3. 188.8.131.52. 3.2. 4.2. 2. 4.5.1. 3.2. 2.4. 184.108.40.206.2.1. 3.
4. 5.2. 220.127.116.11.3. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5. 4.3.1. 4. 18.104.22.168. 5. 5.2. 4.4.4. 22.214.171.124.3. 126.96.36.199.3. 188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.3.4. 4. 5.4.4. 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168. “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. 4. 4.2. 4. 5. 4. 5. 22.214.171.124. 5. 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52. 5. 5. 5.2. 5.3. 5. 5. 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11. 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.1. 5.4.1.Contents 4.5.2. 4.6.4. 4. Gulliver. 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.18.104.22.168. 5. 5.4. 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 .
6.4. 6. 6. 6. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson. 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.4. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.22.214.171.124. 6.1.2.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6. 6.3.1. 126.96.36.199. 6.4. 6. 6. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206. 6. 220.127.116.11.4. 6.1.1. The Seasons William Cowper.2.2. 6.2. 6. 6.7. 18.104.22.168.2.2. 6.
You are expected and urged to bring to the understanding of this extended literary period the knowledge acquired in your previous study. 2. Before starting your study. You will be able to build a general picture of the main literary achievements of this period. and will highlight the contributions of their most representative literary personalities. The double focus of the course – on general aspects of a particular period or doctrine. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 1 . It also aims at developing your “reading competence. and to the enrichment of your grasp of the English language. How this course can help you The study of this course will widen your perspective on English literature and its evolution. this course aims at enlarging your understanding of British culture and civilisation. the study of the present course will more efficiently contribute to your professional becoming.” at helping you refine your perception of literary phenomena and categories. It will thus contribute to the consolidation of your knowledge and understanding of British culture and civilisation. and on certain texts – will hopefully help you to overcome the relatively great temporal and cultural distance separating us from those centuries. 3. Course objectives As already mentioned. a carrier of values.Introduction INTRODUCTION 1. Being concerned with aspects of literary history. It will familiarise you with the defining features of the literary trends and doctrines of these two centuries. Milton. among others). and an “agent” in the cultural dynamics in a country. by encouraging your response to particular texts. Defoe. What this course is about This course is a brief introduction to English literature in the 17th and 18th centuries. Blake. In this way. such as was presented in your Cultural Studies course. this course will give you a minimum of contextual detail. but also an intimate acquaintance with the spirit of that culture and civilisation. it would be helpful if you refreshed your acquaintance with the basic historical and cultural framework of the 17th and 18th centuries. You must bear in mind that the teaching of a foreign language does not presuppose only a good command of its grammatical structures and vocabulary. Swift. Fielding. 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.
thematic and formal structure in the works of various authors. The solutions and suggestions for SAQs are provided in a separate section. 2 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . • 4. in a given text.lIntroduction This complex aim presupposes your development of certain specific competences. Some of the units also contain an assignment that you have to do and send to your tutor. or establish what links Fielding’s novels to literary Neoclassicism. preRomanticism) • identify such features in the work of a particular author or in a particular text (e. the Restoration. and a Gallery of personalities. Course content and structure This course is structured in six units of study. By the end of your study of this course.g. characterisation. identify the features of the baroque sensibility in Shakespeare’s tragedies. or what makes Blake a Romantic poet) • identify. you should therefore be able to: define the distinctive features. 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. Each unit. Besides them.g. in its turn. a Glossary. forming a chronological survey of the major literary developments in the 17th and 18th centuries. as part of your overall assessment. a unit contains a series of “auxiliary” sections: a Summary. is structured around a series of tasks that you must accomplish – the self-assessing questions (the SAQs). Neoclassicism. the characteristic attitudes and concerns of such cultural-historical-literary movements or periods as the Renaissance. the Baroque. a list of key words. the Augustan Age. 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.
1. • 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. • Unit 2 (The late Renaissance and the Baroque) deals with the emergence of the baroque sensibility in English late Renaissance literature. but also to your independent thinking and to your imagination. The most common SAQs in this course will require you to: Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 3 .2. They appeal not only to your memory. S. The main focus in this unit is on the imaginative structure and thematic interest of Milton’s masterpiece. and Augustan satire. Richardson. as well as major representatives. the periodical essay of the 18th century as an important contribution to Augustan literature. • Unit 3 (The works of John Milton) emphasises Milton’s Christian humanism. H. and insists on William Blake as both a pre-Romantic and Romantic poet. • 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. Defoe. The unit surveys characteristic preRomantic themes and motifs. The variety of these learning tasks will. and to draw your own conclusions. and with the evolution of this genre.Introduction 4. Sterne –. the literary doctrine of Neoclassicism. 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. • Unit 4 (The Restoration and the Augustan Age) deals with four major aspects: the comedy of manners during the age of the Restoration. with an emphasis on the evolution of genres and styles and their main representatives. The major authors considered in this unit are Shakespeare and the poets John Donne and Andrew Marvell. You will get acquainted with the contributions of four major novelists – D. The SAQs encourage you to see your course work as more than a simple effort of memory (although the importance of memory in the process of learning must not be underrated). with main focus on Jonathan Swift. • 4. These tasks will guide you in the process of ordering your knowledge. engage you actively and in diverse ways in the process of study. the epic poem Paradise Lost. The self-assessment questions (SAQs) The self-assessment questions in each unit have the role of helping you to structure and organise your study. hopefully. Fielding and L. and they will enable you to work with it in a specific context.
and. in the literary text you were asked to work on. stylistic features. You are required to solve these SAQs in the blank spaces provided for each of them in textboxes. 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). the independent intellectual effort that you are encouraged to put into your learning. of a certain work or a provided fragment • explain the relevance or significance of a certain item (phrase. match incomplete statements so as to reconstruct an idea or a description • identify true/false sentences. fragment) • complete sentences. etc. so as to obtain synthetic reformulations or rephrasings of relevant details about a literary period. Remember that what counts most is the process of thinking that leads you to a particular answer. with the typological definition of a work. symbolic elements. if the case may be. line. characterisation. 4 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . • paraphrase a given fragment from a studied literary work. an author’s work.3. • A self-assessed question (SAQ) is signalled in the course text by this icon accompanying a textbox. and you are advised to read those instructions carefully and to follow them. You are given detailed instructions about what is expected from you.. Try to analyse your errors and to become aware of everything you have missed in the instructions of the SAQ. Do not get discouraged if some of your answers should not come near the suggestions offered at the end. after you have identified them in/after a provided short description • match a given literary fragment with a given paraphrase. summarise its argument. etc.lIntroduction answer questions about the theme. 4. Solutions and suggestions for SAQs You can check your answers to each SAQ by going to this section. A line in your textboxes is estimated to contain ten words on the average. etc. The estimated length of your answers will be indicated as number of words / number of lines. narrative technique. state its theme • comment on / interpret a given fragment. at the end of the unit. the title of a work. You are strongly advised to resist the temptation of consulting this section before you have actually tried to do the exercises yourself. 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.
• Further reading. Thus. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order).1. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. other instruments meant to assist your study.1. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. with the pages where you may find relevant information. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. if necessary or desired. Some terms may recur in several units. not just Being. Sometimes. For instance.3. for the Great Chain of Being*. in Unit 1. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities.3. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge. which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. • the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names).Introduction 4. For example. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit.4. will also appear in Units 5 and 6. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6. but the phrase of which that word is part. in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to. at the end. the term Enlightenment. Most of the books included there are available in any University library. you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words. You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course. which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to. The materials indicated in the Further reading section and in the Selective bibliography (see below) offer you supplementary information.
especially the poetry texts. A send-away assignment (SAA) is signalled in the text by the icon accompanying this textbox. As we are dealing with 17th and 18th century literature. As the texts are not very long. in which the words and phrases supposed to be unknown. The written test that you will sit at the end of the semester will add the other 60%. If you should find these lexical notes insufficient for your understanding of a particular text. this should not take you too much time. which will enable your tutor to assess your performance in the course work.5. and make sure you understand its general meaning or basic ideas. or misleadingly familiar to you are explained either in English or in Romanian. The Reader The course is accompanied by a Reader. which contains the selection of texts you need in order to accomplish some of the course tasks. 5. SAA no. 5.2 will cover units 4 and 5. These first two SAAs will therefore consist in more than one task. 1 will assess your knowledge of units 2 and 3. Assessment and evaluation Besides the self-assessment questions included in each unit. This is why the same word may appear with different explanations/translations in several glossaries. The Reader provides you with little glossaries for each text. the number of tasks. try to read each fragment more than once. The cumulated weight of these SAAs in your final grade is 40%. In any case. some of these texts might seem difficult to you. the course contains three send-away assignments (SAAs). don’t hesitate to use a good dictionary. before you start solving the task. The given explanation or translation into Romanian applies only to the respective context. difficult. and 6. and the weight of each assignment: 6 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . while SAA no. The three SAAs are placed at the end of units 3. or one word may be given an explanation/translation different from the one you might be familiar with.lIntroduction 4. The table below represents the place.
at least take care that your handwriting should be fully legible. so pay special attention to the instructions for each task (30%). If your level of proficiency is lower. If you have no possibility to type your assignment. 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). 28 are meant for individual study of the course material (the solving of the SAQs included). to go through each unit in approximately 4 hours. 3. the tutor will take into account: • the degree to which your answer respects the formulated requirement. Note that a typewritten paper is likely to ease your tutor’s work. 1. 2. whose reading may take you some extra time. clarity. Your ability to identify and use the knowledge required by a particular situation is part of what is assessed in any test. Of these hours.1 SAA no. your course work may take you more time. This is more likely to happen when you are required to work on literary texts. 6 hours are allotted to your tutorial meetings. 6. Your study schedule This course is devised for 42 hours of study. make sure you understand what is being asked of you in each assignment. and 8 hours to the completion of your SAAs. 50% 50% 50% 30% 20% 100% 10% 20% 10% 40% In the assessment of each assignment. You can reserve two weeks for each unit of learning – which means that you are expected. 1. You may. As in the case of the SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 7 . 2. Most of the time. Plan your study by taking into account that a semester has 14 weeks. theoretically.Introduction Unit Number of tasks and their weight in each SAA Weight of each SAA in the final assessment SAA no. however.2 SAA no. find your own rhythm and divide your study time into several sessions.3 3 5 6 2 3 1 1. • the coherence. half of the answer is already contained in the question.
and 6.3 3 3 8 SAA no.2 SAA no. 8 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Summary This course offers you an overview of the literary periods and trends. list of key words.lIntroduction The first and the last week should be reserved for the Introduction and. while the final written test will represent 60 % in your overall evaluation. forms and styles. as the course provides you with the solutions and suggestions for SAQs at the end of each unit. It is structured in six units of study. which will help you to organise and focus your knowledge. and gallery of personalities). The course contains several auxiliary sections (summary. there are SAAs. along the 17th and 18th centuries in England. as well as a list of suggested further reading.1 2 Planning your course work is important as it will enable you to send your assignments to the tutor in due time. together. of the evolution of literary genres. More information about the subjects in each unit is available in the selective bibliography which concludes the coursebook. a revision of the course material. but which also focus on dominant genres and on outstanding. Each unit includes a series of self-assessing tasks (SAQs). according to a pre-established schedule. At the end of Units 3. 5. as 40% of the final grade. Many of these SAQs require your response to a literary text. respectively. which you must write and send to your tutor. glossary. 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. whose content follows a chronological line. The three assignments will count. You have the possibility to monitor your work by verifying your answers. representative authors. which you will find in the Reader accompanying the coursebook.
22.214.171.124. 1.4.1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1. 1.4.4. 1.1. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 . 1.1.4. 1. 1.1.3. 1.4. 1. 1.1.1. 1. 1.3.2. 126.96.36.199.2. 1.4.
The growing critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. science. literature. of philosophical empiricism* determined to a great extent the attitudes to man in his relationship to society. as well as the faith in progress. religion. nature and divinity during the Age of Reason. The completion of this transition was to take place during the next age. The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries constitute a complex period. dramatic and prose genres and their main representatives in their proper literary-historical context within the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Unit objectives 1. in the latter part of the 17th century. at the end of this period. philosophy. colonial expansion and an extraordinary economic development made England. of the Enlightenment. Political. Culturally the two centuries correspond to two movements whose basic tendency was the emancipation of man: the Renaissance* and the Enlightenment*. the year of the Glorious Revolution*. mentalities. The intellectual scene Along the two centuries. which in England is in fact considered to have started in 1688. 1. The end of “high Renaissance” (the flourishing of the Elizabethan* Age) and the “late Renaissance”. attitudes and practices. as the Enlightenment is often described. seen as extending up to the Restoration* (1660) were periods of gradual but irreversible changes in modes of thought.1. 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. a powerful flourishing nation. 10 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The victory of Reason over dogmatism. marked the entrance into modernity. obscurantism and intolerance. The rise.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. the arts – all fields of human endeavour went through crucial transformations during the 17th century. The gradual achievement of political stability. social and economic life. radical changes occurred in intellectual habits and preoccupations.1. in which the progress of England to modernity was steady in all fields.
was an evidence of the creator’s good will. The optimism of the Deists extended to human nature. had important philosophical and theological implications: the universe was now conceived as a perfect mechanism. It was a highly intellectualised religious approach. It was a rational alternative to religious dogmatism. This new faith – Deism. the “universal Architect. the capacity of distinguishing right from wrong. and it was essentially optimistic. combined the traditional confidence in the divine infinite wisdom with the intellectual spirit of the age. manifest in its rationally and experimentally discernible laws. a reaction against mysticism and obscurantism. in particular. Deism attempted to give a rational foundation to religious thought. to reconcile Reason and Faith.” This idea will be echoed several decades later. under the patronage of Charles II. The scientific discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton*.” 1. that human life be enriched by new discoveries and powers. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 11 .1. The moral philosophy of the Deists argued that man was innately good.” God was seen as the prime cause of a harmonious universe. in a systematic effort. working according to impersonal laws which testified to the supreme intelligence of the Creator. In his work Novum Organum (1620) he explicitly states that “The true and lawful goal of the sciences is simply this. It was to be counter-balanced by the Evangelical Revival*. when The Royal Society “for the improving of Natural Knowledge” was founded. Engaging in a variety of original scientific experiments. which was left to develop by itself on the basis of these perfect laws. One of the most ardent promoters of the new scientific spirit was Francis Bacon* (1561-1626).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Francis Bacon It is also during these two centuries that modern science was born. 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. to “overcome the mysteries of all the works of Nature” and to apply that knowledge “for the benefit of human life. a religious movement which aimed at reviving the Evangelical spirit and the ideal of Christian life. and which encouraged emotional effusion as a way of achieving communion with God.2. initiated by Isaac Newton and John Locke*. endowed with a sixth sense: the moral sense. The Royal Society endeavoured. or Natural Religion –. His well-known maxim “Knowledge is Power” points to the utilitarian conception of the role of science. which could not offer spiritual comfort to the large masses of the poor and uneducated. Deists believed that the admirable order of the universe. in 1662.
with its belief in the perfectibility of man. Circle T (true) or F (false). T F 5.4. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. 1. but also affective and instinctual. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The growing spirit of individualism. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. continued the project of the Renaissance. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. for each sentence.1.1. the central concern of the Enlightenment. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. T F 4. appropriately. 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. 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.3. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. The development of modern science and the rise of philosophical empiricism are major aspects of the process of intellectual modernisation in England in the 17th and 18th centuries.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. the Enlightenment. 1. T F 2. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. T F 3. SAQ 1 The following exercise will help you revise some of the more important aspects concerning the intellectual and cultural background of the 17th and 18th centuries. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. to superstition and obscurantism. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. 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.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment.
The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. symmetry. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 . the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. It was the main focus of literary attention. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. including readers of more modest education. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. for proportion. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance.2. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. at the end of the unit.4. the decrease in the power of the Crown. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. regularity.1. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. T F 7. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. in one way or another. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned. 1. It is significant. with little or no classical knowledge. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. read again subchapters. T F 8. to 1. and both writers and audiences were.1. that the notion of reading public emerges now. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. After 1688. in the orbit of the crown. The division into Elizabethan.1. for instance. 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.
Jean Racine. with its highly conventional forms and rhetorical style. Pierre Corneille. 2. The comparative merit of ancient and modern standards of literary excellence and learning became a central issue of critical debate. …on literary taste and fashions during the Renaissance. This reflects. but also to the influence of the French authors of the great classical century – the age of Louis XIV. Much of Renaissance literature. …… c. when the merits of the “Ancients” and the “Moderns” became the object of comparison. English Neoclassicism must be linked not only to the survival of the Renaissance humanism. during the Augustan Age*. on the model of the French controversy known as the “Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns. above all. Molière)…… d. The great French classical authors of the 17th century (Boileau.” started in the late 17th century. a new consciousness of the relationship between literary tradition and modernity. A significant aspect of Augustan literature is the development and importance of literary criticism. Corneille. Complete each sentence in the provided space. but they were resumed during the Restoration*. a. …the Augustan Age. in which the declining phase of the Renaissance was characterised by a return to the classics. Molière. The mid-seventeenth century was an age of transition. The relationship between tradition and modernity became a matter of literary consciousness during…… 1.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. England’s intellectual and literary exchanges with Catholic France had been suspended during the Civil War*. 14 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The Court was the main source of influence…… b. This led to the emergence Neoclassicism* in England. Racine. SAQ 2 Read the partial statements below and match them. so as to obtain complete sentences describing aspects of the general literary picture of the 17th and 18th centuries. the “Sun King” –: Nicolas Boileau.
at the end of the unit. Its perfect mastery is illustrated by works like Pope’s didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711). The most Renaissance lyric enduring poetic achievements of the early 17th century is the forms sequence of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609). conveyed by means of a rich variety of rhetorical effects. Alexander Pope. John Dryden (in the former). It favoured conciseness. by the Romantic poets. the pastoral* lyric.2. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. They approached other themes besides love: e. Thomas Carew. Its name refers to a certain Metaphysical expressive strategy. A remarkable poetic development in the first half of the 17th century was the metaphysical poetry (John Donne. in a variety of poetical forms: philosophical poems. …influenced English literary Neoclassicism. The heroic couplet was the perfect verse couplet structure of the Age of Reason. Other lyric forms endured: the ode. or meditative-descriptive poems like James Thomson’s The Seasons (1726-1730) or William Cowper’s The Task (1785). continued to be used throughout the 17th and 18th centuries: John Milton.3. combining classical restraint with force of argument and expressive clarity. or religion and politics – John Milton. The evolution of poetic forms The lyric. It appealed both to the intellect and to the emotions. 4. If you have failed to make the right match. which departed from the artificiality and poetry conventionalism of most Elizabethan poetry. the blank verse* – on the model of Milton in his great Blank verse epic* Paradise Lost (1667) – was extensively used in the 18th century. acquainted with the great classical authors and works. religious faith – John Donne. you need to revise subchapter 1. and the Puritan Andrew Marvell must also be included here. In parallel. for instance. George Herbert. which are illustrative of a pre-Romantic* cross-current. Thomas Gray and William Collins (in the latter). James Thomson. Apart from the classical poetic forms that survived into the Restoration and the Augustan Age. The common vehicle for it was the heroic couplet – two rhyming The Augustan heroic lines containing a complete statement. the verse satire emerged as a novelty at the end of the 17th century and flourished during the next – John Dryden and Alexander Pope being its unequalled masters. The chief model for The sonnet sequence Renaissance soneteers was Petrarch* and his love sonnets to Laura.g. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 15 . the sonnet* – dominated Renaissance poetry. original or translated epics.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 3. in its various forms – the song*. but English poets varied the highly conventional form of this kind of poem. …addressed itself to learned readers. 1. tight logical coherence and striking imagery. the ode*. or his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). Robert Herrick). The sonnet fell into disuse during the late Renaissance and it was revived only towards the end of the 18th century. A “metaphysical” strain exists in Shakespeare’s final period of creation. concentration. Andrew Marvell. and it made extensive use of wit.
through its representation on stage.3. It was the only form of literature which. a new appreciation of older poetic forms. Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries The Renaissance was the Golden Age of English drama. 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. enjoyed a widely popular appeal. In the following units of this course. comparable perhaps only with the rise of the novel in the next century. 16 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 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.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Towards the end of the century. 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). together with their most outstanding representatives. the verse satires of Dryden and Pope (Unit 4). SAQ 3 Which are the most popular kinds of poems in the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least six of them. In little more than half a century (1580-1642). in the space left below. and the “poetry of sensibility” which announced the coming of the Romantic Age (Unit 6). If there should be major differences between them.4. 1. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. revise subchapter 1. The flourishing of English drama during the Renaissance is a unique phenomenon. some of them of popular origin (the song.
From Senecan tragedy. fascinating through unbounded ambition. murder. with the restoration of monarchy. insanity. On the whole. Masters of this genre were the Jacobean dramatists Cyril Tourneur (The Revenger’s Tragedy. was a miniature of the English society. but the spirit of the great tradition was never recaptured. to accommodate the tastes of a new public. is the most gifted.4. In such plays. masque*. treachery. historical drama. Of the Caroline playwrights. tragi-comedy. as well as John Webster’s heroine in The White Devil. in Paradise Lost. where bloody deeds were only evoked through an efficient rhetoric of the dramatic discourse. daring and wit. the sensational plot. Thomas Middleton (Women Beware Women. play-houses were reopened. with his exploration of the darkness of strange passions. The great acting companies were under the patronage of the king. They were generally.1. who usually appears as a ghost on the stage. 1614). The great age of English drama ended abruptly in 1642. 1. pastoral drama. and this “unholy alliance” between crown and stage increased the intransigence of the Puritans. and in the 18th century it was replaced by the novel in popularity. built around the theme of revenge. 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. etc. Shakespeare’s protagonist in Richard III (1592-3) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth. Jacobean tragedy One of the most widespread forms of tragedy was the revenge tragedy. the wronged hero plans revenge. the fundamentally evil hero/heroine. when the Puritans* closed the theatres. In 1660. Unlike Senecan plays. Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1601) is the finest illustration of this kind of tragedy. and the rhetorical manner. Renaissance playwrights borrowed the five-act structure. sensational and macabre. John Ford (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. or Vittoria Corombona (1612) are among the most accomplished portrayals of the villain in drama. Some dramatic forms went out of fashion. Jacobean and Caroline plays usually represented atrocities on stage. 1605-6). A particular type of protagonist became fashionable in revenge tragedies: the villain. The dramatic genres popular during the Renaissance were extremely diverse: tragedy and comedy with their varieties. exploiting excessively morbid ingredients like incest. 1607). inspired by the plays of the Roman Stoic Seneca*. but destroys himself along with his enemies. sometimes he rights the wrong done to another. drama witnessed a decline. They saw the theatre as a source of moral corruption through the “idle” pleasure that it offered. 17 Revenge tragedy The villain in revenge tragedy Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Contemporary reconstruction of a Jacobean playhouse The play-house. while others changed. each variety of spectator responding to the performance according to his/her education and imagination. 1633). with its audience arranged according to rank. Milton’s Satan. 1612) and especially John Webster (The Duchess of Malfi. rape.
Renaissance tragedy had four acts – a structure borrowed from Seneca. For each sentence. Volpone (1606). with its noble characters. the hierarchy of English society. 1. or in Philaster (1609) by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. the satirical comedy. a genre which will survive into the 18th century. The mixture of serious and comic elements results in tragicomedy. in Paradise Lost.4. though each in a different way. T F 2. T F 4. T F Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. identifying the four true ones. Epicoene. at the end of the unit. 18 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . If you have failed to identify the true statements. T F 3. circle the appropriate letter: T (true) or F (false). and 1. read again subchapters 1. Shakespeare’s Elizabethan phase included a number of exquisite romantic comedies.4. SAQ 4 For a revision of some important features of Renaissance English drama. His best plays. read the following statements. in the last period of creation. his comedies become darker. intended to correct vices and follies by denouncing them. whose fall from eminence marks the destruction of an order. The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) are social comedies of city life. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson are the great masters. T F 7.1. T F 6. The English play-house during the Renaissance accommodated a diverse audience. 1. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic example of domestic tragedy. 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. as in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) or The Winter’s Tale (1610-11). The Jacobean and Caroline authors of revenge tragedies had Seneca as their model. but. or at least tinged with bitterness. reflecting.4. Ben Jonson* illustrates another form. T F 5. Comedy in the early 17th century In the field of comedy. centred on the theme of love. reminds of the fascinating villain-heroes of the Renaissance revenge tragedies by his extraordinary ambition and boldness. as in All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-3) or Measure for Measure (1604-5). or The Silent Woman (1609). in miniature. Milton’s Satan. dealing with middle or lower class life and concentrating on personal and domestic maters – unlike “grand” tragedy.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background A distinct type in late Renaissance drama is domestic tragedy.2.
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. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. who demanded models of virtue and decency. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. The Conquest of Granada. George Villiers. 1669-70). but serious drama declined during the 18th century. There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. Under the influence of French tragedies. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. The School for Scandal.4. 1768. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. but it appealed to a wide middle class public. mocks at certain theatrical conventions. or The Mistakes of a Night. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. too. She Stoops to Conquer.g. but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731).3. and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. In The Rehearsal (1671). Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. John Gay. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. 1769).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. a stylish and sophisticated world. Heroic plays.g. for instance. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. 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. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e.4. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. 1773).4. were a passing extravagance. 1775. 1722). The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. 1665. Henry Fielding). 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. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. 1777). which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. Duke of Buckingham. 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.
and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. to 1. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays.4. together with their most outstanding representatives. If there should be major differences between them.4.2. revise subchapters 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. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2. at the end of the unit. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.
5. 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). as the growing complexity of life increased the need for social and intellectual communication. he describes the Christian soul’s search for salvation in the form of an allegorical journey along the path of life. with its trials.5. in political tracts and pamphlets. wealth and freshness greatly influenced the language of prose. influenced immensely Bunyan’s the language of prose. Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Of the literary forms that contributed significantly to the development of English prose. temptations. the essay* proved the most flexible. prepared the English language for a variety of uses: in scientific. accomplished under the patronage of James I – established a model of English whose beauty. philosophical and theological writings. The English translation of the Bible – the “Authorised Version” of 1611. the virtues of common speech permeated the language of all kinds of writings. displaying a variety of styles. The language of prose tended to become plain and transparent. English as an instrument of literary and intellectual communication still competed with classical Latin. blending concision with wit. Sermons were a widely popular form of prose-writing. in which rhetorical figures were subordinated to rational lucidity. 1612. weaknesses. Gradually. Francis Bacon’s Essays (1597. The Pilgrim’s Progress Among the prose forms widely used for intellectual argument.1. the universal language of the Renaissance. struggles and William Blake: aspirations. 1625) are prose classics in English literature. on clarity and rationality. gave way to an ideal of prose style more suited to the Age of Common Man. Thomas Hobbes* and John Locke also insisted on the necessity of a language at once flexible and precise. contributing essentially to the forging of a more straightforward and simple style. The development of an aphoristic style*. Journalism as a form of prose writing emerged during the Civil War and flourished during the 18th century. with its illustration to simplicity and natural flow of common speech. another Latin influence began to mould English prose style: that of Seneca and Tacitus*. prose works written in English displayed a highly rhetorical style. suitable for conveying “the knowledge of things” and intelligible to the average Englishman. Influence of Latin on prose style The prose of intellectual argument 1. religious writings are particularly important. Under the influence of Latin – especially of Cicero* –. The evolution of prose style At the beginning of the 17th century. This allegorical expression of Puritan faith. Later in the century. a precious and highly ornate language. Francis Bacon was the first notable writer to plead for – and to illustrate – a prose style more suited for intellectual argument. The rhetorical extravagance and ingenuity which had still dominated the early 17th century (not only in prose). deliberately artificial and intricate. Here. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 21 . More and more.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1.
executed in a witty. the great literary achievement of the 18th century. a prose genre whose model was provided by the Greek writer Theophrastus*. the spiritual autobiography and the “character” were literary expressions of the growing interest in human individuality. The same encyclopaedic. Samuel Purchas). 1632 – the most virulent Puritan attack on the theatre. The character as a prose genre influenced Richard Steele and Joseph Addison in their periodical essays. biographies (Izaak Walton. Milton’s Areopagitica. with his Life of John Donne among other works of this kind – 1670). which analyses the constitution of human society. spiritual biographies (John Bunyan. the biography as an emerging prose genre. Like drama. 1644 – a famous defense of the freedom of the press). letters. In the 17th century. 22 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . etc. with its explorations of the complexities of human mind and character. exhausting the subjects they dealt with. diaries (John Evelyn.g. inclusive character is displayed by Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651). William Prynne’s Histriomastix. 1666). aphoristic style. but its impressive intellectual architecture is achieved in a simple. Samuel Pepys). with Characters of Virtue and Vices (1608). Human character as portrayed in their essays was at the same time typical and individualised. “Characters” were miniature portraits of human types. unadorned style. pamphlets* (e. whose purpose was didactic or satirical. in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy.” 1642) are the most outstanding representatives of this genre. of remarkable precision and force. Anatomies were monuments of learning. 1621) and Sir Thomas Browne (Religio Medici. delighting in speculation and building the knowledge they explored into an elaborate structure. To these must be added the character.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. This kind of approach had a considerable influence on the realistic novel. Joseph Hall inaugurated the English tradition of this genre. another form of prose writing which displayed divergent tendencies in style was the anatomy. “The Religion of a Doctor. 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.
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. you will learn more about the periodical essay. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Within these two centuries. Summary This unit has offered you a brief introduction to the intellectual and literary developments of the 17th and 18th centuries. between which there is continuity. more carefully. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be major differences between them. Culturally. at the end of the unit.. This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century. in a paragraph of no more than 7 lines / 70 words. The victory of Reason over dogmatism.5. obscurantism and intolerance. modern science was born. and 1. as well as the faith in progress.1. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. roughly. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4. Within these two centuries. intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. read again subchapters 1. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 .5. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. the image of the universe was changed. these two centuries correspond.
predominantly middle-class. elevated style.D. with new genres accessible to a more inclusive reading public. The Great Latin writers of that age – Horace. in a caricatural spirit. blank verse: unrhymed verse. often by means of paradox.” The short review of the dominant forms of poetry. Ovid. of the time of emperor Caesar Augustus (27 B. noble and heroic characters. 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. a slow transition took place. Virgil – were revered models for the English Augustan writers. and a major influence on their aesthetic ideal. part of the process of modernisation that the Age of Reason came to acknowledge its own limits. which are reduced to the comically trivial.). from a system of genres and styles dominated by classical influences to a more “democratic” tendency. Key words • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The Renaissance The Enlightenment The Restoration The Age of Reason The Age of Common Man The Age of Feeling The Augustan Age Neoclassicism modernity tradition change emancipation progress poetry drama prose Glossary • • aphoristic style: (from Greek aphorismos: definition) a style characterised by condensation and precision.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background modernity.-14 A. The birth of the novel is the most significant literary development of this “Age of Common Man. It is. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 24 . used to express observations of general truth. however.C. 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. From a literary point of view. and the emergence of the Age of Feeling prepared the way to the Romantic sensibility. of serious action. burlesque: the exaggerated imitation.
Concepts like human rights. social contract. This return to the Ancients is the foundation of Renaissance humanism. humanism. Thinkers like Thomas Hobbes. and by the search for a model of society in which man’s rights and duties should be exercised in freedom. until 1660. separation of powers were central to Enlightenment political. rejection of arbitrary authority and of absolutism are some of the characteristic attitudes of this age. and contributed to the intellectual preparation of the French Revolution (1789). the conviction that reality is ordered according to laws that are accessible to human reason). • empiricism: a philosophical orientation which established the primacy of experience in the process of knowledge. Rousseau. the folk tradition. John Locke. widely used in all ages. or from history. natural law. by the promotion of intellectual emancipation and the belief in social and moral progress.): “Man is the measure of all things”. illustrating the close link between religion and politics in English history.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. Thomas Jefferson. anti-obscurantism. Diderot (France). reconciling a materialist account of reality with a rationalist attitude (i. it evokes an attitude to life which stresses the individual’s dignity. 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.C. • Evangelical Revival: a trend which started within the Anglican Church (the official. which began as an educational programme (the humanities – humaniora) propagating those values in Greek and Latin culture which could be harmonised with Christian values.e. The subjects and heroes are taken either from myth. pragmatism. civil rights. artistic and literary life of the Renaissance was defined by a revived interest in the classical culture and its ideals. Tolerance. individual liberty. It is one of the most flexible and adaptable prose forms. when it was restored. legend. • classical revival: the intellectual. worth and capacity for self-accomplishment. state church) as a reaction against the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 25 • . The open conflict between king and Parliament set the whole nation to war. • Enlightenment: ideological and cultural movement in the 18th century in Europe and America. characterised by anti-dogmatism and the cult of reason as the supreme guiding principle in human action. The founders of English empiricism were Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and John Locke (1632-1704). in which personal opinions and observations are presented in a formal or informal manner. • essay: a prose composition of varying length. • epic: long narrative poem celebrating the achievements of heroic personages. Thomas Paine (the United States) are among the great representatives of this movement. • Elizabethan: related to the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). The founder of the revival of classical learning was Petrarch (see note below). In a broader sense. The victory of the Parliamentary forces led to the abolition of monarchy in 1649. Voltaire. David Hume (Britain). social and moral thought. Montesquieu. anti-fanaticism.
singing and dancing. spectacular scenic effects. Its conventions may be found not only in lyric poetry. The Greek poet Pindar (522-442 B. The basis of this kind of faith was the Gospel (the New Testament) and its revealed truth. encouraging a personal experience of conversion.C.) are the great ancient models for English writers. a person or an object. The actors used masks and personified pastoral or mythological figures. and it was often a device of parody and of burlesque. The most famous author of masques in the 17th century (when the genre flourished) was Ben Jonson. founded by John Wesley in the 1740s. pamphlet: a short prose work on a subject (often political or religious) that the author defends polemically. to its need for clarity and its aspiration to universality. mock-heroic style: a style mocking the serious grandeur of the epic. idealising shepherd life and creating a nostalgic image of a peaceful. ode: an extended lyric poem. The origins of pastoral are in the work of the Greek poet Theocritus (316-260 B.) and the Latin poet Horace (658 B. It was used in order to make a trivial subject seem dignified and impressive. Neoclassicism meant a return to the purity. and soon developed into a distinct religious orientation. was forced to leave the throne and fled to France. It addressed itself to the poor.C. in harmony with nature. and corresponded to the rationalistic spirit of the 18th century. James II Stuart. an idea. with an elaborate stanza structure and a dignified.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • • • • • • • excessive rationalism in matters of faith. sumptuous costumes and settings. solemn style. Jacobean: (from Latin Jacobus) related to the reign of James I Stuart (1603-1625). the Neoclassic period is taken to cover almost a century (16601780). but also in Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 26 . from the Creation to the Ascension.C. This religious orientation developed into a church: the Methodist Church. and harmony of classical art. painting and sculpture. the marginal sections of society. expressing lofty sentiments and thoughts regarding an event. masque: courtly entertainment in dramatic form. involving elaborate dialogue. who collaborated with the equally famous architect and stage designer Inigo Jones. In architecture. 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). uncorrupted life. Neoclassicism flourished in the latter half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. simple.). mystery plays: early popular forms of English drama (13th to 16th century) developed out of the Liturgy of the Church and enacting biblical events. Glorious Revolution: in 1688. decorative art. whose authors were deeply revered and were recommended as models. restraint. who was a Catholic. In English literature. pastoral: a literary composition on a rural theme. Neoclassicism: an aesthetic doctrine inspired from classical Antiquity (especially Latin). The term also refers to the form in which such a work was published: a booklet with paper covers. often of an allegorical nature. of spiritual regeneration by grace.
1492). Philip Sidney. and of the awakening of the reformist spirit. Boccaccio. The most outstanding of the Restoration Wits (or Court Wits) were George Villiers. selected according to genre and subject. Sir Charles Sedley. It is the period of transition from the Middle Ages and the feudal order to early capitalism. effort. it had not fully reformed itself.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • • • • • drama. Raphael. and brilliant accomplishments in scholarship and science. Duke of Buckingham. It was characterised by a remarkable flourishing of arts and literature. thus. implied the idea that the language of poetry is different in quality from ordinary language. romance or the novel. Sir George Etherege. it overlaps with the Augustan Age. Thomas More. which was to play an essential role in the rise of capitalism. of the expansion of education. consisting in a tremendous development and transformation in all spheres. Edmund Spenser. when monarchy was re-established in England after the Puritan rule (1649-1660). Lope de Vega. its limits are less well defined. “The poetry of sensibility” is another generic term for these pre-Romantic tendencies. Pico della Mirandola. They propagated a doctrine of spiritual equality and cultivated a stern morality. Leonardo da Vinci. Restoration Wits: the generic name for the Restoration dramatists. favoured the growth of individualism. John Vanbrugh. poetic diction: a term that. “Wit” designates here the person who displays liveliness and brilliance of spirit. William Wycherley. 27 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . by Columbus. centred on integrity. which was the ultimate authority in the interpretation of God’s word in the Holy Scriptures. in the 16th and 17th centuries. Machiavelli. it was the period of Charles II’s reign (1660-1685). on the enlargement of his knowledge of himself and of nature. Romantic: the Romantic Age in England is usually considered to extend from the end of the 18th century to the 1830s. which opened the modern era. It placed emphasis on the individual’s spiritual autonomy and creative potential. It refers to the particular kind of language – vocabulary. Desiderius Erasmus (Holland). style – used by a poet. From a literary point of view. Their beliefs and convictions. Ariosto. It is sometimes seen as extending to the end of the 17th century. 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. tone. Shakespeare. in their view.g. industry. Francis Bacon (England). Puritans: members of a Protestant religious group. Tasso (Italy). especially their work ethics. Renaissance: cultural movement which started in Italy in the 14th century and spread to Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Puritans insisted on man’s duty of actively serving God and on his responsibility towards his own conscience. for the Neoclassic writers. the sense of purpose. and they continued to be used in the 18th century. The Renaissance was the age of the great geographical discoveries (e. who rejected the authority of the English Church because. Restoration: historically. of the rebirth of learning. Prominent figures of the Renaissance are Petrarch. Cervantes (Spain). of America.
in the 17th century it came to mean fancy or liveliness of thought and imagination. poet and scholar. orator.): Roman statesman. and black bile – or melancholy) were believed to determine a person’s disposition and character. He started his literary career as a playwright. the founder of modern rationalist materialism. Cicero. Renaissance dramatists used songs in their plays to create a particular atmosphere. and a firm believer in man’s creative potential. Gallery of personalities • Bacon. according to a dominating inclination or passion. His literary work includes a series of essays on a wide variety of subjects. Ben (1572-1637): dramatist. with Every Man in His Humour (1598) and Every Man Out of His Humour (1599). and a writer. the quality of a writing that displays this capacity. the promoter of the new scientific spirit. two fine examples of comedy of humours. one of the most influential literary voices of his age. Amoretti. with various rhyme patterns. song: a poem composed for singing.C. The tradition survived into the 18th century. it meant intelligence or wisdom. independently of circumstances. choleric and melancholic – were seen as the result of the dominance of one of these humours. in which he anticipates many of the later conquests of modern science.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • Romanticism is a European cultural and literary movement. wit: intellectual brilliance and ingenuity. the capacity or talent of making unexpected. In mediaeval and Renaissance physiology and pathology. 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. This theory had a great influence on the conception of character in the 16th and 17th century comedy. in which the characters act. yellow bile – or choler. the belief in the spiritual correspondence between man and nature. phlegm. The assertion of the self. phlegmatic. as well as an unfinished utopia. His famous political speeches and writings Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 28 . Jonson. philosopher and writer. The sonnet sequence/cycle was frequently used during the Renaissance (Sir Philip Sidney. Sometimes. 1591-1595).e. Edmund Spenser. Marcus Tullius (106-43 B. surprising associations. Astrophil and Stella. The New Atlantis (published in 1627). the emphasis on the spontaneity of poetic inspiration are also among distinctive features of Romanticism. which emerged in Britain in the context of the sympathy with the struggle of the American colonies for independence from British domination (1775-1781). with or without musical accompaniment. The four traditional temperaments – sanguine. sonnet: a poem consisting of 14 lines. fluids) of the body (blood. He was also an eminent statesman. 1591. The Romantic spirit is usually associated with the championship of progressive social and political causes. and with the French Revolution (1789). Francis (1561-1626): the most influential thinker of the English Renaissance. During the Renaissance. the four “humours” (i.
He laid the foundations of the differential calculus. humanity in the state of nature is driven by aggressive competition. besides the Characters. writer and statesman.): Greek philosopher and naturalist. It is fear of death. astronomer and philosopher. Newton. studied the mechanics of planetary motion and formulated the law of gravitation. Hobbes. John (1632-1704): considered the “father” of English empiricism. His political philosophy. of the first treatise of ancient philosophy.): Roman philosopher. that determines man to surrender part of his natural rights to the authority of a civil government.-65 A. but he was interested in a variety of intellectual fields: philosophy. whose conceptions were profoundly influenced by the development of physics and mathematics. in a kind of social contract. Tacitus. which was central to Enlightenment thought. Italian poet and humanist. or the Matter.” A fundamental problem for Hobbes is that of the foundation of the social and political order. Ecclesiastical and Civil (1651). whose concise and trenchant style inspired 17th century English prose writers.C. Locke was a firm supporter of the Glorious Revolution and of constitutional monarchy. for instance. Isaac (1642-1727): English physicist. and Hobbes describes this generalised state of war by the famous formula “homo homini lupus” (“man is wolf to man”). Both Hobbes and Locke can be seen as the initiators of the “social contract” theory. made important discoveries in the field of optics.C. Seneca. Publius Cornelius (55-120 A. Locke.): Roman historian and statesman. Hobbes applies rationalist-materialist principles to the explanation of human nature and society. Form and Power of a Commonwealth. According to him. economics. Theophrastus (372-287 B. the initiator of the revival of the study of ancient Greek and Latin literature. the “body politic” created in perfect analogy with the “body natural” of “that rational and most excellent work of nature. Man.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). must guarantee man’s natural right to liberty and life. the instinct of self-preservation. For Hobbes. insists on man’s perfect freedom in the state of nature. religion. ethics.D. politics. the latter. greatly influenced by Hobbes.D. Thomas (1588-1679): materialist philosopher. Lucius Annaeus (4 B. and his political doctrine inspired the American constitution. author. Locke insists on the mutual obligations of the individual and the instituted authority. unlike that of Hobbes. the laws and regulations of human society imitate the laws of nature: the “great Leviathan” is the State. and man’s agreement to submit to a governing authority is an expression of that freedom. In his work of moral and political philosophy Leviathan. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 29 . mathematician. Locke studied medicine.
Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson.T. Carew. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. Thomson. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .T. the sonnet: Shakespeare. 2003 (pp. artificial. b. 9-32) 2. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech. 4.F. Sir George Etherege. Luminiţa Elena. Preda. English Literature and Civilisation. there was a tendency towards simplicity. The Literature of the Beginnings. Dryden. Donne. 5. 3. Goldsmith. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Cowley. d.F. Milton the pastoral: Milton. Milton. 6.T. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare. Turcu. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. 8. William Wycherley. Blake the ode: Marvell. 5. Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers. Fielding. Duke of Buckingham. Cornelia. Sir George Sedley. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. Marvell satire: Dryden. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate. precision. 2.4. Herbert. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 2003 (pp. Pope. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele.). Herrick. Marvell. 4. John Gay Further reading 1. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson.2.F. 6. 7.T.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. 1983 (pp. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne. The Novel in Its Beginnings.T.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general. Ioan-Aurel (ed. Macsiniuc. Goldsmith. Dryden.T. 2.3.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1.F. c. Collins.T. The English Eighteenth Century. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. 3. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. John Vanbrugh). Pope.T SAQ 2 a. 7-49) 3. .T.
2. 2.4. 2. 2. 2.2. 2.2.3. 2.12. 2. 188.8.131.52.3.3.1. 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11. 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.3.8.9. 2. 2.5.1. 18.104.22.168. 2.2.2. 2. 2.2. 2. 2.2. 2. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs.2. 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 . 22.214.171.124. 2.2. 2.3. 2.2.3. 2.3. 2.5.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 126.96.36.199.10.8.2.
with its sense of confidence and optimism. to scepticism. the sense of tradition as a guarantee for order. The emergence of the baroque sensibility The early and high Renaissance* in England developed under the Tudor monarchs*. anxiety and even pessimism.1. during whose reign England developed into a strong. High Renaissance English literature has its most accomplished expression in Shakespeare’s work. to the perception of man as a bundle of contradictions and the view of the universe as threatened by instability. The vision of a harmonious. Under Queen Elizabeth I. Increasingly prosperous and powerful owing to colonial expansion and economic progress. well-ordered universe. Philip Sydney*. and Edmund Spenser* complete the literary picture of the glorious Elizabethan Age. 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. stable and modern state. Elizabethan England also witnessed an explosion of creative energies in the field of letters and arts. this spirit declined under the pressure of certain historical events* and cultural tendencies. idealism and confidence gave way to a growing sense of disorder and violence. The former expansiveness. The spirit that dominated this age was typical of the Renaissance. Christopher Marlowe*. but the outstanding achievements of writers like Thomas Kyd*.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. Renaissance England reached the climax in its flourishing. The Elizabethan age: the English high Renaissance Features of the high Renaissance spirit 32 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In the late Renaissance.
ornamental rhetoric and preference for convention and artifice. The best examples are Thomas Kyd’s revenge tragedy.1. the difficult – often irregular – rhythms. The Baroque displays attraction to obscurity and melancholy. or the world as stage. refinement and cruelty. and in its dramatic conception. splendour. Paul’s Cathedral in London (16751708): an example of baroque architecture 2. the concentration of expression in their poems stand in contrast with the Elizabethan smooth and orderly patterns of versification. but his great tragedies belong not only chronologically to the Jacobean age: as embodiments of the baroque spirit. and Christopher Marlowe’s characters. its sense of form. capable of rendering its 33 Revenge tragedy Metaphysical poetry Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . wisdom and madness. contrasts with the baroque taste for the extravagant. destroyed by the monstrous excess of their ambition. irony and ambiguity. Even the Elizabethan dramatists cultivated elements which announced the Baroque. The Renaissance celebrated Nature and life with its joys. they are the supreme dramatic achievement of late Renaissance. life and death. of man’s limitations and the inevitability of death. with the tendency of breaking proportions. Characteristic baroque themes were those of life as dream and life as theatre. Characteristic of the baroque spirit are the sense of ethical relativism and the exploration of the borderline between truth and illusion. Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry The essence of the baroque sensibility is conflict and tension. The Renaissance cult of rational order. striking imagery. proportion and symmetry. St. for excess. of confusing or transgressing limits. and not properly forming a “school. the Baroque displayed a sharp consciousness of life’s ephemerality. The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility The baroque* sensibility that emerged during the late Renaissance registered with particular acuteness the conflicts and turbulences in man’s existence. reason and superstition. with its abundance of bloody deaths. the spectacular and the sumptuous. the extensive use of paradox. The unexpected. both in its themes and motifs. nothing reflects better its emergence than drama.2. to the macabre. on which the “show” of life must end. and.1. In lyric poetry.1. but also to pomp.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. in literature. the tragic divisions in man’s soul. grandeur. the paradoxes and contrasts which make up man’s mixed nature. Shakespeare’s early comedies and history plays* are Elizabethan in spirit. Although very diverse. sensualism and mysticism.” these poets distinguish themselves by the ingenuity with which they force the limits of language. a tendency commonly associated with the baroque is represented by the Metaphysical Poets of the 17th century. The Jacobean and Caroline drama* is essentially baroque. The baroque vision of experience of the Metaphysical Poets required a new kind of poetic language.
sense of form B: 4. read again the preceding subchapters. respectively. optimism. The Tempest. If there should be major differences. complicated feeling and analytical detachment. as expressions of the baroque spirit of the age. King Lear. R: cult for order and symmetry. 34 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . with the two most relevant accomplishments of the late Renaissance English literature: William Shakespeare’s great tragedies (Hamlet. Metaphysical poetry blends passion and reason. R: confidence. classical balance. exuberance B: Compare your answers to those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. SAQ 1 Fill in the spaces left below with those features of the Baroque (B) which contrast with the following features of the high Renaissance (R): 1. R: celebration of life’s joys B: 3. and it is appealing simultaneously to the sensibility and the intellect of the reader. you will be acquainted. R: vision of the world as harmonious and well-ordered B: 2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque complexities. Othello and Macbeth) and his last romance play. In the following two subchapters. at the end of this unit. as well as some of the metaphysical poems of John Donne and Andrew Marvell.
or periods of creation. to the prose speech of simple folk. romantic or trivial.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. struggle for power. among other features. 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 . there is an astonishing variety of styles and registers. His later plays Shakespeare’s greatness as a dramatist comes. In Shakespeare’s whole work. where the lyrical and dramatic elements are in perfect fusion. and the range of his subjects is extremely diverse. transcending the artistic hierarchy of his age and consecrating him as always “our contemporary. Shakespeare modulates the language in each play. so that it displays a similar variety. In his last period of creation (1608-1611). Shakespeare’s whole work is a synthesis of the concerns and convictions of the Renaissance. They are always credible. but his enduring preeminence has been insured by his extraordinary insight into human nature. devotion. moral attitudes. According to the dramatic necessity. conflicts. etc. in which every character – major or minor – has a consistent individuality and is animated by passions. in plain. King Lear and Macbeth (1605). language. A wide range of feelings. search for truth. which brought him enormous success during his lifetime. when his artistic maturity and depth of vision produced his four monumental tragedies: Hamlet (1601). He was not original in the use of his subjects: with a few exceptions. loyalty and betrayal. Shakespeare had a natural instinct for the stage. jealousy. The richness and profundity of his comprehensive creation establish him as a universal genius. as well as in the tragic grandeur of the inner conflicts that they portray. His inventiveness and imagination were invested not in the intrigues. The beginning of the 17th century is also the beginning of his second phase (1600-1608). These plays may be seen as strongly influenced by the emerging baroque sensibility in their themes. Shakespeare’s genius. He was a master of every contemporary dramatic form. and French. medieval and contemporary sources – English. hate. and experiences are given dramatic shape in his plays: love. from the variety of his work. and a culmination of its literary art. and a perfect adequacy of the language to the character’s moral nature and to the dramatised experience or emotion. sometimes even trivial. envy. all mastered with supreme art. Italian. craftsmen or servants. His characters emerge from the dramatic situation with an unsurpassed force of conviction. It ranges from the sublime accents of pure poetry. motifs and imagery. gratitude and ingratitude. all of them are re-workings and adaptations of subjects taken from a variety of ancient. his deep understanding of humanity.2. but in the creation of characters and the exploration of their mind and heart. irrespective of the register in which they are conceived – tragic or comic. states of mind. aspirations and interests. friendship. in the great blank verse* soliloquies*. A whole human universe inhabits Shakespeare’s plays. rendered accurately in their poetic truth.” Shakespeare’s work is conventionally divided into several phases. sublime or burlesque. Othello (1604).
SAQ 2 Answer the following questions. His romance plays. common in the Renaissance.1. with the sense of hope overcoming spiritual desolation. of which The Tempest (1611) is the crowning achievement. with the effects of evil on innocence. with innocence and vitality triumphing over evil and death. by the chaos arising from the corruption and collapse of values. between truth and falsehood.The late Renaissance and the Baroque The last period: the romance plays tragedies. The issues that are explored dramatically in Shakespeare’s later tragedies reflect the spirit of uncertainty and increasing scepticism of a baroque age. If they should differ significantly. In these plays. 2. basically. at the end of the unit.2. in no more than 4 lines / 40 words each: 1. What does Shakespeare’s greatness consist in. read again the preceding subchapter. with the human endeavour to understand if suffering is part of the 36 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . but they deal. He is concerned here with the paradoxes in the relationship between reality and appearance. but he adds to it philosophical and ethical implications of the deepest significance. with the consequences of imperfect knowledge and self-blindness. the downfall of the tragic hero is accompanied by the destruction of a natural order. are also tributary to the spirit of the Baroque. The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s tragedies Shakespeare’s tragedies preserve the pattern of the “fall of princes”*. 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. with the restoration of order. as far as his approach to character is concerned? 2.
Hamlet hides his terrible grief behind the mask of madness.The late Renaissance and the Baroque natural order of things or if it betrays the indifference of Nature – or God – towards man.2. the Norwegian prince and glorious military hero. he has the occasion to kill Claudius. but the plot escapes their control and. Laertes. Back to the castle. Hamlet learns that Ophelia. who suspects him of aspiring to take his throne. the play ends on a note of hope. Young Hamlet is thus confronted with the horrors of fratricide and incest. rejected by Hamlet in spite of their mutual affection. sensitive and idealistic. Hamlet feels all his certainties destroyed. Upon his return to Denmark from his university studies. mistaking him for Claudius. bringing in the prospect of renewal and of the restoration of order. Confronted with the moral corruption around him.2. has drowned herself. Hamlet: a revenge play In Hamlet. all the main protagonists find their death. who was now the new king and who had married Gertrude. Sir Laurence Olivier in Hamlet (1948) 2. young prince Hamlet learns from the ghost of his recently dead father. Hamlet escapes a criminal plot set up by Claudius. Sent on a diplomatic mission to England. required by his dead father. In spite of this bloody outcome. 2. At one point. It is in these four great tragedies that Shakespeare gives the full proof of his artistic genius. accepts Claudius’s treacherous plan of killing Hamlet during a duel. the masterful treatment of highly complex characters. Claudius. His Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 37 . Claudius’s guilty conscience betrays him. which represents a similar scene of murder. Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility Hamlet has been seen as the embodiment of the ideal Renaissance prince – refined and cultivated. takes over the rule of Denmark. old king Hamlet. he kills Polonius. when Fortinbras. with a poisoned sword. and with the immense burden of revenge. During the play. The enlargement of meaning through consistent patterns of imagery running throughout each play. brave. Polonius is the father of beautiful Ophelia. the widow queen. and continually delays the act of revenge. Shakespeare deals with his great tragic themes in the frame of a revenge tragedy. in the confusions of the final scene. a courtier.2. who had really gone mad. generous and brilliantly intelligent. absorbed more and more by his consciousness of the paradoxes of his difficult task of exposing the truth. In order to find confirmation for the ghost’s story. Her brother. the first in this series of masterpieces. that he had actually been poisoned by his brother. Hamlet arranges a play to be performed at court. the intensity of poetic expression – especially in the soliloquies – are features that rank these plays highest in the whole history of the genre. but refrains from doing it as the latter was in prayer. as he now sees in her only another embodiment of woman’s frailty. In another scene.3.
read again the preceding subchapter. Hamlet: the philosopher vs. Compare your answer with the suggestions offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. SAQ 3 Text 2. his obsessive quest for truth and certainty. in which all the values on which he had relied have lost their meaning. from the Reader contains a short meditation on man and the universe. revealing Hamlet’s dualistic vision. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words.2. In Hamlet’s tormented soul. His effort to see beyond the veil of illusion. It allows the hero to take distance from the corrupt order of the “prison” that Denmark has become for him. The sign of this confusion is the typically baroque motif of Hamlet’s madness. Madness becomes the refuge of the sensitive conscience from moral chaos. which is only partly dissimulated. as well as the indicated fragment.1. the man of action Hamlet’s penetrating spirit has discerned a reality of human nature that he had not suspected. 38 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The late Renaissance and the Baroque new consciousness that “something’s rotten in Denmark” plunges him into a nightmare. and this may explain his indefinite postponing of the revenge. is eminently a philosopher’s effort. at the end of the unit. and this makes him now aware of the ironies and ambiguities inherent in the discrepancy between what is and what seems. the balance and confidence of the Renaissance man have been replaced by scepticism and mistrust. 2. What is the essence of this divided view? Formulate your answer in the space left below.4. If they should differ significantly.
if there is a purpose for its existence in the world of man.” 2. of truth and illusion. Edgar. Lear becomes the victim of the ingratitude of his two elder daughters. questioning side is exacerbated by the irruption of evil in a universe that he had thought well-ordered. both of them prove to be the loyal. 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. as his father has been deceived by his other son Edmund. he is wondering: “Is there a cause in nature that makes these hard hearts?” Edgar’s disguised madness. as in Hamlet. to believe him a traitor and usurper. Hamlet feels overwhelmed by the real task that he is called to fulfil. and the Fool’s comments. The storm scenes in the play contain the highest symbolic concentration. He is also accompanied by the faithful Earl of Kent in disguise and by the Court Fool.5. Disappointed by the reticence of his youngest daughter. of human suffering. after his eyes have been put out for having helped Lear. like Lear’s daughter Cordelia. The motif of madness. which helps him endure his suffering.The late Renaissance and the Baroque The delay of Hamlet’s revenge his incapacity to act. whom he disinherits. the quest for higher meanings. marks in fact a growth in his moral understanding. and he is thus reunited with his son without knowing it. and. His intellectual energies are now concentrated in his search for the meaning of the ultimate questions of life and death. Lear’s own madness. which has been interpreted in innumerable ways. through paradox. there is madness in nature itself. who is disguised as a lunatic beggar. unconditionally loving ones. which hide much wisdom under the appearance of playful nonsense. are skilfully brought together and create a new ironic dimension in the play. The storm outside matches the storm in Lear’s hurt soul. 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. son of Lear’s loyal supporter. King Lear: the madness of tragic grief King Lear. of setting right again the “time” which is “out of joint. Edgar. The earl of Gloucester joins them. is also an exile from his own family. another “fall of princes” tragedy. Hamlet’s introspective. like that of blindness. Cordelia. exiled Lear wanders in a terrible storm in the company of Edgar. a bastard. Maddened with grief. Tragically. which would not undo the past. Goneril and Reagan. to the themes of knowledge and self-knowledge. who deprive him of all prerogatives and turn him out of their castles. is closely linked. is the victim of a staged play of appearances. on the other hand. 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 . Lear strives to understand the roots of evil. in reality.2. which is that of restoring a lost order.
The noble protagonist. In Othello. To be or to seem: Othello Evil coming from those who are naturally closest to us is intolerable. 2. Desdemona. In Othello. Evil is that which destroys Nature. faithfulness/betrayal. 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). As a result of Iago’s manipulations. acting against it. With his mind poisoned by a false evidence of Desdemona’s infidelity. is led by Iago to believe his wife. Othello. evil succeeds precisely because of the perfection of Desdemona’s purity and Othello’s trusting nature. painted by James Graham (early 17th century) 40 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Claudius’s fratricide and the cruelty of Lear’s daughters are transgressions which turn the tragic hero’s world upside down. and the tragic disaster shows how the play of appearances can dissolve firm moral opposites like truth/lie. a brave and honest general of the Venetian republic.6. Scene from Othello. 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 its outburst is always accompanied by the awakening of the tragic hero’s consciousness of the divorce between seeming and being. Othello kills her and takes his own life when her innocence is proved to him. and this destroys his confidence in a moral order. innocence/guilt.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Evil as destruction of the “natural” order unnatural acts which violate this order. Othello is thrown into the terrible agony of suspecting that beauty and innocence might disguise corruption.2. essence. unfaithful.
and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. paradoxically. at the end of the unit.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The protagonist. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. ____________________ 4. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. underlining the theme of knowledge. ____________________ 5. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. 2. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood.7. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. ____________________ 2. who has a trusting nature. it bleeds. to 2. and unmotivated violence and cruelty.6.2.2. at the instigation of his wife.2. illusion and truth.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. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. kinsman and guest. he multiples his crimes. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. innocence and corruption. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). 1. you need to revise subchapters 2. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. one of Duncan’s sons. / It weeps. but. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. If any of your solutions should not correspond. The baroque motif of madness is. ____________________ 3. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king.2. disorder. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. Macbeth.
How can we interpret Macbeth’s hallucination about the voice crying “Sleep no more. Text 2. Compare your answer with the one offered at the end of the unit.2. If there should be significant differences. SAQ 5 In Act II. from which the ultimate relief is suicide.The late Renaissance and the Baroque burden of sin. Macbeth joins his wife after he has killed Duncan. and he meets his punishment in the final battle. / Macbeth does murder sleep. 42 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Macbeth’s heroic strength of will enables him to survive the terrible inner torments. scene 2. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. His words to Lady Macbeth render his first thoughts after the murder. from the Reader. in no more than 120 words / 12 lines.” heard immediately after he has committed the murder? What does sleep represent for Macbeth here? Answer in the space left below. in which he fights to the end with the same determination that had brought him the glory of a hero at the beginning of the play. read the fragment once more. who ends up by losing the belief in any meaning of life. reveals how soon the abominable crime has begun to work on his spirit. 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. extracted from this scene.
a creature whose beastly nature is beyond Prospero’s attempt of educating him. He had long studied the arts of magic.8. and his supernatural powers have given him control over both the natural elements and the spirits. In its opening scene. Shakespeare’s last plays Shakespeare’s four plays belonging to his last period of creation (1608-1611) – Pericles. His acts of magic are fulfilled through Ariel. a storm wrecks the ship carrying Antonio. duke of Milan. Another sub-plot brings together Ferdinand and Miranda. respectively –. They mix serious and comic action. to take his throne. separated from each other in various parts of the island and all believing the others dead. is considered the finest. marvelous. the last expression of Shakespeare’s mature genius. Prospero is the former and legitimate duke of Milan. who. of exile and return). the shipwreck. Three lines of action develop. a drunken servant. 2. but his plan is prevented by Ariel’s music. One of these sub-plots involves the courtiers: Antonio persuades Sebastian to kill his sleeping brother. by his powers.g. It is also in these last plays that Shakespeare’s dramatic imagination relies to a greater extent on symbolism. and certain themes and motifs (e. as well as other passengers. or tension and suspense followed by happy reversals – features that make them tragi-comedies. After the tragedies. Alonzo. has turned him into a slave.2. Miranda. the sense of a benevolent providential design. king of Naples. the pronounced elements of the supernatural.9. Trinculo. Cymbeline. Alonzo. are encouraged by Caliban to kill Prospero and take over the rule of the island. 43 John William Waterhouse: Miranda –The Tempest (1916) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The plot of The Tempest Of these four plays. the master of an island. their plots contain characteristic ingredients like dangers which are finally avoided. owing to the improbability of the action. The Winter’s Tale. on which he lives alone with his daughter. his faithful spiritservant. In a plot-line that parallels and parodies the latter. the choice of a remote setting.2. the jester. The Tempest (1611). involving the shipwrecked characters. while for physical labour he uses Caliban. We soon find out that the storm and shipwreck have been magically provoked by Prospero. myth.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. magic. They may also be described as romance plays. usurped by his brother Antonio and forced into exile twelve years before. these plays offer patterns of reconciliation and positive solutions to life’s contradictions. Sebastian and Ferdinand – Alonzo’s brother and son. and Sebastian. Caliban hates and fears Prospero. and The Tempest – are described either as tragi-comedies or as romance plays. the fairy-tale atmosphere. the long journey. the theme of loss and recovery. who instantly fall in love with each other.
10.” “on whose nature / Nurture [i. Evil is not absent in The Tempest: there are echoes of Shakespeare’s previous plays in the motif of the usurping brother planning murder. influenced by Ariel. The grossest instincts of human nature and a fundamental viciousness are symbolically embodied in the grotesque figure of Caliban. to master himself. he regains his authority and learns again the arts of power. His act of forgiveness is the highest demonstration of princely power. Major themes An important theme in The Tempest is that of the nature of power. Prospero’s project acquires a wider dimension through the union of Ferdinand and Miranda. or of the wickedness of the servant turning against his master. who now repent. He forgives his treacherous brother and those involved in his usurpation. Prospero. at the end. now.” claiming his throne. whose youth and innocence are the premises for the undoing of the wrongs of the past. he learns. and to return to the world in his full humanity. but. Ariel. one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating creations. for the emergence of a regenerated world. At the opposite pole. On the island.” who can be controlled only by the art of magic. in Ferdinand and Miranda civilisation and nature are united in their most innocent forms. the control of intelligence over nature. the scholar-magician. Caliban Innocence vs. “neglecting worldly ends. assumes a certain responsibility for his own dethronement: absorbed in his studies.2. Ariel is commanded to bring all the characters before Prospero. the personification of Prospero’s imagination.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Prospero’s initial plan had been revenge. to break his staff (symbol of supernatural power) and to drown his book (symbol of supernatural knowledge). and then to Milan.” he had also failed to see his brother’s true character. a “thing of darkness. and it is significant that this act is accompanied by his decision to abandon his magic. The theme of power Ariel vs. Prospero plans a safe return to Naples for the wedding of Miranda and Ferdinand. The power of innocence to redeem evil and restore order and the values of humanity is another important theme. In the final act. represents pure spirit. more importantly. 2. he has a change of heart and sees in the union of the lovers a possibility of reconciliation and of a new beginning. evil Elizabeth Green – Ariel: The Tempest (1922) 44 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . education] can never stick.e. who reveals himself to them as “the wronged duke of Milan. While Caliban and the plotting courtiers and servants demonstrate that both nature and society are capable of corruption.
The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 6 Read Text 2. Caliban answers that the only benefit of being able to speak is that he can now curse Prospero. read the fragment again.4. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be major differences. by teaching him to speak. of the role of language in acquiring knowledge. more carefully. for instance. Formulate your answer in 150 words / 15 lines. What implications can you find in their exchange of replies? You may think. Full of resentment. Compare your answer with the one offered at the end of the unit. Prospero reminds Caliban that he did his best to raise him from his animal condition. Act I. Here. or in developing self-identity.. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 45 . extracted from The Tempest. scene 2.
comforts Ferdinand’s despair when he thinks his father dead.2. It is through music that he calms down the fury of the waters.2. which “delight and hurt not. then at least man should strive to discern in it. or to impose upon it. In opposition with the convulsions and dangers of the tempest. Ariel – illustration to the 1873 edition of The Works of Shakespeare 46 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . manipulates the characters and prescribes the ending. Prospero also needs “some heavenly music” to accomplish the final act of his plan. whose magic art controls every incident. The sea-journey and shipwreck are the symbols of a “sea change”*. The title itself points to the importance of the symbolism of the sea-journey. order and harmony. Symbols in The Tempest Several symbolic elements contribute to the treatment of the themes in The Tempest. It is through the perfection of Ariel’s art that Prospero re-establishes the moral law in the world to which he can now return. This emphasis on spectacle and its power to reveal truths by its illusion constitutes a baroque element in The Tempest. Shakespeare’s last masterpiece seems to suggest that if life is transient like a theatre performance. but an important symbolic ingredient in its major events.12. sublimating its primitive energies. The miraculous survival of the ship’s passengers. is frequent in Shakespeare’s plays. the same features as those of the Renaissance aesthetic ideal: beauty. Another pervading symbol is that of music. The whole play insists on the idea of spectacle. Music is not only a necessary element in the spectacular quality of The Tempest. suggests the victory of life over death and of spirit over the elemental power of nature. and prevents the wicked plots of both the courtiers and the drunken servants.11. The playmetaphor. the association of life with the insubstantiality and briefness of a theatre show. music suggests harmony and the power of the spirit to purify human nature. Even Caliban seems to be responsive to the “sounds and sweet airs” of the island. of performance. a profound spiritual transformation and growth. The play-metaphor The action in The Tempest is practically managed by Prospero.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. and it is constantly associated with the magic actions of Ariel.” The sea-journey Music 2. and it even contains (like Hamlet) a play within the play: a masque* performed as a celebration of Ferdinand and Miranda’s engagement.
applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century.12. T F 4. in his own way. Their styles are different. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. except that of terrifying him. 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. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. You must find them among the following statements. 1. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music.2.2. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. 2. T F 6. revise subchapters2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. T F 3. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. T F 7. T F 2. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 . was first intended to bring discredit on them. at the end of the unit. but each of them.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty.9 to 2. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. of which three are false. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence. T F 5. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. If any of your choices should be wrong. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. The power of music has no effect on Caliban. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art.3. 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.
or discovery of occult [i. by the ingenuity with which they forced the perception of similarity in the most unexpected elements. A poem in this tradition is usually focused on an idea or line of argument. By means of conceits. In spite of its logical. Characteristics of metaphysical poetry Metaphysical poetry displayed a new quality of writing.” as “the most heterogeneous ideas yoked [i. conceits were abundant in Elizabethan dramatic and lyrical poetry. and almost always such a poem starts from a very personal situation. which is developed through the exploitation of an image in all its possible implications. which helps the poet to develop his subject. “More matter and less words” 2. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Discordia concors 48 . The metaphysical conceit The poetic device by which such opposites are brought together and reconciled is the conceit.2. the poet was able to reconcile contradictory states of mind and feeling. which was in fact the expression of a new spiritual context. a demand for “more matter and less words. but metaphysical conceits were far-fetched* comparisons. hidden. argumentative quality. as well as in ordering and mastering intense emotion.1.3. and the emotions involved. and which blended expressive conciseness with density of meaning. Samuel Johnson* was to describe (in 1779) the kind of wit which characterised a metaphysical conceit as discordia concors*.e. a metaphysical poem is not a piece of abstract thinking. The thought goes hand in hand with the feeling. linked. The main features of metaphysical poetry are concentration and logical coherence. This is an elaborate figurative device. united] by violence together.e. secret] resemblances in things apparently unlike. a metaphor or an analogy. Irrespective of the kind of experience they endeavour to render.” Conceits were effective instruments in developing an argument and in rendering complication and subtlety of thought. from a most ordinary circumstance. regardless of the subject of the poem. a cold intellectual exercise. to bring not only his imagination and emotion into play. all metaphysical poets are self-conscious and analytic. Dr. and to unify diverse and even discordant aspects of inner and outer reality into a single experience. writers had to face a new exigency. Starting with the last decade of the 16th century.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. often extended by the use of hyperbole* or oxymoron*.” A new kind of poetry emerged. As extended comparisons. There is always a connection between the abstract and the concrete. but also his reason. is contemplated from a certain distance. The impression is that this experience.3. which starts from a comparison. The reader is expected to approach such a poem with an active mind. that the poet detaches himself from his own feelings in order to better understand and analyse them. meant to surprise and delight the reader by their wit*. and a blend of the commonplace and the sublime. as “a combination of dissimilar images. with patterns of rhythms closer to those of spoken language than to the requirements of literary tradition.
and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. and allegory. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. and the same realistic force.3. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell.2. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. and 2. If they should differ considerably. its decorative use of classical mythology.3.3.3. In the following subchapters. and a highly original one. revise subchapters 2.1. Use the space left below. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . Donne displays the same sophisticated wit.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. pastoral* conventions. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 2. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. In the treatment of both themes. at the end of the unit.
dealing with profound personal feeling and emotion from the distance of intellectual argument. and he seems to amuse himself. carrying the lover’s witty arguments to their logical extremes. but. as this would be a triple “sin. The poem celebrates the stability and comfort of a secure relationship. 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. sometimes presenting woman as inconstant and unfaithful. and all that the faithful lover could hope for were symbolic rewards and favours for his constancy and humble submission. Donne’s rejection of the Petrarchan tradition A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning The Flea: seduction and wit 50 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . are however harmless to man. though greater.” In fact. Chaste. Donne’s love poems In his love poems. which. The various comparisons and analogies by which he describes their love function as arguments in his plea. 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). Donne changes this conventional vision of love. in which the lover tries to persuade his mistress not to cry at his imminent departure. in which the speaker brings all his argumentative skill in support of his attempt to convince the woman to accept physical intimacy. Donne is highly playful in this poem. These are conceits which illustrate the preference of the metaphysical poets for analogies between the macrocosm and the (human) microcosm.4.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. may afford an experience of the transcendental. from cynicism and playfulness to passionate sincerity and the celebration of both physical love and spiritual union. sometimes speaking frankly of his erotic desire. His love poetry is revolutionary in its rejection of the Petrarchan* conventions of courtly love*. superior – woman was an object of never fulfilled desire. Mingling the trivial with the mystical sublime. Their superior love is founded on spiritual union and is not dependent on physical presence for its survival.” their separation must be seen in analogy with cosmic disturbances (“the trepidation of the spheres”). when accompanied by genuine feeling. A famous poem celebrating shared love is A Valediction*: Forbidding Mourning. Crying over their separation would bring to mind an analogy with earthly disasters (“sigh-tempests. and often emphasising the need for mutual love. This is a seduction poem. in which their blood is now mixed. Another powerful example of Donne’s use of logical argument in a poem about love is The Flea. Donne adopts a wide range of tones and attitudes. he pleads that she should abandon the intransigence of the chaste. unattainable lady and enjoy the pleasures of sensuality. he resorts to the extravagant identification of a flea that has bitten both of them with their “marriage bed” and a “marriage temple.” “tear-floods”). beautiful. according to which woman was always an unattainable ideal. their love being so great and “refined.” He tries to persuade his mistress not to kill the flea.3.
paying special attention to the last three stanzas. in the Reader). Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 51 .2. you need to revise subchapter 2.6. as well. Formulate your answer in the space left below. at the end of the unit. in no more than 18 lines / 180 words. which explains what a metaphysical conceit is.. Read the poem again. 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. Here. he develops one of his most famous conceits.3. If they should differ significantly.
In Batter My Heart. in the exercise of reason. Batter My Heart Portrait of John Donne (1572-1631) (author unknown) 52 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in his religious poems the mystery of faith is often explored in erotic terms.3. He fights against his own sense of sin and guilt. These poems usually display contrary impulses. Actually. in which the poet’s desire to abandon himself to God’s love is rendered through paradoxical images.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. gives this sonnet a particular dramatic intensity. Donne’s religious poems Donne’s baroque sensibility is evident in his love poems in the tension between conflicting. for the divine saving grace. paradoxical aspects of the experience of love. The most eloquent example is the sonnet Batter My Heart. comparable to that of Shakespeare. one of Donne’s nineteen Holy Sonnets. between the need for permanence and the need for variety. Donne’s focus is on his deep sense of sin. in which the poet expresses his deep need for a close relationship with God. In his religious meditations in verse. on the paradoxes of freedom and captivity. on death. which makes him a prisoner of God’s enemy. resurrection and salvation. If love is often a holy mystery for Donne. in which the delight in witty logical argumentation. The insistence on violence and struggle. between idealised passion and erotic desire. divine judgement. this need is expressed by means of several conceits. which parallel those in his love poetry. of loyalty and betrayal. as if suggesting that the experience of erotic union is the only way of understanding our relationship with God. clashes with the poet’s scepticism that the mystery of faith can be penetrated intellectually. Tension and paradox are also explored in his religious poems. Satan.5. Donne’s religious poems often develop an analogy between sexual love and divine love.
2. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. according to some critics. and read the poem again. As a Puritan* patriot.6. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . Marvell left.5. nature. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes.7.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. and love of country. revise subchapter 2. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Donne suggests his contradictory. In the last six lines. If there should be significant differences. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. at the end of the unit. How does he use this contrast in order to speak about his religious experience? Analyse this conceit in no more than 12 lines / 120 words.3.3. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. from the Reader. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone.
e. reveals thus its symbolic dimension to the poet’s contemplative mind. in contrasting colours. pictured with remarkable precision. The carpe diem* motif was popular in Renaissance poetry. Just as the dew-drop is “trembling.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. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Carpe diem 54 . and many of his poems reveal his delight in the contemplation of rural nature. Marvell does not portray Oliver Cromwell and his opponent.” whose visible beauties are the key to spiritual truths. Although loyal to the Puritan cause. behaving with royal grace in his last minute. as if Nature itself were a “mystic book.8. the most accomplished is To His Coy Mistress. What begins as a nature poem is extended into a religious poem by means of a metaphysical conceit. On the other hand. His nature poems have usually a mystical tendency. is On a Drop of Dew. for fear that it might grow] impure. He showed a deep love for the countryside. King Charles I Stuart. however. in this respect.3. aspiring to union with almighty God. lest it grow [i.3. but Marvell’s poem extends it into a meditation on time. Gifted with a sharp sense of observation of natural detail. On a Drop of Dew 2. Marvell emphasises the dignity with which the defeated king met his fate. and thus he can find reason to praise both of them. 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. which illustrates the poet’s skill in combining the playful and the serious. A natural detail. to change the form of ruling power). in which the speaker develops an ingenious argument in order to persuade his mistress to give up her coyness [i. anticipating the early Romantic attitude to nature.e. in which both of them act according to a divine order.e. The theme of love in Marvell’s poetry Of Marvell’s love poems. these details as emblems of a transcendent reality. shyness] and accept his passionate love. It is a seduction poem.” associated with his mistress’s preference for a prolonged courtship. 2.7.” 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. The speaker’s argument opposes the “deserts of vast eternity. a masterpiece of metaphysical wit. He rather sees the events and the fate of the two rulers in the context of a providential history.” and finally dissolves itself “into the glories of the almighty Sun. The most illustrative poem. which begins with a most accurate description of a dew-drop on a rose petal. on the scaffold. Marvell often sees. developed then into a complex analogy with the pure Christian soul and its relation with earth and with heaven.
Do not exceed 12 lines / 120 words in all.The late Renaissance and the Baroque to the imperative of conquering time by the intensity of sensual enjoyment.3.8. If the difference is considerable. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 55 . in the Reader). it can arrest the inevitable course towards physical extinction by a moment of ecstatic pleasure. Love. is presented as the only way of transcending our mortality. which has the structure If…. more carefully. Love can suspend the inexorable laws of nature.8. If… But… Therefore… Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. SAQ 11 Read Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress (Text 2. but…. then (therefore)…. after revising subchapter 2. at the end of the unit. in its sexual fulfillment. paying attention to the logic of the argument. read the poem again. What are the main ideas corresponding to these three steps? Formulate them succinctly in the space left below.
The late Renaissance and the Baroque
This unit has introduced you to an important aspect of the English Renaissance: the development, in the early 17th century, of the Baroque as a structure of sensibility different from that of the Elizabethan age (corresponding to the high Renaissance). Subchapter 2.1 focuses on the contrast between the optimism, confidence, exuberance, sense of order, harmony and balance characterising the high Renaissance spirit, and the baroque vision with its emphasis on disorder, conflict, tension and confusion, scepticism and anxiety. Paradox and irony are favourite devices for the exploration of the relationship between contraries, such as truth and illusion, wisdom and madness, life and death, body and spirit, action and contemplation, etc. A taste for the obscure, for melancholy, for the macabre often defines the Baroque, but it may also display an attraction to the spectacular, to extravagance and excess. Subchapters 2.2 and 2.3 focus, respectively, on Shakespeare and on two great metaphysical poets, John Donne and Andrew Marvell, who best illustrate this spirit of the late Renaissance. Subchapter 2.2 deals with Shakespeare’s four great plays of his second period of creation – Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth. The themes they explore (the nature of evil, the meaning of human suffering, the paradoxes of innocence and knowledge, truth and falsehood, etc.(reflect the baroque sensibility of the age). This subchapter includes also a discussion of Shakespeare’s last major dramatic creation, The Tempest, a romance play in which his tone changes into a more affirmative one and the central thematic concern is the possibility of moral regeneration, of the restoration of order. Subchapter 2.3 aims to acquaint you with some of the basic features of metaphysical poetry, insisting on its use of conceits, on its argumentative structure, on its mixture of intense feeling and intellectual detachment. Both John Donne and Andrew Marvell display a baroque sensibility in their attraction to paradox and ambiguity, and they are both great masters of metaphysical wit, skillfully controlling lyrical effusion by subtle and precise logical argument.
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Renaissance Baroque paradox scepticism tragedy romance play play-metaphor metaphysical poetry conceit discordia concors
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural
The late Renaissance and the Baroque
• Baroque: the term comes from the Portuguese barroco and the Spanish barrueco, meaning a rough or imperfectly shaped pearl. It describes a style in architecture and the visual arts, music and literature, which dominated the 17th century, and which was characterised by sumptuous ornamentation and by the search for effect. Its meaning is often extended to a certain type of sensibility, not necessarily restricted to the historical period in which the baroque style flourished. In art, the Baroque is opposed to Classicism and Neoclassicism. blank verse: see the Glossary in Unit 1. carpe diem: literally, “seize the day” in Latin; a phrase from one of Horace’s Odes, meaning “enjoy yourself while you can.” The carpe diem motif is associated with the theme of the brevity of life and the inevitability of death. Civil War: see the Glossary in Unit 1. courtly love: a concept developed during the Middle Ages, in literary and aristocratic/courtly circles, which was closely linked to the feudal concept of vassalage and the cult of the Virgin Mary. discordia concors: (Latin) literally: harmonious discord; combination of apparently discordant images or ideas, the joining of opposites in such a way that a paradoxical sense of harmony is created. fall of princes: the traditional theme of a tragedy, as established by Aristotle (see the Gallery of personalities below), in his treatise on Poetics. According to him, tragedy was supposed to deal with the downfall of a noble character, enjoying “reputation and prosperity.” The disaster is brought on him not by vice and depravity, but by “some error of judgement,” and its representation is meant to arouse pity and fear. far-fetched: literally: carried too far; improbable, unlikely. history plays (or chronicle plays): a form of drama invented by the Elizabethans, which dramatises a certain historical period, starting from historical record rather than from myth and legend. Shakespeare’s chronicle plays include a sequence of four plays on the War of the Roses (the three parts of Henry VI, and Richard III – 1590-1592), and another series, consisting in Richard II, King John, the two parts of Henry IV, and Henry V, written between 1595-1599. These plays are mainly inspired from the 16th century chronicles of Raphael Holinshed, and they were highly influential in the shaping of a national consciousness. They scrutinise the national past, underlining the importance of a centralised authority which should put an end to the dangers of anarchy, inherent in the feudal struggles for power. Horatian Ode: an ode (see the Glossary in Unit 1) written in a highly formal, regular pattern, on the model of the ancient Latin poet Horace (65-8 B.C.). hyperbole: a rhetorical figure consisting in deliberate exaggeration, for the purpose of emphasis. imagery: basically, language appealing to the senses. Imagery represents the coherent system of mental images evoked by 57
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The late Renaissance and the Baroque
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figurative language, to which certain patterns of feeling are associated, and which direct the reader’s reaction. For instance, in Macbeth, the recurrent imagery of clothes sitting ill on their owner intensifies our perception of the protagonist as a usurper, and the dominant imagery of darkness contributes to the suggestion of the proportions of the moral evil. In King Lear, frequent images connected with bodily pain and torture and with animals of prey strengthen our sense of the extraordinary power of evil, of a humanity that has become a toy in the hands of indifferent gods. Jacobean and Caroline drama: see again subchapter 1.4.1 in Unit 1. masque: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Metaphysical Poets: see again subchapter 1.3 in Unit 1. oxymoron: a rhetorical figure in which apparently contradictory terms are used in conjunction (as in “beautiful tyrant”). pastoral: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Petrarchan: related to or modelled on Petrarch (see again the Gallery of personalities in Unit 1). Puritan: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Renaissance: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. revenge tragedy: see again subchapter 1.4.1 in Unit 1. sea-change: this phrase from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, used by Ariel in one of his songs, is used to refer to a complete change in the nature or character of something, a change which seems almost magical. soliloquy: from Latin solus, i.e. alone, and loqui, i.e. to speak; a widely accepted dramatic convention, by which a character, speaking alone on the stage, reveals to the audience his thoughts, feelings, motives and intentions. In Shakespeare’s plays, the soliloquies mark the moments of the characters’ most profound insight, in which some important revelation is reached, or in which the character discloses the full complexity of his motives and reveals the depths of his consciousness. valediction: a farewell speech (from Latin vale: farewell, and dicere: to say). wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.
Gallery of personalities
• • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.): Greek philosopher, author of works on logic, ethics, politics, poetics, rhetoric, metaphysics. Johnson, Samuel (1709-1784): the most influential critic of the 18th century, author of the impressive critical-biographical work Lives of the Poets (1779-1781), editor of Shakespeare’s work (1765). He compiled the first important Dictionary of the English Language (1755). Kyd, Thomas (1557-1595): one of the most popular Elizabethan dramatists, the author of The Spanish Tragedy, the prototype of the Renaissance revenge tragedy, modelled on the plays of Seneca (se again subchapter 1.3.2 in Unit 1). Marlowe, Christopher (1564-1593): Elizabethan dramatist, the
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural
The late Renaissance and the Baroque
most important and influential of Shakespeare’s precursors. His tragedies (Tamburlane the Great, Doctor Faustus, The Jew of Malta) depict titanic heroes, whose extraordinary will power and ambition set them on a risky quest (for absolute power, knowledge and wealth, respectively). Sidney, Philip (1554-1586): important poet of the Elizabethan age, best known through his sequence of love sonnets Astrophil and Stella. He is also the author of a prose romance, Arcadia, and of a critical prose essay, An Apology [i.e. defense] of Poetry, which played a major role in the definition of English Renaissance literary aesthetics. Spenser, Edmund (1552-1599): one of the greatest English poets, whose influence on later poets is comparable to that of Shakespeare and Milton. Like Sidney (see below), Spenser wrote a sonnet sequence, Amoretti, which enjoyed great popularity. His masterpiece is the allegorical poem The Fairie Queen, a culmination of Renaissance poetic art, which glorifies Queen Elizabeth. Tudor monarchs: Henry VII (1485-1509), who established national order and unity after a long period of feudal war; Henry VIII (1509-1547), Elizabeth I (1558-1603).
Solutions and suggestions for SAQs
SAQ 1 1. emphasis on disorder, violence, conflict, instability 2. emphasis on life’s shortness and insubstantiality (life as dream), on the macabre and the morbid, on melancholy 3. taste for extravagance, excess, breaking of limits and proportions, ambiguity 4. scepticism, anxiety, tension SAQ 2 1. Shakespeare shows a deep understanding of human nature in its extraordinary variety; he portrays a wide range of feelings, emotions, attitudes and moral features; he achieves perfectly convincing characters, in a variety of dramatic registers. 2. The last plays are characterised by a vision of hope and of order restored; here, innocence is victorious over evil, by contrast with the former tragic vision of the universe and of man as torn by inner conflicts. SAQ 3 The fragment contrasts the confidence and exuberance of the Renaissance with the scepticism and melancholy characteristic of the baroque spirit. Hamlet as a Renaissance man glorifies the beauty and majesty of the universe, and praises man as the masterpiece of creation, close to angels and God in his power of understanding and the infinity of his creative potential. On the other hand, to his tragic consciousness the world appears as irremediably corrupt and infested with evil, and man as a creature limited by his mortal condition (“quintessence of dust”).
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural
because the latter’s nature was hopelessly evil. 5. 3. 4. etc. made of two moving legs articulated at one end. T. and the horrible crime has immediate effects on his conscience. usually between highly dissimilar elements. SAQ 6 Prospero might have better controlled Caliban in his “brutish” state. by keeping one foot fixed and moving the other round this centre. F. he chose to raise Caliban to the condition of a rational creature. As “chief nourisher in life’s feast. which organises and “manages” intense feeling and emotion. he failed in his effort to enlighten Caliban. This instrument. 2. through language (knowing his “own meaning”). Hamlet. King Lear. 4. From Prospero’s point of view. innocent conscience) is part of the natural order of man’s existence. As a truly superior being. which he resents. T. however. the abstract and the concrete. surprising associations) 3.” sleep (i. Hamlet. to blend contraries (e.) SAQ 9 The poet associates mutual love with the way in which a pair of compasses works. “Sleep no more” anticipates the torments of Macbeth’s conscience. He thus expected Caliban to overcome his primitive impulses and to develop more civilised tendencies (“purposes”). even if physically the lovers must be apart. which remain perfectly united. SAQ 7 1. King Lear SAQ 5 In the first place. Hamlet. unexpected. 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”). F.g. T SAQ 8 1. Prospero seemed also to think that Caliban could be socialised through speech.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 4 1. By 60 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . endowed with speech. 7. complicated line of argument. From Caliban’s point of view. this hallucination proves Macbeth’s strong imagination. led to his awareness of his condition as a slave. T. the development of conscience. is a suitable emblem for their souls. 6. 3. 2. “The innocent sleep” is the symbol of moral integrity. 5. of his own sense of self. unable to find peace once it has been corrupted by evil.e. analytical detachment from emotion 4. attempt to reconcile contradictory or discordant experiences. Othello. King Lear. of a clean mind. concise expression and density of meaning 2. Perfect circles (symbolising perfect love) may be traced by means of the compasses. passion and reason. Othello. which would have enabled him to communicate (e. F. use of conceits (extended comparisons. He is not a cold-blooded killer. guided by rational will. make his purposes known through words).g.
The only way out of his loveless “marriage” to sin is a “divorce. 1983 (pp. the metaphor of the speaker’s “marriage” to God’s enemy suggests his sense of sin. But I know time is merciless. Your own passion “transpires” in the blush of your skin. in the absence of joy.).. 246-249. instead of letting it devour us slowly.). SAQ 11 If we had time enough and the world were all ours. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. English Literature and Civilisation. so let us devour Time with the intensity of our desire. which would restore the purity of his faith (being “chaste”). will long for him. SAQ 10 Marriage is associated with love. 302-305) 3. because your charms deserve such praise. Therefore let us enjoy each other while we are still young and you are beautiful.. Penguin Books Ltd. The speaker tries thus to persuade his mistress of his own constancy of feeling. 1991 (pp. the inclination of the fixed leg may vary – it seems to “lean after” the moving leg. as the moving leg will “come home” and join its “twin. 3. vol. 97-105. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). A Critical History of English Literature. in fact. consent and legality. and which would resemble rape.” which only God can effect. Daiches. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. since only worms will “enjoy” it.The late Renaissance and the Baroque analogy. Preda. 130-140) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 61 . Further reading 1.” so there is always the certainty of reunion for the lovers. Ford. 34-40. but the implication is that his will and reason are too weak to defend his faith. vol. I would spend ages in praising every part of your body. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Ioan-Aurel (coord. 267-283. But. David.” Depending on the distance from the centre to the circumference. Paradoxically. Taking him by force – by the force of the divine grace –. 273-287) 2. while rape presupposes the violation of one’s will. waiting for her departed lover. Boris (ed. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. your virginity will then be worth nothing. God would set him free for a complete experience of religious devotion. however. He loves God. the poet’s love depends on the certainty of his mistress’s faithfulness and constancy: “Thy firmness makes my circle just. your beauty will fade and my songs of praise will have no object when you lie in your grave. just as the mistress. 1969 (pp.
2. 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 . Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3.6.5. 188.8.131.52.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3.5. 184.108.40.206.1. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan. 3. 3.2. 3.3.4. 220.127.116.11.4.1. 3. 3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 18.104.22.168.4.3. 3.5. 3.3.1. 3. 3.3. 3.5. 3.2.2. 3. 3.
etc. After that.1. In 1638. music. 63 John Milton (1608-1674) A man of impressive learning The Puritan patriot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Greek and Hebrew. Milton’s enduring reputation is ensured by his masterpiece. He devoted himself heart and soul to the cause defended by the Puritans*.). rhetoric and the great works of the classics. His education was eminently that of a Christian humanist. as well as his moral inflexibility. the author of a work which represents a highly original synthesis of Renaissance humanism*. the freedom of the press. he went on a trip to Italy. which exerted a huge influence on many generations of poets. geography. and he made up his mind about his own position in the conflicts that agitated his country.g. and the course of his literary career was consistently marked by his involvement in the political. he continued to read intensively. he studied Latin. family. the Christian humanist Milton is one of the most prominent figures of the 17th century. accumulating an impressive knowledge in a diversity of fields (e. as a publicist. politics. 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. and for almost twenty years he served their ideal of a truly reformed England. In his prose essays and pamphlets*. and he dedicated long years of study and preparation to his accomplishment as a creator. mathematics. baroque* vision. he approached a diversity of subjects.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. religious and civil debates of his age. He returned to England when the troubles which were to lead to the Civil War* started. He lived and created in an age of historical turbulence and profound change. At Cambridge (1625-1629). etc. the greatest epic poem in English literature. Milton had from an early age the conviction of his poetic vocation. Paradise Lost. religion. theology. Milton. recommended him for the office of Latin Secretary to the Council of State. His enormous learning. written in English and in Latin. and his acquaintance with the great artistic achievements of that country and with prominent personalities enriched his education and contributed to his erudition. such as education. Christian faith and classical formal perfection.
” The Latin elegies The Nativity Ode 3. these two sides are usually kept apart in these poems. His models were the great Greek and Latin poets (Homer*. in these poems Milton appears highly preoccupied by his poetic vocation. the pastoral* image of the shepherd becomes a metaphor for the poet-priest engaged in the exploration of high Christian themes. On the other hand. Milton’s Christian humanism consists in this fusion of classical form and Christian themes. and his first notable poems were seven Latin elegies*. to whose excellence he aspired to rise. and he was perfect master of a variety of styles. but Milton did not complete his plan. In the Sixth elegy. Milton places emphasis on the dignity of agricultural labour and the 64 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . he started to move away from themes and concerns which were defining for the classicist spirit of the Renaissance. However. or the two sides of the poet’s soul. L’Allegro describes a day – from morning till sunset – in the life of the cheerful man.2. in the treatment of the theme of love and the use of Greek mythology. Virgil*. for instance. They deal with contrasting moods of poetic inspiration. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso To Milton’s long years of preparation for the fulfilment of his vocation belong also two poems. He sought inspiration in biblical mythology. is in touch with divine secrets. which already displayed the ambivalence in Milton’s poetic identity as both Christian poet and classicist humanist. but his maturity and experience enabled him to bring to fulfilment the most important part of his poetic work. As a poet.1. in the optimism and exuberance accompanying the contemplation of reviving nature. approaching the great religious themes that enabled him to assert his genius. like a priest. Milton wrote with the same ease and grace both in English and in Latin. with its pastoral delights. As in other poems. However. Milton’s first important poem in English on a religious theme was written in 1629: On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity. celebrating the birth (the “nativity”) of Christ and its inauguration of a new order for humanity.The works of John Milton The Christian humanist poet a position that he occupied from 1649 until 1660. which are in fact complementary: L’Allegro [“the cheerful man”] and Il Penseroso [“the pensive/melancholy man”]. Ovid*.2. This poem was intended as the first in a series about the significant moments of the Christian year. who.). 3. in the perfect integration of classical allusion and pagan mythology with Christian spirituality. the Nativity Ode* is a landmark in his creation. With the Restoration*. Milton follows Ovid in the emphasis on sensuous enjoyment. by his aspiration to be a Christian epic* poet. As his poetic personality gained in self-confidence. Milton’s early poems Milton started writing poetry very early. etc. In some of them. his political hopes ended. as it is also an ambitious assertion of Milton’s own literary birth as a “poet-priest.
the integration. c. The diurnal activities and the cheerfulness of L’Allegro are replaced here by the nocturnal peace and quiet of the “lonely tower. 1. with its simple pleasures. to master a variety of styles. in L’Allegro. in Il Penseroso. In both poems. c.” contemplative mood. Are Milton’s first poems in English which deal with a Christian theme. c. the poet hopes to hear “more than is meant to meet the ear” – i. The secular* pleasures of common life. In the latter. the diversity of subjects in his prose essays and pamphlets. SAQ 1 Make the right choice to continue each of the three beginning statements. 3. Milton’s literary ambition was a. of classical erudition with biblical themes.” in which the studious poet finds the gratification of intellectual experience. If your choices should be wrong. you will thus review some aspects of Milton’s literary personality. the poet emphasises the blessings of the “pensive.1. at the end of the unit. gives way to the mystic exaltation of the poet-student listening to religious music. in his poetic work. his constant preoccupation with his own poetic becoming. polyphonic sounds of the organ. the song of the milkmaid) contrasts with the deep. to rival the classics in his perfect mastery of Latin. to become a great epic poet of the Christian age. There is both parallelism and contrast between the two poems. The final part of Il Penseroso expresses the poet’s aspiration of attaining visionary power. he expects to discern in the heavenly notes a spiritual truth. revise subchapters 3.e. 2. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. but the “natural” music of L’Allegro (the song of the lark. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 65 . and 3.2. In each poem. b.The works of John Milton satisfactions that it offers. b. and on the happiness of rural life. there is a strong emphasis on music. the crowing of the cock. are complementary poems about poetic inspiration and creative moods. celebrate the diurnal pleasures of pastoral life and its activities. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso a. In Il Penseroso. appropriate mythological allusions contribute to the creation of the atmosphere. Milton’s Christian humanism is reflected in a. b.
which had known a period of decline since the Elizabethan age*. The elegy Lycidas. The lamenting poet finds comfort in the thought that the soul of the dead friend is now with God. Milton’s concern with his poetic fulfilment 3.2. personal manner. or occasional and complimentary compositions. Milton adds a contemporary Christian relevance to the classical pastoral convention when he reflects on the corruption of the church. and the end of the elegy brings in a note of personal confidence. in two of his sonnets he reveals these anxieties in a direct.” Lycidas shows Milton again preoccupied by his own becoming a poet. The death of the dedicated young man. Milton’s sonnets Milton revived the tradition of the sonnet*. may appear unjust in a world in which corrupt priests prosper and accede to high offices. variety and originality in the use of this poetic form. preparing himself seriously for becoming a priest. He wrote sonnets intermittently throughout his life. If in other poems of Milton’s early career this thought is expressed more obliquely. written at the death of a fellow-student at Cambridge. He asks himself if there is any sense in preparing oneself for poetic fame and giving up the pleasures of life when death may so unexpectedly put an end to all endeavour. Confronted with the tragic inevitability of death. and they were either testimonies of personal experience and feeling. in his determination to carry on with his task and do each day’s work: “Tomorrow. again.The works of John Milton 3.2. Irrespective of their nature. The death of a promising young man makes the poet meditate on existential problems. Lycidas – a pastoral elegy In the same year with L’Allegro and Il Penseroso (1637). uses again the pastoral frame. not on earth. The early death of his Cambridge mate was an occasion for meditating on the possibility of his own death before having accomplished the great work for which he had been preparing himself for so long. he defines his poetic ambition in terms which are both Christian and classical-humanist. Milton’s sonnets demonstrate a remarkable flexibility. to fresh woods and pastures new. The answer to such questions enlarges the frame of the pastoral elegy: the true reward for both merit and vice is in heaven. the shepherdpoet’s consolation is in his own sense of purpose. in a heavenly pastoral world. Milton composed another poem in which.3. This fear was accompanied by the paradoxical feeling that his genius was not ripe enough for the poetic task for which he felt he was destined. representing both himself and his dead mate as shepherds. 66 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .
3. that. If he is to transcend time by literary fame. other young men have demonstrated “inward ripeness. He has reached the age of twenty four. Milton has the strong sense that his poetic accomplishment is a task imposed by God (his “great task-master”). as King of Heaven. confessing his temptation to ask.” It would be arrogance to think that God needs “either man’s Milton dictating work or gift” to assert His greatness. As a Christian poet. God: the poet’s “great taskmaster” 3. foolishly: how can God expect him to fulfill his task if He has decided to make him blind? (“Doth God exact daylabour. that the unfolding of his poetic destiny is not only a matter of time.e. To prevent such a complaint.The works of John Milton 3. The life of study and leisure that the poet had been leading was a period of prolonged apprenticeship*. i. Sonnet XVII After almost twenty years. The only thing that matters is that he should have “grace to use it so.2. and confronts the evidence of a “late spring. Milton meditates on his loss of sight. he must admit. it does not matter if this task is fulfilled soon or late. and the theme of blindness was to accompany the great themes of his coming masterpieces. Since for God time is in fact eternity (“All is…as ever” in God’s eye). angels). he Paradise Lost to commands “thousands” (of spirits. who carry out the divine his daughters will. in which the accumulation of knowledge was meant to create a solid foundation for his future great work. but he had not fulfilled his great poetic promise. by the acceptance of one’s fortune – of God’s “mild yoke.” “mean or high” as it may be. since. he admits. Patient and dignified waiting for God’s will to be fulfilled is also a way of serving Him. Milton was still invoking Patience to avoid the anxiety caused by his feeling of “unripeness. but finds consolation in his faith in Providence. light denied?”). written in 1631. at his age. Sonnet VII In Sonnet VII (“How soon hath time”).” By this time. patiently.” that they are “timely happy spirits”. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 67 . and that the passing of the time will eventually confirm if he is destined for glory. A sad biographical circumstance increased Milton’s anxiety in this respect: he was going blind. but of God’s eternal will. he had asserted himself as a successful publicist. When he wrote Sonet XVII. Lamenting the loss making his political and religious views known in a series of influential of his eyesight essays. with a certain sadness. In the first part of the sonnet. in 1652. Milton laments the passing of his youth without any sign of poetic ripeness. The final six lines of the sonnet change this tone of lamentation to one of self-comfort at the thought that heaven has already decided his “lot. but also by Christian humility.” to carry out the task in such a way as to make his achievement count in eternity. Milton’s eye-sight was definitively compromised.” with no “bud or blossom” to promise ripe fruit.1.3. Patience – a Christian virtue – teaches him that God is served not only by actions. they have been fortunately able to prove their maturity at the right time. In Sonnet XVII. in another poem of this kind (Sonnet XVII).
Virgil.1. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Dante* –.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation.2. when he was already blind. 3. respectively. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. in the Reader). This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. at the end of the unit. and 3.4. read again subchapter 3. and he worked at it over several years.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. and of leaving to posterity an undying work.2. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. If there should be significant differences. and the two sonnets. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words.3. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem.
of many possible subjects for his capital work – subjects inspired either from British or from The subject and biblical history. obedience and rebellion. he decided on the subject of the Fall – the theme of Paradise double fall. happiness and peace they had enjoyed in Heaven. Starting from the dualism good/evil. Incapable of accepting the thought of submission and of his imprisonment in Hell.” and the central theme of his poem is that of felix culpa* – the fortunate mistake. the fault with The Felix culpa happy consequences. the greatest synthesis of the Western literary tradition. an evil which is turned to good in God’s overall plan for the history of creation. of Lucifer* from Heaven. man’s temptation and fall into sin. Satan is determined to wage “eternal war” to his “grand Foe [i. Milton had thought. “to justify the ways of God to men. burning in the “darkness visible” of those “regions of sorrow. to “illumine” what is “dark” in him. These problems may be summarised by the alternative freedom vs. Milton’s ambition was. with the poet’s invocation of the Muse.” forever deprived of the glory. and thus to enable him to attain indeed to a “prophetic strain.” He suggests to his followers that their “work” should no longer be done by force – since that is the attribute of the Almighty –. enemy]” who “holds the tyranny of Heaven. etc. Then the reader is plunged into the middle of the action: the fallen angels in Hell. over the years.1. and his loss of Paradise. whose main moments are the fall of the rebel angels. but by Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 69 . knowledge and ignorance/innocence. are gathered to listen to Satan. declares his hatred against God and his intention to regain Heaven. Milton approached in his grandiose epic problems which provoked heated polemics in his time. He interprets poetically the biblical events.The works of John Milton more penetrating understanding of spiritual truths.e. and of Adam and Eve Lost from Paradise. Its Christian frame absorbs and integrates Milton’s astonishing learning. but his erudition. predestination*. the poem develops an implicit debate on such contraries as freedom and tyranny. is presented as a necessary moment in the “Eternal Providence*”. The “lost Archangel. as he stated in the opening Invocation. The twelve books which make up Paradise Lost unfold an impressive epic action.4. in fact. Paradise Lost defines Milton best as a Christian humanist. brought about by his disobedience. is subordinated to the poetic intensification or clarification of the main theme. in which man’s fall. Finally. 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. Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The poem begins in conventional epic manner. the creation of the world and of man. original epic scenario. 3.” as he anticipated in Il Penseroso. accumulated throughout his life. (divine) love and (Satanic) hatred. which is never ornamental. His work is encyclopaedic.” full of the bitterness of defeat. in theme a daring.
Satan is prevented from carrying out his design by the angels guarding Paradise. Man’s sin of disobedience must be punished justly.” God anticipates the event of His Son’s incarnation. He contemplates with envy the beauty and the innocent happiness of Adam and Eve. is rendered in one of the most highly poetic passages in the poem. and so “Heavenly love shall outdo [i. in which his success was due to deceit and dissimulation. and plans to “excite their minds / With more desire to know. God’s Son offers to pay this price for the reconciliation of man to his heavenly Father. Chaos and Chance. The corruption of God’s creation was thought better than any kind of revenge. The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Book III.e. The fallen angels are all called to a council in Satan’s infernal palace.2. and the only way to satisfy divine justice is a sacrificial death that would redeem man. Milton displays here at his best his gift of evoking vast spaces and general chaos. assumes the danger of trying to break free from the formidable prison of Hell. the overwhelming discord of the elements of a yet uncreated world. to seek the newly created Earth. whose setting is in Heaven. the “wild abyss” governed by Night. The accepted solution is to reach the new world created by God. Pandemonium*.The works of John Milton The council of the fallen angels “fraud or guile [i. set him free from sin. surpass] hellish hate. cunning].” He thus anticipates the moment of the Temptation. death and resurrection.e. and he flies away. Divine justice and mercy Book IV: Satan’s arrival in the Garden of Eden 70 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . to find the weakness of man and to seduce him to join their party. explains to His Son the reason for his allowing this to happen. concentrates the doctrinal argument of the poem. by virtue of his leading position. Satan also tells his companions of a prophecy according to which a new world and a new kind of creature were to be brought into being by God. and their discussions are rendered in Book II. and He commands His angels to adore and celebrate man’s Saviour and “universal king. whose splendour is described more effectively through Satan’s jealous eyes. Satan has reached the Garden of Eden. Satan. His voyage through the great gulf separating Hell from Heaven. 3. God. i.4. the ascension from darkness to the light of his “native seat” – now forbidden to him –.” Meanwhile.” and to make them transgress God’s interdiction of tasting the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.e. knowing in advance that Satan will be successful in his attempt to “pervert” man.
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. What is God’s argument. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 71 .The works of John Milton SAQ 3 Read Text 3. at the end of the unit. in the Reader.4. read again the text. more carefully. If there should be major differences. which contains God’s justification for allowing man to fall.
Raphael once again advises him against trying to penetrate the secrets of the “great Architect. Adam is grateful to Raphael. the divine creation took place after the fall of Lucifer. so that he may know more about his enemy.” to fill in the “vacant room [i. and most evident in the treatment of the fall of Adam and Eve. in the multitude of its phenomena and living forms.4. and he explicitly warns Adam: “remember. both in the large-scale description of the making of celestial bodies or in the sublime picture of the primal waters.The works of John Milton 3. The creation of the world Raphael also tells Adam the story of the creation of the world and of man. he tells him about his own experiences after he was created. innocence and “virgin modesty. The rest of Book V and Book VI are a retrospective account of the war in Heaven.4. visits Adam in Paradise to warn him about the danger from Satan. the “divine historian. as this diminished W. The idea of Good coming out of Evil is central to Paradise Lost. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural The divine creation: Good coming out of Evil 72 . and fear to transgress!” 3. 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. in order to prolong his guest’s visit. that cannot change]. Milton displays an extraordinary evocative power.” for the evocation of the making of the world. and.e. The story of the “deep fall / Of those too high aspiring who rebel angels (1808) rebelled / With Satan” is given by Raphael as a “terrible example” of the reward for disobedience. The six days of the biblical Genesis are developed by Milton into an impressive poetic vision.” and that this happiness depends on his free will. Adam asks Raphael to tell him the story of the fallen angels.” Raphael leaves them. with her “absolute” loveliness and grace. King Anointed*”. Raphael’s warning to Adam In Book V. Blake: The downfall of the his own power and pre-eminence.” and reminds him that obedience to his Maker means enjoying the present happy state. Raphael tries to restrain Adam’s curiosity about “things above this world. without aspiring to know things above his power of understanding. sweetness. in Milton’s poem. the angel Raphael. and wishes to know more about the celestial motions.e.3. not before repeating his warning. and its impulse was God’s desire to create “good out of evil. and in the description of more familiar details of earthly Nature. whose pride had been hurt when God proclaimed His Son the “Messiah. instigated by Lucifer. in Book VII. Adam admits that. Satan. space]” left by the fallen angels.” Man himself was created as a “better race.4. after the defeat of the rebel angels. sent by God. and about his perfect happiness in the company of “divinely fair” Eve.” He explains to Adam that true wisdom lies in the desire to know those things which directly concern one’s own being. In Milton’s interpretation. In Book VIII. He draws Adam’s attention that God has made him “perfect. It is interesting that. not immutable [i.
and the “Spirit of God” infusing life into the primal ocean. Blake: Urizen as the creator of the material world (from the poem Europe. at the end of the unit. more carefully. read the fragment again. What does Milton suggest by the image of God using his “golden compasses”? Answer in the space below. in no more than 10 lines/100 words.7. through Raphael’s words. 1794) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 73 . the first moments in the creation of the world: the making of heavens and skies. If your answer should differ significantly from the offered suggestions.The works of John Milton SAQ 4 Text 3. A Prophecy. W. in the Reader presents. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.
e. certain that the proud tempter will not be successful.” but to “open eyes” and bring those who taste closer to the condition of a god.5.” Back to guarded Paradise in this disguise. is now troubled by the “higher winds” of negative passions – “anger. Blake: Satan finds Eve alone. whose spirit has entered the body of a serpent. Book IX: Eve and the Serpent (illustration by John Martin.4. discord” – which make reason and will helpless. most subtle*] beast of all the field. Eve is amazed at the miracle of a beast capable of speech and. for a moment. flattered by his praise of her “celestial beauty. The “calm region” of their state of mind. At last. Satan gives voice again to his torments and to his ambition of destroying God’s creation. Meanwhile. and. suspicion. and all harmony between them is destroyed by bitter reciprocal accusations. 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. Adam and Eve have a difference of opinion: Eve insists that they should divide their daily labour and work in different places. while Adam tries to convince her that together they would be more safe from harm. The disaster of the original sin shakes the foundations of the natural order: Earth trembles.” she is finally seduced by his promise of higher knowledge and by his assurance that there is no sin in such aspiration. Adam is chilled with horror at Eve’s irresponsible mistake but decides to share her fate. he is disarmed by her Satan with Adam and angelic grace. W. 1827) 74 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The works of John Milton 3. The seduction of Eve Book IX presents the great scene of Eve’s seduction by Satan. her argument wins: she is willing to put her innocence to trial. the “subtlest [i. their inward the fall on Nature peace. hate / Mistrust. Credulous Eve tastes from the forbidden fruit and tries to convince Adam that its effect is not to open the way to “evil unknown. since the “link of nature” is so strong between them that he cannot imagine living without her. and all The effects of Nature is in pain. Their former innocent sensuality is now replaced by guilty lust and the feeling of shame.
a. He tries to arouse Eve’s suspicion that God’s reason for His interdiction may not be man’s own good. in the middle of this speech. _______ Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The world after the Fall In the next books.4. The sentences below describe various moves in Satan’s strategy of seduction. at the end of the unit. This emphasises the idea that Satan’s victory is not final. the whole assembly of fallen angels are temporarily turned into monstrous hissing snakes and dragons. the destined “restorer of Mankind*. _______ b.” _______ g. the consequences of man’s original sin are unfolded in episodes of great poetic and emotional intensity.” is the one who will. on a separate sheet. _______ c. _______ d. _______ e.6. but His fear that His power might be weakened if His creatures equalled him in knowledge. or fragments. He tempts Eve with the promise of absolute knowledge. hoping to arouse her pride. accusing Him of keeping Adam and Eve ignorant so that He may hold them in a state of servitude. they taste its fruit. from the speech by which Satan tempts Eve into disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. as God himself predicts: His Son. and he proudly boasts of it in the Pandemonium. He tries to dispel Eve’s fear of death.The works of John Milton SAQ 5 Text 3. Seduced by the illusion of the Tree of Knowledge. 75 Book X: the world open to Sin and Death Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . but he also adds symbolic episodes. Match these sentences with the fragment. in which these moves are illustrated. Write the number(s) of the corresponding fragment(s) in the indicated space. Satan’s victory seems complete. but. by inciting her to disbelieve God’s threat.8. Milton continues to expand moments of the biblical Genesis. He tries to awaken in Eve the spirit of defiance and insubordination. He denigrates God. but are terribly humiliated to find that they are tasting only dust and ashes. which marks the conquest of the world by Satan. at last. in the Reader contains four fragments from Book IX. such as the building of a huge bridge across chaos by Sin and Death. annihilate Sin and Death. He tries to introduce into Eve’s mind the doubt about God’s being “the author of all things. at the end of each sentence. 3. which will bring her close to the condition of God. _______ f. He flatters Eve. read once more the indicated text and do the exercise again. If any of your matches should be wrong.
but Michael comforts him. evil will finally be turned to good makes Adam and Eve’s exile from Paradise more tolerable.” founded on love. and offering to pay the price of His own death for the peace between God and mankind. combining thus justice with mercy. from Heaven Before they leave Paradise. This comforting story gives Adam peace of mind and Christ the hope that man is able to build – in Michael’s words – “a paradise within. In Book X. In Book XI. resurrection and ascension to the coming of Heaven. through Christ. the emphasis on the presence and role of the Son of God increases. Book XII: Adam and Eve leaving Paradise (illustration by John Martin. death. The vision is replaced by Michael’s narrative in Book XII. faith and good deeds. – to the hostility of Nature. 1827) 76 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and He sends the archangel Michael to God decides Adam and Eve’s expulsion show them out. Moments of the biblical history are unfolded before Adam’s eyes. his suffering. etc. asking God to accept their prayers and sincere repentance. pride. Adam suffers deeply for the loss of his native place and of God’s proximity. The certainty that. the Son of God acts as a mediator between the sinful humans and His Father. redemption*: Jesus. changed drastically after Adam’s fall. but He decides that Adam and Eve may no longer live in Paradise. from man’s own vices – violence. but of sadness. and the poem closes not on a note of despair. intemperance. an anticipation of the effects of the original sin on the following generations. The promise of where the central episode is the promised birth of God’s Son. Michael shows Adam a vision of the future. God consents.The works of John Milton After the story of man’s fall. who can see the “many shapes of Death” and the many ways that lead to it. God sends Him to communicate the divine punishment to Adam and Eve.
in the Reader represents the ending of Paradise Lost. while Adam has more in common with a tragic hero. which they fully assume. more carefully. read the fragment again. at the end of the unit.The works of John Milton SAQ 6 Text 3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 77 . 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. It may be argued. however. The heroes of Paradise Lost Many critics have remarked the paradox that the heroic spirit of Milton’s epic is embodied in Satan. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If they should differ in major points. 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.
but he also knows that this freedom is a form of punishment. 78 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . He is envious Envy and hate of God’s Son and His title as King of Heaven. Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell The most fascinating of Milton’s heroes is undoubtedly Satan. in whom they saw an embodiment of the spirit of freedom and of resistance to tyrannical oppression. 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. Satan knows how to inflame again their ambition of re-ascending and their thirst for revenge. Over a century after the poem’s publication. the Romantic poets were to establish the view that Satan is actually the main hero. 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.” as he cannot help comparing their bliss with his own condition in Hell. since it is accompanied by suffering and torment. he is envious of God’s omnipotence. and his great ambition is “to reign. where there is “neither joy nor love. Satan appears indeed as a champion of freedom.” only the pain of longing and unfulfilled desire. In moments when the fallen angels feel despair at having lost Heaven. which is itself a paradise. William Blake remarked that Satan is Milton’s most accomplished creation. This sight is for him “hateful” and “tormenting. “great in power / In favour and pre-eminence. and he finds inner strength only in the intensity of his hatred. Satan seems to comfort himself with the thought that at least he is free.” He instigates the other angels to rebellion in the name of freedom from servitude. and his extraordinary courage “never to submit or yield” inspires his followers.1.The works of John Milton 3. 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.5. This is why he is in a continual state of frustration and anger. but for him freedom does not mean equality: among the rebel angels. made happy in their innocent love. he naturally assumes the role of a leader. Pride is one of Satan’s most prominent features in Pride and ambition Paradise Lost.e. From the beginning of the poem.” Envy accompanies Satan’s thirst for power. He displays majesty and grandeur even in his fallen condition. In Hell. “Imparadised in one another’s arms” – i.
Satan represents the negation of the creative power of the divine Word: his revenge is accomplished not by force. and “out of good still to find means of evil. As God’s absolute antagonist. Satan. His “immortal hate” makes revenge his only aim.” in whose destruction he finds complete satisfaction for his hurt pride.The works of John Milton 3. It is with “high words. Satan can assert his freedom of action only in the sphere of evil.5. The negative power of rhetoric: Satan the Tempter Gustave Doré: Satan (1870) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 79 . but the epic poet insistently underlines their manipulative intentions.2. he is the promoter of suspicion and doubt.” and the “Enemy of Mankind. that he determines Eve to break the divine interdiction. Milton insists on the fact that they abandoned “the eternal splendours of Heaven” and followed Satan seduced by his promises of freedom and greatness. Awakening in man the impulse to question. It is also with “persuasive* words.” seeming reasonable and true. Satan’s greatness as a character comes from the sublime intensity of his negative passions. and his power of seduction comes from the mastery of a very efficient rhetoric. the destroyer of faith. Satan is The Tempter.” He is “the author of all ill.” which actually lacked substance that he manages to revive the courage of the depressed fallen angels. 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. and he invests all his titanic energies in his destructive plan. He is determined “to do ill” – which is “the contrary to his high will” – or to pervert the good done by God. but by the evil subtlety of his mind and the corrupting power of his word. The temptation of Eve is in fact the repetition of the earlier act of persuading the angels to join him in his rebellion. Satan’s speeches have an impressive convincing force.
” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and read the indicated fragment again. and 3. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero. If there are significant differences.1.3. “A mind not to be changed by time or place. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. in Hell.5. at the end of the unit. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell. “and “The mind is its own place.. Read the whole fragment carefully. revise subchapters 3. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words.5.) B. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A.
He is now able to understand God’s final purpose. Both Adam and Eve display a certain Satanic fascination with the possibility of overcoming their condition through knowledge. but armed with the wisdom of faith. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 81 .3. Milton is the heir of the Renaissance in his glorification of man and his virtues. but W. The way in which Milton refers to Adam and Eve throughout the poem points out his reverence to the original pair. in Book XII. There is a tragic combination of greatness and weakness in their portrayal.” The insistent use of the adjective “our” suggests Milton’s invitation to the reader to join him in his identification.The works of John Milton 3. and Milton expresses both admiration and compassion for them.” “Our Author. As a humanist.5.” Eve is the “Mother of Mankind. Satan’s torments in Hell. Although Paradise has become a forbidden place for them. Adam is called Sire* of Men. He has the revelation of the grandeur of God’s plan and of the “goodness infinite” of the Creator. the titanic dimension of his suffering. Created in God’s image. In his last conversation with Michael. While Satan’s pain is always accompanied by the proud defiance of God. but as a consequence of their wrong choices. Blake: The expulsion from Milton deals with it as one of the central paradoxes of the human condition. of turning all evil into good by the supreme act of divine grace: the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for man.” “mother of human race. man has paid a terrible price for the wisdom of not imitating Satan. there is not any doubt left about his fundamental evil. The consequences of their fall are great because their virtues – so tragically tested – are great. the character of Satan is Milton’s greatest achievement in Paradise Lost. Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Poetically. deprived of worth.e.” “our general mother. in spite of the fascination and seductive power with which he is invested. but who can hope for redemption*. the protagonists of Milton’s ambitious epic leave it not in hopeless disgrace. But it is an evidence of Milton’s genius that. Milton depicts Adam and Eve’s fall not as the result of depravity. precursor]. ancestor. of their wrong use of the freedom given by God. As a Christian. he justifies “the ways of God to men” by showing the necessity of the divine grace. He is now more aware of his freedom and his potentiality.” “Patriarch of Mankind. of understanding and accepting his limits. are set against Adam and Eve’s lamentations after the fall. Adam’s enlarged understanding emerges in perfect fusion with his strengthened faith. as well as his identification with them in their condition of creatures that have fallen.” but also “our credulous mother. gifted with reason – a divine Eden 1808) attribute –. the sorrow of the fallen humans at their own weakness and their final recognition of their fault entitles them to God’s mercy.” “Our great Progenitor [i. Fallen man is not a hateful creature.
the Nativity Ode. 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. The same obsession with poetic ripeness may be found 82 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the pastoral elegy Lycidas. presents some of his notable early compositions – the Latin elegies. Subchapter 3. Summary In this unit. Compare your answer with that offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The works of John Milton SAQ 8 Text 3. in the Reader. at the end of the unit.5. and the twin poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso.2. If there should be major differences. he prepared himself for it during long years. contains a fragment from God’s speech in Book III. Some of Milton’s earlier works display this obsessive concern with his becoming a great poet. Devoted to the Puritan cause during the Civil War. you are recommended a more careful reading of the indicated text. Milton was deeply involved in the religious and political debates of mid-17th century. one of the greatest English poets. a necessary part of His design. you have been acquainted with some aspects of the prominent literary personality of John Milton. Read this fragment and summarise its argument. in which he explains to His Son why the fall of man was inevitable. Convinced also of his poetic vocation. in no more than 8 lines/80 words.
his courage and majesty.5. the fall of man and the loss of Paradise. concerns itself with Milton’s heroes in Paradise Lost.3. The central events in Milton’s epic are the fall of Lucifer and of the rebel angels. the most fascinating and complex creation is Satan – Lucifer in his fallen condition. which are. as a sign of consecration or sanctification. Milton emphasises his fortitude and strength of will. The declared aim of Milton’s epic is “to justify the ways of God to men. Subchapter 3. but also in which man may.” and its great Christian theme is that of felix culpa. and the culmination of his poetic achievement as a Christian humanist. Adam and Eve are treated both with the typical Renaissance admiration for man’s potential and virtues. the creation of the world and of man. in which divine grace will eventually turn all evil into good. his love of freedom. and with the Christian compassion for their unhappy choice.The works of John Milton in two of his sonnets. His destructive energy represents a negation of the creative power of the divine word. at any time. offers a brief presentation of the subject and structure of the poem. and the promise of man’s reconciliation with God through the sacrifice of Christ. presented in subchapter 3. 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. be tested for the responsibility which must accompany the exercise of his free will. which interprets poetically key moments in biblical history and elements of biblical mythology. Civil War: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Satan is dominated by powerful negative passions which keep him the prisoner of an inner hell.4. Baroque: see the Glossary in Unit 2. Milton’s impressive epic poem Paradise Lost (1667) is the fruit of his mature vision. apprenticeship: the training for a trade or for any kind of activity. Milton justifies the fall of man and his exile from Paradise in the context of a providential history. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 83 . put in the service of evil. Subchapter 3. however. In Milton’s vision of the original sin. Undoubtedly.
e. to whom are attributed the great epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey. he is called Satan. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. ode: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Ovid: Publius Ovidius Nasso (43 B. pamphlet: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. or some tragic event. Italian poet. 800 B. guided by Virgil and his idealised love Beatrice. secular: related to worldly things (as opposed to sacred). pastoral: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. difficult to detect (or analyse).The works of John Milton • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • elegy: a meditative poem lamenting the death of someone. It means “the carrier of light. author of La Divina Commedia. felix culpa: this phrase comes from a line in the Latin version of the Catholic religious service held on Easter Sunday. every. humanism: see classical revival in the Glossary in Unit 1. the range of subjects in an elegy was wider. formerly used when speaking to a king.).C. Man’s sin/fault was “happy” because its reward was Christ. the act by which God determines in advance the events and their course.e. foreknowledge: knowledge of something before it happens.). Pandemonium: a word coined by Milton (from Greek pan: all. Sire: a respectful term of address. suffering and death of Christ. Homer: Greek poet (c.D. noise and chaos. and daimon: demon) – the place where all demons gathered. Restorer of Mankind: Christ as the one who will return (restore) man to God’s grace and to his original condition. persuasive: having the power or ability to persuade (i. Providence: God’s kindness. Puritans: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. epic: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.C.” After the fall from Heaven. Lucifer: the name of the archangel who led the rebel angels. the “great and good redeemer” (i. by extension. subtle: not immediately evident. redemption: the deliverance (the rescuing) of man from sin through the incarnation. Roman poet. clever in using tricks. not concerned with or related to religion. benevolent care or protection of his creatures. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 84 . Gallery of personalities • Dante: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). sonnet: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. The word may refer. to cause to believe). the one who sets man free from sin). predestination: from a theological point of view. It may also mean cunning. to convince. Purgatory and Paradise. whose works include the poem on love Ars Amatoria and the poem on myths Metamorphoses. to a place of wild confusion. In classical literature.-17 A. the allegorical account of the poet’s journey through Hell.
Send-away assignment no. in which he explores his inner hell.C.). Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. with special attention to the indicated subchapters.4. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. and 2.1. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. 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 . either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. God’s creation. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. 1..2.. A revision of subchapter 3. and the last paragraph of 2. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. romantic in The Tempest –. at the end of the play. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience.2.3. before the final battle. 2. At the beginning of Book IV.1.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. Text 3. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. one of the greatest Roman poets. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. as well as of SAQ 7 and its solution at the end of the unit might help you to better understand the text and organise your answer.2. • Read attentively this fragment. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. Texts 2. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). In both of them. in Milton’s Paradise Lost.5. You may also consider it useful to pay attention to the following aspects when reading the text: • Satan’s present misery set in opposition with the memories of his former condition. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. and thus of destroying man.6. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest.
a. • the coherence. Remember that. 2. and reason makes man. The latter part of both sonnets (the sestet) changes the mood to one of patient confidence. 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. i. The paradox of freedom. God cannot use His infinite power and knowledge to prevent the errors of those who are free to choose. 1 will count as 10% in your final assessment. or reason.” man shared the perfection of the angels (“the Ethereal Powers and Spirits”) and their complete freedom of will and judgment.. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). 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. since that would mean the “revocation” of His own “high decree” by which man was made free. The poet places his trust in Providence. SAA no. responsible for his choices. SAQ 3 God’s whole argument is based on the idea of freedom.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%. the divine punishment is compensated by mercy (the sending of Jesus as mankind’s saviour). Created “just and right. Milton emphasises the geometrical.c. like that of the angels. but the consequence of evil influence. The implication is that God gave man conscience. is thus not attributable to God. not God. Both man and the rebel angels are “authors to themselves in all.” In the case of man.b. 3. is that one may choose right or wrong. however. The fall of man.. comforting himself with the faith that his poetic destiny is in God’s hands. respectively) and with the anxiety that poetic fulfilment is late to come. both sonnets deal with the theme of loss (the poet’s sense of the passing of time. as man’s wrong choice was not the pure result of his free will. rational spirit of the Creator (he refers to Him elsewhere as “the great 86 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . clarity.e. in grading your paper. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. SAQ 2 In the first section (the octave). the “instrument” by which to exercise his free will. his blindness.
). Further reading 1. English Literature and Civilisation. Their hesitant steps suggest their awareness of the difficulty of all choice. SAQ 5 a. Man is not a free creature. The Literature of the Beginnings. Satan feels God’s absolute power as a limitation to his enormous ambition. This line illustrates both his aspiration to complete independence and his ambition. 1983 (pp.e. If Hell is a space of freedom. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. guarded by fear-inspiring armed angels. These lines suggest Satan’s formidable strength of will and the independence of his indestructible spirit. as God has made him. faith and love untested. and the image of the terrible gates. David. vol. Preda. Paradise is now a forbidden place. f.4. 2003 (pp. The same rational spirit separates what is vital from what is “adverse to life” (the “infernal dregs”). 1. 2. who draws a firm line between the formed and the formless (chaos). 2. Editura Universităţii Suceava. SAQ 8 God cannot be pleased with blind submission. Forced to look ahead. unless he exercises his will and reason. i. e. Daiches. A Critical History of English Literature. Ioan-Aurel (coord. 1. 435-449) 2. to be dictated by Reason. 2. SAQ 7 1. 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. of the responsibility that accompanies freedom. and for him servitude in Heaven is the real hell. c. comforting himself that he exchanged submission for sovereignty.4.e. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. 153-163) 3. d.The works of John Milton Architect”). 4 SAQ 6 For Adam and Eve. Luminiţa Elena. b. of human solidarity. but at least they have the mutual comfort of their love. the intelligible and the unintelligible (the dark void). i. 3. g. 141-152) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 87 . 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). then it is like Heaven for a spirit that cannot accept constraints. It is his will and desire that give value to things around.3. His gift of Reason to man has no justification (it is “useless and vain”). Satan is willing to exchange the happiness of Heaven for the torments in Hell. 2.. under the guidance of Providence. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. If God leaves man’s loyalty. Incapable of obedience to God. 1969 (pp. He wants man’s obedience to be the result of an act of free choice. unless he is put in the situation of making choices. with passive virtue. is meant to keep alive the memory of their transgression. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. Turcu.
4.4.1. 4. 4. 4.4.2. 4. 4.4.4. 4.1.3. 4.4.2. 4.1. 4. Gulliver. 4. 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199. 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.3.4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 188.8.131.52.2. 4. 4. 4. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve.184.108.40.206.4. 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168. 4.4.2. 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. “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. 4.2 4.3.
Charles II Stuart (reign: 1660-1685) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 89 . The Renaissance tradition of the theatre as popular entertainment.1.1. From a literary point of view. ♦ define the purposes and literary strategies of the periodical essay as an instrument of cultural enlightenment ♦ explain the remarkable development of satire in the Augustan Age.The 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. ♦ describe satirical devices used by John Dryden.1. ♦ identify the main concerns of literary Neoclassicism. the scenery became more elaborate – more “realistic” in comedies. and. with spectators no longer allowed to sit on it. 4. Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment In the heterogeneous literary picture of the Restoration. was attended by a strong anti-Puritan reaction. ♦ specify the main targets of satire in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Unit objectives 4. the cast of actors included women. Restoration drama The Restoration* was a period of significant social and institutional change. and Jonathan Swift. The Puritans had closed theatres in 1642. and of considerable diversity. drama holds a place apart. of increasing rationalism and secularisation. Alexander Pope. its audience being restricted to the fashionable circles gravitating around the Crown. under the influence of French theatres. 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. it was a period of transition as well. clarity and elegant restraint. Nature. Restoration drama marked a clear split between popular and aristocratic standards of taste. was interrupted: Restoration theatre became almost exclusively a form of Court entertainment. ♦ establish a relation between the spirit of Restoration comedy and the cultural-historical circumstances in which it emerged. and their re-opening in 1660. Human nature. grandiose and extravagant in tragedies –. the age in which the ideological premises of the Enlightenment were constituted. under the patronage of king Charles II. Significant changes took place in the theatre: the stage became closed on three sides. central to the Neoclassic poetics of the Augustan Age. addressing itself to an inclusive public. ♦ explain the relevance of concepts like Art.
The conception of character in Restoration comedy was indebted to the Renaissance comedy of humours*. on the one hand. above all. of incredible cruelty and perfidy. A certain coarseness of feeling. and satirised the aspiration of social climbing and the ideal of virtue and respectability of the middle classes. 4. The action was usually set in remote. on the other. reflected the hedonism* and promiscuity encouraged at court by Charles II himself (nicknamed “the Merry Monarch” for his pleasure-loving way of life).1. Restoration comedies dealt primarily with sexual intrigue and the pursuit of pleasure – including the pleasure of cynical manipulation of others. Another dominant dramatic form during the Restoration was the comedy of manners. betrayal and mockery were recurrent motives in the comic plots of Restoration drama. grandiloquent declamations and sentimental exaltation. Marriage and the games of love were a prevailing theme. with characters conventionally distributed into fabulously valiant heroes and virtuous beautiful heroines. The highest achievement of this kind of baroque theatre was provided by John Dryden’s plays*. It made fun of the people from the countryside. wit*. the 90 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Restoration comedy and its character types Restoration comedy was “class drama. Heroic tragedy* was a dramatic development from the epic poem. and its audience was restricted to the exclusive and fashionable circles in London.2. The Puritan rigidity and austerity of the former period were repudiated. but they were loveless marriages and love affairs without warmth and affection. and absolute villains. ending in Heroic tragedy the death of the hero or heroine or both and the triumph of honour. sumptuous costumes. both of them highly conventional forms. Restoration comedy was a mirror of the Comedy of manners environment in which it developed. fashionable manners.3. refinement and sophistication. although each in its own way and for different reasons.” reflecting the aristocratic ethos of the time. magnificent settings. the cynicism. or Court Wits. or in the survival of love over the criminal machinations of the villains. an artificial. lust. The range of character types in Restoration comedy was very diverse. were essential for the true man of the world. adultery. and the plays of the Restoration Wits*. ridiculing their crude manners and lack of sophistication.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. One of the most common types was the rake – the libertine. Sensational turns of situation.1. and the characteristic theme was the conflict between love and honour. 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. jealousy. Conquest and seduction. Dominant forms in Restoration drama The main kinds of drama were heroic tragedy and comedy of manners. and. the licentiousness* and frivolity characterising Restoration comedy were accompanied by a cult for elegance. Gallantry. exotic places.
the country squire*.The Restoration and the Augustan Age “young-man-about-town. whose generosity and kindness are satirised as weaknesses. Other common character types in Restoration comedy were the country girl. Another frequent type was the fop*. or fool. etc. lacking complexity. who tried to imitate fashionable manners. Nell Gwynn (1650-1687). aspiring to the perfect adventure. pleasure-seeking. but whose affectation* became the object of irony and satire. the ingénue. deliberately superficial in construction. usually an unprincipled and heartless married woman. Contrasting types were the coquette.” without scruples. despising marriage. the plot of Restoration comedy was usually highly complicated. whose simplicity and ingenuousness made her a perfect prey to the sophisticated seducer. 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. selfish and manipulative. and the trusting husband as dupe. young or old. cynical. with several subplots and with action developing at a fast pace. the lusty widow. more concerned for his reputation as a wit than for honour. If characters were usually static.
William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. T F 8. 4. frivolity.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. Restoration comedy praised wit. T F 3. William Congreve. T F 4. T F 9.4. by doing the exercise that follows. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. to 4. simple action. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). T F 6. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. read again subchapters 4. such as the impoverished gallant. If any of them should turn out to be wrong.1. elegance. It displays typical Restoration characters. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. T F 5. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single.3.1. at the end of the unit. hedonism and amorality at Court. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*.1.1. T F 2. 1. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. refinement and sophistication. T F 7. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language.
adopting a moralising tone and recommending virtue and sensibility above refinement and wit. as these were remote from their experience. increasingly middle class. hate and disgust) give this play an equivocal tone. He is the most gifted of the Restoration dramatists. when Augustan* England was seeking for social stability and cohesion. The situation. the awkward country-girl.5. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 93 . Congreve’s finest comedy is The Way of the World (1700). affection. the dramatic productions still preserved characteristic farcical elements and something of the brilliant artificiality of Restoration comedy. and friendship to jealousy. the ambivalent motivations and feelings (ranging from love. is extremely complex. disapproved of the licentiousness of Restoration comedy. The indecencies and blasphemous spirit of earlier Restoration comedy became the object of severe condemnation by public opinion. It has a sophisticated plot containing several strands of action and centering on the relation between Mirabell and beautiful Millamant. He gave grace to the conventions of a highly artificial form of drama. restore his fortunes and win the love of his mistress. and it had to take into account the general concern for the improvement of manners that developed in the late 17th century. perfectly aware of each other’s faults and playing various games which keep them on the border between independence and surrender. involving a multitude of characters. the witty and resourceful servant. which reminds of some of Shakespeare’s comedies. 4. mixed marriages between aristocracy and the newly rich. Drama was changing under the pressure of middle class taste. and the shifting relationships and alliances. the pair of witty lovers. Congreve’s merit is to have turned stereotypical characters into credible. admiration. etc. 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.1. bringing it to perfection.The Restoration and the Augustan Age William Congreve (1679-1723) his creditors. with a rare concern for the accuracy and elegance of expression and for the balance of sentences. psychologically subtle and complex. half-sad. The rise of sentimental comedy* Congreve belongs to a period of transition in the evolution of comedy. The new audience in the theatres. but they were now clearly intended for a middle class audience. half-amused. Towards the end of the 17 th century. consistent characters.
as well as the indicated fragment. If there should be significant differences. What is the idea of marriage that her conditions suggest? Answer in the space below." Presenting their expectations from each other in a half-joking way. In a witty dialogue.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 2 In Congreve's play The Way of the World. read again subchapter 4. who is sincerely in love with Millamant and wishes to marry her.4. However. which presents Millamant's demands. at the end of the unit. they establish and agree on the terms of a "contract. Mirabell is a reformed rake. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. their agreement has serious implications.. Millamant is also in love.1. in Act IV. Read Text 4. under the appearance of frivolity. 94 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1. but she accepts Mirabell's marriage proposal on certain conditions. in no more than 15 lines / 150 words. they seem to be playing a game..
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. His work doesn’t equal in variety that of his predecessor and master. In it. 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*. of the elegant French classical drama over English Renaissance drama. such as the superiority of the Ancients over the Moderns. Joseph Addison*. and propriety would favour the spirit of social unity and order and would contribute to the protection of the achievements of civilisation. His didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711) is the most outstanding literary manifesto of English Neoclassicism.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. 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.2. balance. Alexander Pope brought to perfection Dryden’s achievements in poetic style and technique. 4. elegance. but it represents the quintessence of the Augustan literary ideal. The excellence of their literary work and the elegance and force of their critical arguments made them central figures of the Augustan Age. and harmony extended beyond literature. In both cases. Augustan England believed that a cultural idea of balance. Besides Dryden and Pope. and Alexander Pope* in the 18 th . in which he systematises his Neoclassic view on literary art. English literary Neoclassicism* The Neoclassic aspiration for order.2. Pope presents the basic concepts and theses of this literary orientation in a poetic form of remarkable elegance and clarity. John Dryden (1631-1700) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 95 . and he laid the foundations of modern literary criticism. Oliver Goldsmith* and Samuel Johnson*. John Dryden illustrated with masterpieces all contemporary literary genres.1. in a series of essays and prefaces where he discussed matters of literary composition and taste and defended his own literary practice. other great writers who were influenced by Neoclassicism or defended its doctrine were Jonathan Swift*. His main critical work is An Essay on Dramatic Poesy (1668). or of the heroic couplet* over blank verse*. a society exhausted by civil wars was expressing its need for stability and moderation.
2. The study of human nature in its individual aspects.e. the main source of inspiration for the writer was Nature*. and to those patterns of behaviour. of infinite variety. to make form and substance adequate to each other. i.e.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. a dignified diction. the most valuable store of literary experience. humble style.2. Sometimes rules might be too constraining for this natural gift. which usually presented ordinary people and actions. The most eloquent example. but a general intellectual tendency in the age. Nature and Reason According to the Neoclassic doctrine. comedy. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Human Nature 96 . The belief in order and correctness was reflected in the neoclassic principle of decorum [from Latin: propriety]. for instance. and in order to do that accurately he was supposed to follow Reason as the main guide.3. Epic and tragedy. The Augustans were aware that the heights of literary achievement couldn’t be reached by simply learning the trade. A poet’s innate talent needed training. The quest for patterns of general significance through the study of particulars was not only a literary precept. skilful transgression. in satirical or burlesque* works. and the poet might disregard them. It was the existence of this rule of decorum that enabled Neoclassic authors to derive great effects from its deliberate. The Neoclassic emphasis on the principles and rules that guided successful creation did not mean blind adherence to them. which in turn required good judgment and common sense. and he could master the secrets of poetic art by the study and imitation of the works of ancient authors. for the Augustans. and whose creative power was a matter of intuitive genius and not of acquired art. which referred to the writer’s obligation to use those elements of diction* and composition which were considered proper for each genre. was expected to use a common. required an elevated style. since it dealt with noble characters and actions. by which the Augustans meant most frequently Human Nature. The concept of Human Nature referred to those features of human character and experience. lacking ornament. yet achieve great beauty. on the other hand. Following Nature presupposed first of all its understanding. Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics One of the most important features of literary Neoclassicism was the concern with rules and norms. i. would lead to the revelation of the typical and universal features. who respected no particular rules and followed no particular models.. skill. that it was an inborn gift that made a poet. whose imagination had nothing to do with training or learning. To follow / copy Nature was the writer’s main endeavour. The rule of decorum 4. which were seen as common to all humanity and as permanent and unchanging. was Shakespeare.2. the emphasis on discipline in art. This was the case of the genius.
2. and beauty was the result of the balanced combination of talent and inspiration with skill. but also to imported French ideas – e. Emotion was supposed to be filtered and controlled by reason. The rationalist poetics* of Neoclassicism owed greatly to Horace*. If there should be significant differences. in the Reader represents a fragment from Samuel Johnson’s Preface to his 1765 edition of Shakespeare’s works. to those of Nicolas Boileau*.3. and what Neoclassic conviction do they imply? Answer in the space below. or art*. in a paragraph of no more than 4 complex sentences (80-100 words / 8-10 lines). and the indicated fragment. SAQ 3 Text 4. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.g.3. read again subchapter 4. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 97 .The Restoration and the Augustan Age A rationalist poetics All the faculties involved in the process of creation were seen as subordinated to Reason. What are the main ideas in this fragment. a combination achieved through reason. at the end of the unit.
2. of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 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.2. of quick accumulation of information. The writer's art was a form of social communication.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. as Oliver Goldsmith defined it.3. or. refinement with wisdom. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower. but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour.4. of critical debate in every field.5. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities. but to be a functional part of the community. and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit. unnecessary ornament. where nothing seems to be studied. and of the increase and diversification of the reading public. 4. its effects were considerable on prose. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). “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. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity. It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled. too. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature.” Augustan wit 4. It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*. manners and taste. affectation were rejected. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style. In the context of general progress. Ostentation. precision and clarity. Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity. “grace and strength united. eloquence with restraint. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*.
merchants and ship owners 17th century coffee house in Covent Garden Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 99 . Essay periodicals were usually the work of a single author. They believed. Some writers felt that this popular avidity for political news might inflame partisanship and favour a spirit of social discord. consisting in essays on a variety of topics. contributing significantly to the “polite” education. th Edward Lloyd’s coffee house. and they were published with varying regularity. At the same time. and to offer intellectual enlightenment to a wide audience. The periodical essay constituted a chronicle of contemporary manners and an effective instrument of moral and social criticism. In order to counterbalance this tendency. as a reaction to the ever greater demand for political news and gossip. the middle class readers. they created an alternative kind of periodical publication. or to the discussion of literary matters. some of them being issued daily.” that ignorance is a source of evil. opened in 1688. at cultivating their minds. the periodical essayists aimed at broadening the intellectual horizon of their readers. for a clientele of ships' captains. dominantly middle class. the enlightenment and the improvement of taste of its widest section.The Restoration and the Augustan Age It developed in the late 17 and early 18th centuries. Many periodical essays were dedicated to the dissemination of philosophical and scientific notions. that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Journalism and coffee houses* were the main instruments by which people’s curiosity was satisfied. at a time when political tension in the country and the events of war on the Continent engaged public attention to a high degree. with Alexander Pope. The reflections on both modern and ancient works. meant to provide guidance in matters of manners and morals. the debate on a variety of critical and aesthetic issues made the latter familiar to the public.
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. they tried to make their essays not only instructive but also attractive and amusing. think again and try to do the exercise once more. only] a single day sprouts up* in follies that are only to be killed by an assiduous culture.e. at the end of the unit.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 4 In one of his periodical essays. If they are significantly different. Explain the analogy that his observation invites us to develop. 4. Think of present relevance of this remark. were Richard Steele*’s The Tatler* (1709-1711). “The Spectator’s Club” Among the most important periodical essayists. on a separate sheet. 100 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in no more than 12 lines / 120 words.3. collected in book form. The Tatler and The Spectator. and Joseph Addison’s The Spectator (1711-1714). and by far the most popular ones. Like other writers. Joseph Addison wrote: The mind that lies fallow* but [i. To increase the efficiency of their undertaking.1. whose essays were published several times in the century.
idleness] has ruined more nations than the sword. The six members of The Spectator’s Club were: • Sir Roger de Coverley. a courageous. hard work and skill. His wisdom and gravity are set against the frivolous interests of Will Honeycombe. that “it is stupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by arms. skills] and industry. a rich London merchant. rather than a merit. “a person of indefatigable industry*. Steele and Addison invented The Spectator’s Club. manners. and the reflections of “Mr. • A clergyman. ready to take responsibility for the progress of the nation. interested in his appearance and displaying a certain affectation in behaviour.” but whose life constitutes an eloquent example of moral integrity. generous and cheerful. who had spent a turbulent youth in the company of the Restoration Wits. no longer as repulsively materialistic and greedy. a competent justice of the peace*.e. in which they collaborated. wit and understanding. strong reason. laziness. and great experience. He is a pleasant company for his acquaintances in town. modest and commonsensical person. a gallant. as his father had intended for him. “a very philosophic man. a group of six fictional characters “engaged in different ways of life” and representing various social and human types. taciturn and with “no interest in this world.” He thus embodies the Augustan humanist view that true knowledge of human nature comes from a combination of first hand experience and learning. a middle-aged squire. steady effort] makes more lasting acquisitions than valour [i.” of wide learning. • Sir Andrew Freeport. Sir Andrew Freeport’s convictions are those of an enlightened middle class. and sloth [i.” or that “diligence [i. an expert in fashion and gossip. he is a somewhat old-fashioned gentleman. and his harmless eccentricities are accompanied by a natural benevolence that endears him to everybody.e.” • Captain Sentry.” He is a worthy representative of the middle class. a man of the world. but their good breeding qualifies them both for the same society of gentlemen. Now. He is a man of “great probity.” and “his familiarity with the customs. a model of honesty. Many essays presented little stories about incidents in their daily lives. His character is the first notable literary representation of the merchant class in a serious and dignified way. Spectator” on their opinions and behaviour in a variety of circumstances constituted real lessons in manners and morals. actions and writings of the ancients makes him a very delicate observer of what occurs to him in the world. an embodiment of its energies and enterprising spirit. for The Spectator. for true power is to be got by arts [i. • Will Honeycomb. turned to the study of literature.e. He believes. for instance. 101 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . otherwise harmless and a well-bred gentleman. in his county. He is the prototype for the character of the country squire in many 18th century novels. bravery in battle].e. instead of pursuing the career of a lawyer.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Joseph Addison (1672-1719) For example. • A gentleman who. who had to quit the military profession because his strict honesty proved to be an obstacle to the advancement of his career.
The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. 2.1. 8. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.3. 4. If there should be major discrepancies. cheerful disposition. more carefully. at the end of the unit. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. read again subchapter 4. and write them in the indicated spaces below. which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration. 3. Identify at least eight such features. a cultivated mind and superior understanding. it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues. common sense. 5. 7. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 1. SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club. 6.
at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. genuinely gifted for leadership. king David. Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. appears also as a stormy spirit. The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. Bayes*. Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. to religious debates and literary practices. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness. 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 . stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. a passionate. 15-18). often touched by ironic humour. hypocrisy. and satire became their formidable weapon. in which Dryden’s praise and criticism.4. admiration and condemnation. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. intrigues. Samuel. urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury.4. The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury.2. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets. 1743). The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II. 4. Political and religious dissensions. selfishness.1. Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son. Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. brave and fearless man. disloyal and excessively ambitious. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions. 4. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force. It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart. the Duke of Monmouth. turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. struggle for power and profit.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. greed. are mingled: the evil conspirator. with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation. The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time. its cult of reason and common sense. and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne.4. contradictions and dark aspects. Pope. Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence. folly. from political and social life. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682).
Its implications. Explain this analogy. Philosophy. however. are more disturbing than entertaining. Truth.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Alexander Pope (1688-1744) critics who aspire to undeserved fame. and skill in the use of parody and the burlesque. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Here. and the satire ends with the apocalyptic extinction of the enemies of Dulness: Fancy (i. he reflects on the art of the satirist.2. concerning satire. SAQ 6 Text 4. 104 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in the Reader represents a fragment from one of John Dryden’s essays. Compare your answer with the suggestions provided at the end of the unit.e. Art. in a paragraph not exceeding 12 lines / 120 words. and Morality. 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. and revise subchapter 4. pointing out the Augustan conception of satire. read the fragment again. that the corruption of the spirit (which follows from the corruption of the word) leads to the crumbling of all order. If it should be significantly different. Religion. imagination). Pope’s satirical allegory displays unequalled comic virtuosity and wit. Science. as it betrays Pope’s fear that civilisation and its conquests are vulnerable to unreason. The empire of Dulness finally extends to the whole universe of the spirit. more attentively.4. imaginative inventiveness. drawing an analogy between satire and a public execution.
philosophical.3. but the significance of his work may be extended to the philosophical question of the human condition itself. and where human creatures. bigger than himself.A Voyage to Brodingnag III. building houses starting from the roof. The most powerful expression of Swift’s satirical genius is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World “by Lemuel Gulliver. Balnibarbi. intelligent speaking horses.” a work which Swift published anonymously in 1726. and literary. In Lilliput and Brobdingnag. His hurt sensitivity and disillusionment are conveyed in a series of prose satires which cover a wide range of issues – political. the Yahoos. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 4. as well as an unequalled master of satirical wit and irony. he learns about the Struldbruggs.4. he is shown the Academy of Lagado (a burlesque of the Royal Society). From this last country. Jonathan Swift. Gulliver is cast on the shore of a country inhabited by the Houyhnhnms. is inhabited by impractical intellectuals. absorbed in mathematical speculations and music. In Luggnagg. Swift alludes satirically to a multitude of aspects from the contemporary political. Jonathan Swift Pope’s friend. combining the conventions of utopia* and of the imaginary voyage. Glubbdubdrib.4. In Balnibarbi. because he is perceived as a Yahoo endowed with “a rudiment of reason. Swift was divided between the idealist confidence in man’s capacity of selfimprovement. Gulliver can’t help seeing his fellow humans as disgusting Yahoos. the flying island.A Voyage to Lilliput II.4. with elements of the marvelous or fantastic fable. whose admirable society is built entirely on rational principles. Back in England. In it. social and intellectual realities. in his potential as a rational creature. like extracting sunshine from cucumbers. Luggnagg and Japan IV. popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. justice and freedom. Like many of his contemporaries. In his last voyage. curious and resourceful. Gulliver’s Travels pretends to be the record of the most astonishing experiences of an average man.A Voyage to Laputa.” therefore a potential threat to that civilisation. whose adventures as a surgeon and then the captain of several ships take him through the most unusual places. an uncompromising defender of truth. appear in the utmost state of degeneracy.A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It is an allegorical satirical travel book. Laputa. with a sharp sense of observation. is one of the greatest satirists in world literature. Gulliver finds himself among people who are twelve times smaller and. and the disappointment and anger at seeing reason so often abused. In his third voyage he visits several strange places. religious. These satires have established his reputation as a champion of moral virtue. respectively. or softening marble to make pincushions. a hater of pedantry and pretence. The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Consisting of four books.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. Gulliver is finally expelled. a race of immortal people whose eternal life is in fact a curse of endless decay. economic. and his nostalgia for the perfect world of the 105 I. where mad scientists are engaged in phantasmagoric projects.
His initial curiosity and openness to the diversity of human nature turns into madness and misanthropy. 106 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 2. who is thus forced to examine itself in a distorting mirror. at the end of the unit. If none of the features mentioned there corresponds with your answers. and he prefers now the company of horses. 3. in Text 4. 1.The Restoration and the Augustan Age rational horses alienates him completely from his own kind. and he also re-interprets attitudes observed in the Yahoos in the light of the information received from Gulliver about human customs and institutions. Each answer should be limited to 3 lines / 30 words. read the fragment carefully once more. The parallel results in a grotesque image of humankind. four features which humans and Yahoos are found to share. Find. incapable of suffering the proximity of humans. 4. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. from the Reader. SAQ 7 Gulliver’s Houyhnhnm master tries to understand human nature by analysing the behaviour of the Yahoos (since he perceives Gulliver to be one).5.
ruled by an enlightened monarch. the frustrated idealist After the comic-disturbing examples of unreason witnessed in his third voyage. he is actually physically vulnerable in this world. In Brobdingnag. by dancing on a rope. However.6.5. or between those who break a boiled egg at the round end – the "Big Endians" – and those who break it at the pointed end). In the Houyhnhnms. Gulliver is confronted. Their non-human shape suggests that the absence of passion.). and his position in that strange land is highly ambiguous. but their universe is completely deprived of emotion and feeling. to integrate Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 107 . These comic details are satirical allusions to contemporary or recent events. He is no longer certain of the essence of his own nature. physical size indicates allegorically features of human nature. forgetting that man holds a middle place in the Great Chain of Being*. Dissenters and Catholics. with the hardest dilemma and the deepest humiliation. in his last adventure. ambitious. In the Yahoos. governed only by reason. as he is in permanent danger from creatures so much larger than him. The Lilliputians’ physical smallness is accompanied by moral flaws – they prove to be mean. The error of Gulliver* is that he adopts an impossible deal of perfection. Political corruption is institutionalised (for example. of the capacity for affection. The Yahoos and the Houyhnhnms are a double mirror for Gulliver. Their society is deeply divided by absurd dissensions: for example. the highest offices in the state are obtained by those who know how to entertain the king best.4. issues or figures. etc. In spite of Gulliver’s dimensions (an allegorical representation of his complex of superiority). Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia In the first two books of Gulliver’s Travels. cruel and hypocritical. and the utopian commonwealth of Brobdingnag. Gulliver’s failure to accept the mixed essence of man. and they constitute a miniature picture of England. Gulliver.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. from which he chooses to leave. etc. its thirst for war – the endless conflict with France. Gulliver in Brobdingnag 4. and he realises how far man is from moral perfection. he sees ideal creatures. means de-humanisation. jumping over or creeping under a stick. 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. its political parties – Whigs and Tories –. vain.4. he contemplates with shame and despair all the imperfections of the human race. 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. his real humiliation is caused by the unflattering contrast between his own race and civilisation. with its religious controversies among Anglicans. The fourth voyage. his vulnerability increases.
an image which earned Swift the reputation of a misanthrope. and he ultimately becomes the target of Swift’s irony.The Restoration and the Augustan Age reason with feeling and instinct.illustration from a 1947 edition of Gulliver’s Travels 108 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Houyhnhnm and Yahoo . the Yahoos embodied Swift’s own vision of mankind as hopelessly degraded. makes him a frustrated idealist. the Yahoos would stand for the essentially corrupt nature of man. filthy. In a “theological” perspective. while the Houyhnhms would represent man who has escaped the consequences of the original sin. For many readers. Illustration from an early nineteenth century abridged editions (for children): Gulliver entertaining and being entertained by the tiny Lilliputians. The Houyhnhms and the Yahoos have also been seen as allegorical representations of Reason and Instinct. The last book of Gulliver’s Travels has been given a multitude of interpretations. unteachable and ungovernable. or as opposite caricatural views of man in the state of nature.
and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable. more carefully. find anti-utopian elements in it. however. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4.4. Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit.6.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. and to revise subchapter 4. you need to read the fragment again. If there should be major differences. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. For Gulliver. The careful reader will. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect.6. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . from the Reader.
4. Steele. The period of the Restoration overlaps with the emerging Augustan Age. One of the literary forms that developed during this period was the periodical essay (Addison. including that of Reason itself. generally. It was a chronicle of manners and an instrument of social and moral criticism. Swift. Congreve. inflated ideal of heroism and virtue. narrow-sightedness.).The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. arrogant ignorance and unfounded pride in his reason. a masterpiece of irony which places under scrutiny many of the myths of the Enlightenment. the pressure of the taste of the rising middle class replaced it with sentimental comedy. Dryden). but also an enduring achievement of the enlightened spirit. It cultivated the idea of the “marriage” of Art and Nature. The latter’s eminently rationalist poetics placed emphasis on clarity and elegance in style and composition. and by means of it. He intended to “vex the world” in order to “mend” it. on Reason and common sense in aesthetic choice.7. Steele). and. grotesque. It is an age of transition. Dryden. Satire. was another characteristic genre. and he used every weapon in the satirist’s arsenal to awaken man from his selfcomplacency: biting irony. 110 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . accommodating a diversity of literary forms and traditions – old and new. was enlightened in matters of literary taste and intellectual achievements. his learning and sense of literary tradition. parody. this highly artificial and conventional form was an expression of the taste of the Court aristocracy. Johnson are central figures of the Augustan Age. A representative literary genre for this age is the comedy of manners (Etherege. therefore also capable of error. While heroic drama sustained an impossible. Swift’s allegorical satire Gulliver’s Travels is the most accomplished exploration of the contradictions of the Age of Reason. Pope) and in prose (Swift). which contributed greatly to the development of a modern prose style. For Swift. Pope. when literary Neoclassicism developed. The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Gulliver’s Travels is the expression of Swift’s indignation and anger at man’s foolishness. Swift’s extraordinary inventiveness and narrative gift. the belief in progress and improvement in an age which was also that of the Enlightenment. Its flourishing in the Augustan Age reflects the integration of literature with social life. Summary The Restoration is a historical and a literary period. a wide public. Dryden. the writers’ sense of responsibility towards the values of their civilisation. Addison. etc.g. dominantly middle class. on the rule of decorum. and his brilliant wit make Gulliver’s Travels not only a landmark in Augustan literature. reason was not to be taken for granted: man was only a creature capable of reason. on expressive restraint and skilfully controlled wit. caricature. comedy was licentious and cynical. Like heroic tragedy (e. both in verse (Dryden. placing wit above virtue. and recommended as a model the literary wisdom of the Ancients. Gradually. Goldsmith.
Art may generally refer to the work of man. admirer. Dulness as “Great Anarch” is the ruler of spiritual chaos. it may also refer to a woman’s lover. acquiring quickly the status of real “institutions” of opinion. or escort. well-dressed man. profession or interest.” where Dryden would come regularly. greatly concerned with appearances.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. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1. For instance. In Pope’s satire. They were usually frequented by people of the same social rank. political or religious orientation. they were convenient places for socialising and for the dissemination of news. beaux: plural of beau (“handsome” in French). affectation: a manner of speech. dress or behaviour which is not natural. but is intended to impress others. in the 2nd Book of Kings (verses 15-18). Augustan: see Augustan Age in the Glossary in Unit 1. baroque: see again subchapter 2. Anarch: a personification of anarchy. “Will’s Coffee House. all the acquisitions of the human spirit become meaningless. 111 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and the Glossary in Unit 2. or human skill (as contrasted to the work of Nature). which designated a fashionable. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. achieved by training and practice.1. gathered people of the literary profession or interested in literary matters. In her empire of darkness and confusion. art: in the Neoclassic doctrine. the acquired competence of the writer.1. coffee houses: since the 1650s. his craftsmanship.
Bayes” refers to Lewis Theobald.3 in Unit 1. Gulliver: the name sounds very similar to the adjective “gullible. Bayes. trait . industry: the quality of being hard-working or of being always employed usefully. boring. a strictly ordered hierarchical system. “Dull” also means uninteresting. but to the whole of created reality. the bay-leaf crown was the ancient emblem of fame. It derives from “bay. Dryden himself had been attacked several times as “Mr. characters were constructed on the basis of a particular disposition. referring not only to external nature. landscape.3 in Unit 1 (heroic drama). In this kind of comedy.e. Great Chain of Being: an ancient world-picture. figuratively: undeveloped or inactive.” Nature: an inclusive concept. Bayes: a name which was frequently applied satirically to a writer. “Mr. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. i. Mr. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 112 . fallow: (about land) left unplanted or unseeded. honour. mock-heroic epic: see mock-heroic style and epic in the Glossary in Unit 1. dulness: in a strict sense. Pope uses the word in the enlarged sense of “all slowness of apprehension. who in 1730 had become Poet Laureate. Dunciad: the title is coined after The Iliad. heroic tragedy: see again subchapter 1.4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • comedy of humours: see Jonson in the Glossary in Unit 1. and distinction. from dunce.” which means easy to fool or persuade to believe something (from “to gull”: to cheat. In the 1743 version of The Dunciad. a word designating a person who is stupid or slow to learn. who had criticised Pope for his edition of Shakespeare (1725). slowness in thinking and learning. justice of the peace: a person appointed by the crown to judge less serious cases in small courts of law. Pope replaced Theobald by Colley Cibber. surviving through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the 18th century. unexciting. to deceive). fop: a man who is excessively concerned with fashion and elegance. inclination. licentiousness: uncontrolled sexual behaviour. In Pope’s satire.” another word for “laurel”.” diction : see poetic diction in the Glossary in Unit 1. shortness of sight or imperfect sense of things. or “humour. in which the destruction of one “link” would bring chaos. hedonism: a lifestyle devoted to the seeking of sensual pleasure.” a “force inertly strong” which corrupts understanding and confuses the mind. which conceived of every being in nature as having its well-established place in an uninterrupted chain of increasing degrees of complexity. stupidity.
polite learning: the knowledge acquired through classical education (polite: refined. essays and dramatic works. perfect society (literally: “no place. for the notion of sentimentalism. Boileau.” utopia: a genre in fiction whose name comes from Sir Thomas More’s work Utopia (1516).1. Dryden. and topos = place).3 in Unit 5. uncreated word: with reference to the literary world. the conception about literature and the creative act of a certain literary school or writer. poetics: the system of principles and conventions which govern a certain literary form. especially the main landowner in a village.4 in Unit 1. whose poem L’art poétique (1674) established the canons of taste and the standards of literary judgement for European Neoclassicism. this phrase suggests the lack of inspiration. Joseph (1672-1719): representative of English literary Neoclassicisn. He was equally successful as an author of heroic dramas (see again subchapter 1.4. or literature in general. and he was the pioneer of modern English literary criticism. squire: a country gentleman. polished).4. in which he outlines the features of an ideal.e. sprout up: to begin to grow or develop. Tatler: a “tattler” is a person who gossips. i. making literature “dull. He established the periodical essay as a literary genre. wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.” from Greek u = not. Nicolas (1636-1711): outstanding French poet and critic. author of poems.3 in Unit 1) and of comedies of manners. and sentimental novel in subchapter 5. of taste or skill. Neoclassicism: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. Pope’s satire warns thus about the dangers of lowering literary standards. founder of literary journalism. Among the latter. Marriage à la Mode (1672) distinguishes itself by its brilliant wit combats and effective social satire. elegant.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • cosmic harmony and order manifested in the appearances of this world. He excelled in all literary genres of his time. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. 113 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . or who chats or talks idly. and he contributed significantly to the dissemination of the values of the Enlightenment in England. Gallery of personalities • • • Addison. sentimental comedy see again subchapter 1. Restoration Wits: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. John (1637-1700): one of the most outstanding figures of the Restoration and the Augustan Age. of imagination and originality. he translated from ancient authors.
Together with Addison. extremely popular owing to his “modern moral subjects” – a series of paintings or engravings which tell a story and constitute a comment on social. Alexander (1688-1744): the most illustrious representative of English literary Neoclassicism. an unequalled master of irony and wit. Hogarth. Virgil. concise and flexible. he is the author of the novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766). member of the Royal Society. Swift.” Horace: Quintus Horatius Flavius (65-8 B. Sprat. or Sir Fopling Flutter (1676). Among various other works. he endeavoured to lift Latin literature to the level of Greek literature. His best comedies are She Would If She Could (1668). Thomas (1635-1713): mathematician and writer. In the mock-heroic allegory The Battle of the Books (1704). His works include the philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). Oliver (1728-1774): upholder of the Neoclassic standards of style and composition. Goldsmith. Pope.C. a masterpiece of 18th century fiction.). Latin poet of the time of Caesar Augustus. and a major representative of English sentimentalism. He was a friend of the novelist Henry Fielding. in which he is the optimistic spokesman of the Age of Reason. Samuel: see the Gallery of personalities in Unit 2. William (1640-1716): one of the Restoration Wits. clear. preoccupied by the cultivation of an English style that should be simple. His comedies The Country Wife (1675) and The Plain Dealer (1676) satirise the discrepancies between the social surface of respectability and the unscrupulous selfishness that may hide behind it. a bitter satire in defense of the Irish people. Wycherley. which contains an allegorical satire on the division of the Christian Church. who called him a “comic history-painter. William (1697-1764): painter and engraver. his works include A Tale of a Tub (1704). and of the influential critical work Ars Poetica.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • Etherege. and The Man of Mode. of Irish origin. Besides his famous Gulliver’s Travels. political and moral vices. Jonathan (1667-1745): the greatest English satirist. Richard (1672-1725): Augustan essayist and dramatist (he established sentimental comedy on the English stage). satires and epistles. Like his friend. he contributed to the spreading of Enlightenment ideas. as well as the mock-heroic poem The Rape of the Lock (1712). and A Modest Proposal (1729). author of odes. Johnson. he argues for the superiority of the Ancients over modern authors. as well as to the forging of a polished literary prose style. George (1634-1691): a member of the group of Restoration Wits. Steele. 114 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .
is. Civilised reserve in society.T. which may be cultivated or left to “lie fallow. by the standards of her social environment.F. 5.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. so the mind which is not assiduously and constantly cultivated – i. reasonableness.T. of those features which are universal. Johnson implies that an author’s greatness depend on his insight into Human Nature.e. His characters embody the fundamental human passions which will always move mankind. SAQ 6 Satire is the art of pointing at people’s faults without resorting to insult or calumny.F.e.T. Addison’s observation reflects the faith in man’s intellectual and moral perfectibility through responsible education – an attitude characteristic of the Enlightenment. and she rejects the idea of the wife’s subordination. good judgment. educated to think – will employ itself with trifles. and. 4. modesty.” Just as weeds (i. She wishes for a sincere and authentic relationship. abdicating from reason. In marriage. 2. each partner should accept and respect the other’s wishes. industry. opinions and tastes.F SAQ 2 Millamant has an unconventional view of marriage. and she proposes to reject the social rituals and fashions that would require them to wear masks. of Human nature.” Shakespeare will appeal to readers across the ages. and should not try to impose his/her habits on the other. 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. good breeding. sense of responsibility.T.e. because he succeeded in rendering the general “truths” of human nature.T. open-mindedness. Culture is thus seen as an improvement of nature. diligence. 3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 115 .F. common to all humanity – is greater than the pleasure of “sudden wonder” procured by the depiction of “particular manners” and by “fanciful invention. 6. 7. Dryden makes an analogy between the sharp blade of the executioner’s sword and the sharp irony and wit of the satirist. wild plants growing where they are not wanted) will invade an uncultivated field. or judgment. She also refuses to see marriage as a limitation of the woman’s freedom. 9. good sense. furnished with ideas. 8. SAQ 4 Addison builds an analogy between the human mind and a field. for sophisticated Millamant. integrity. a way of protecting their intimacy and their feelings. common sense. SAQ 3 The pleasure of contemplating representations of “general nature” – i. the refusal to make a public show of their affection. in an analogous sense. benevolence. regardless of their particular condition. SAQ 5 honesty.
The tyranny of reason also rules out affection and emotion: they have no particular feelings for their own offspring. and no personal choice in the matter of marriage. the education in the spirit of moderation and industry. The civilised art of satire is opposed to the coarseness and brutality of personal attack and insult. 5. so the satirist is merciless in his denouncing human flaws. 4. Ioan-Aurel (coord. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”).The Restoration and the Augustan Age Just as the executioner will implacably carry out the capital punishment. 1969 (pp. The incapacity of choosing a ruler according to real merit. A Critical History of English Literature. Anti-utopian aspects: the absolutisation of reason. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. English Literature and Civilisation. 1983 (pp. only the species counts. Further reading 1. Macsiniuc. the rulers’ habit of surrounding themselves by favourites whose role is to flatter and to encourage them in their abuses. the jealousy (envy) and the aggressiveness towards one’s fellows. the exclusion of opinion. The tendency to idleness. The English Eighteenth Century. and the hierarchy of their society is based on racial discrimination (“inferior” Houyhnhnms will fatally be servants). The art of the accomplished satirist consists in the elegance.” the subtlety of his accusations. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. the “fineness. deprives their thinking of flexibility and nuance. the “unnatural appetite” for things whose value doesn’t justify the effort and energy spent in their acquisition and preservation.33-66) 116 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The spirit of competition. the silly behaviour of women determined to draw attention to themselves. decency and civility are certainly desiderata of any civilisation. 3. 2. 180-187) 3. conflict and self-interest. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Both of them need skill – or “art” – to do this in a satisfactory way. which breeds imaginary ills. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. the generalises extension of friendship and benevolence. SAQ 8 Utopian aspects: The cultivation and exercise of reason. They practice population control. Daiches. In the absence of affective attachment.” SAQ 7 1. The Houyhnhms are not divided by quarrels. The Novel in Its Beginnings. which is meant only for procreation. the ability of the worst to set themselves as leaders. ultimately of imagination. 537-550) 2. civility and friendship become a cold and superficial form of social relationship. David. The individual is of no importance.. Preda. vol. The irrational greed and avarice. which are the literary equivalent of a man’s “slovenly butchering. Womankind’s lustfulness and inclination to coquetry. and the equal education of males and females was a progressive Enlightenment ideal.). Cornelia. which makes social progress inconceivable. 2003 (pp.
3.4. 5.2.4. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 118 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 144 145 146 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 117 .6. 22.214.171.124.2. 5. 5. 5. 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 126.96.36.199. 188.8.131.52.1. 184.108.40.206. 5. 5. 220.127.116.11.2.7. 18.104.22.168.1.5.2. 5. 5. 5.1.3. 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. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 5.4.4. 5.1.2. 5.5. 5.2. 5. 22.214.171.124.2. 5.5.4. 5.1.3. 5. 5.4.3.
natural rights. A significant part of this new reading public consisted in women. 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. in various aspects of the novels discussed in this unit. whose vast majority was middle-class. exotic settings. a certain tendency to women’s emancipation. Such tales gratified the fantasies of a class of readers who were still barred from public self-assertion. mostly imitations of French models. The late 17 th century had seen a flourishing of this kind of fiction. and generally about women.1. and their involvement with literary life was increasing. whose action was often set in remote.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ identify. tolerance. emancipation and progress received unprecedented prominence and were vital for the self-assertion of the new class. Romances were long narratives combining heroic adventure and passionate love. Background and main concerns The novel’s emergence is commonly associated with the aspiration of the middle classes to overcome cultural marginality. Women’s education was beginning to be encouraged. confined to the 118 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 5. and the development of the novel. 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. but there was a considerable amount of novels written by women. and whose protagonists were of noble stock. in the early years of the 18 th century. Novel and romance in the 18th century The dominance of female readership explains the enduring popularity.1. the rise of the middle classes. The general growth of literacy* in the 18 th century led to the rise of a new. and there is a connection between. This new literary form embodied the democratic and revolutionary impulse of a century in which the issues of individual liberty. Not only were women the most numerous “consumers” of novels. more inclusive reading public. of a genre which became the main rival of the novel: the romance.1.
Characters are no longer idealised.2. the novel reflected the general critical spirit of the Age of the Enlightenment and participated in its project of emancipation through education. or previous literature. because the depicted experience and universe were more or less familiar to them. its endeavour to propagate a certain moral and social code. the province of the novel was the familiar. but from contemporary life. On the one hand. On the other hand. the novel’s didactic vocation.1. truth to Nature – is what primarily distinguished the novel from romance. history. with entertainment frequently subordinated to the instructive aim. it recommended patterns of behaviour and models of success that were relevant to the condition of middle class readers.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel domestic universe. to their relevance for the reader’s aspirations and possibilities. Thus. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 119 . realised with an unprecedented wealth of social. In spite of the great diversity of novels in the 18th century. its normality. The readers of novels could identify themselves with the characters. in its concerns. romances were therefore literature of escape. whose province was the spectacular and the extraordinary. socially and materially dependent on men. 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. shows its assumed responsibility towards contemporary civilisation. a double tendency of the Age of the Enlightenment. The novelist no longer drew his plots from mythology. its emphasis on individual experience is the literary expression of the spirit of individualism associated with the growing importance of the middle classes. For most women. their common denominator was the attempt to convey an impression of authentic experience. in Augustan terms. It attempted to correct morals and educate manners by censuring vice and folly. in the novel. but distinct individualities. 5. The knights and princesses of romances were replaced. moral or psychological detail. legend. By contrast. Realism – or. by common people. its determination to participate in the general Augustan quest for an ideal of social harmony. 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 ordinary aspects of life. vague and abstract figures. The novel reflects. a reality that was close to the average reader’s experience became a source of imaginative interest. the novel’s aspiration was to fulfil the double mission of all Augustan literature: to entertain (to divert) and to instruct (to edify). Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Whereas the basic aim of romance was to entertain.
Women were … 3. read again subchapters 5.1. on the one hand. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century. and public/social norms and conventions.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. The rise of the middle classes … 2. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. 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. 1. at the end of the unit.2. If there should be major differences. … 4. on the other. and 5.1.1. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment.
misfortune to the solution of all conflicts and the integration of the protagonist in a social structure. since this kind of fiction subverts the prestige of older genres (the epic.g. and its beginnings are defined by a tendency to “sponge” on other literary forms. in imitation of the descriptive accuracy of travel literature. and the hero’s various encounters are. exposing their irrelevance and unreality. confusion.g. their distance from the every day experience of common readers. from which it borrowed devices. popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. It may either offer a comprehensive mirror of the social diversity of the age (e. romance is trivialised through parody*. or explore personal conflicts which involve different sets of values (e. The characteristic comic plot presupposes the passage from disorder. The sentimental hero/heroine unites a remarkably acute sensibility with spotless virtue and a deep sense of honour. forms of expression. • • The novel of manners submits to the reader’s judgements various types of social behaviour. The comic novel is an opportunity for writers to display a critical attitude not only to reality. but also in poetry and in drama. and extremely diverse. Richardson). i. inclusive. irony and burlesque*. On the other hand. a wide variety of influences went into its making. • The sentimental novel is the literary manifestation of that cross-current within the Age of the Enlightenment which placed value in emotional response rather than in reason. on events.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. but they differ from romances in their attention to realistic detail. the romance).3.1. for the author. They invariably contain the motif of the journey. in which the action is episodic. patterns and motifs. • Picaresque* novels may be considered a special case of adventure novels. displayed not only in fiction. repetitious. classic models to follow. the comic vision is always in the service of social and moral criticism. Many novels cut across divisions. Typology of the novel in the 18th century The novel as a genre had no authoritative. but to literature as well. Instead. This makes the 18th century novel rather difficult to classify. The most popular kinds of novels in the 18th century were: Adventure novels share with romances an emphasis on action. loosely structured. The motif of the travel is central. belonging to several categories at once. an opportunity for comprehensive social criticism. • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 121 . and which emphasised the importance of feeling and its close connection with moral virtue. The analysis of sentimental response was meant to elicit from the reader an empathic understanding. Fielding). examining the conflicts between private morality and public expectation.e. Sentimentalism became a literary fashion. The comic novel in the 18th century is inscribed in a long tradition of deflation of romance. which claim the reader’s attention more than the characters do. therefore an ally to realism. and the world represented in such novels is open.
1.3. It defines itself in contrast with the “serious” narrative genres. trivial subjects. It centres on intellectual debate and confrontation of ideas. read again subchapter 5. It is concerned with the individual’s full assertion as a social being. at the end of the unit. ________________________ 7. at the end of a process in which he/she learns to accord private impulse with social expectation. 3. ________________________ 8. 1.. The achievement of maturity leads to the hero’s satisfactory social integration. • SAQ 2 What kinds of novels do the following sentences describe? Write the answer in the space indicated by the continuous line. in an atmosphere of gloom. It presents a tale of mystery and horror. after each sentence. 122 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . ________________________ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. usually with supernatural ingredients. mocking their elevated style by applying it to common. If you have failed to match any of the descriptions with the right type of novel. It explores the labyrinth of emotion and feeling. this illustrates the concern of the Enlightenment with the development of the individual as a social being. ________________________ 5. in their confrontation with moral choice. deliberately reducing the importance of plot or emotional conflict. ________________________ 2. ________________________ 6. Its hero is a marginal figure who aspires to social success. ________________________ 4.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. Two of these descriptions do not match any of the types of novels described in the subchapter above. It explores the diversity of social manners and their articulation with moral values. It offers more delight in ________________________ action than in character. and his/her experiences provide a satirical survey of the contemporary society.
in the next years. several adventure novels. Its tremendous success encouraged Defoe to produce. the power to hold attention and keep curiosity awake. on his fiction. This confers vividness to their narratives.2. in actions. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. Both of them enjoyed enormous popularity not only in England. when the writer was almost sixty. Their rise to social respectability and wealth. on the movements of consciousness and the emotional response to moral problems. on the individual’s striving towards some form of personal achievement. They are pragmatic. establishing it as the most popular literary genre in the 18th century. His heroes are remarkable in their vitality. Mariner. Defoe and Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Each of these two novelists had an essential contribution to the rise of the novel.1. their social insertion. They were all stories of success. published in 1719. dynamic and versatile. of such non-fictional kinds of writing as the spiritual autobiography or didactic religious treatises. 5. Both Defoe and Richardson display in their narratives a remarkable faithfulness to detail. the constant striving towards accuracy of description. but also on the Continent. to the influence. and tracing the protagonists’ struggles to achieve material prosperity as a condition of a stable social position. in circumstantial details. Richardson focuses on the inner world of thought and feeling. Their novels are the literary reflection of the spirit of individualism that characterised the age. cast in a picaresque form. is invariably accompanied by moral reformation. Puritan* background. Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Defoe’s career as a novelist started with his masterpiece. Features of Defoe’s heroes Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 123 .2. resourcefulness and capacity for adjustment and survival. They differ in the objects of their “realistic” approach: whereas Defoe’s interest is invested in the external world of fact.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. and both of them focus on the individual in his/her struggle of securing a legitimate position in the social structure. and their adventures show the individual victorious over circumstances and environment (physical or social). They share a middle class. This aspect in Defoe’s novels points to his Puritan background.
has three children. The subject is inspired by 17th century stories of castaways on desert islands. one of Defoe’s “honest cheats.2. Illustration to the first edition (1719) Robinson on the beach (illustration by N. not only physical but also spiritual. After 26 years. in soon left a widower. Robinson becomes engaged in a heroic struggle for survival. the desire for adventure and for “seeing the world. he rescues a savage from his fellow cannibals. romantic youth into a realistic.” as he came to call his novels – the attempt to inculcate religion and morality through a gripping story which has the appearance of authenticity. C. Under Defoe’s pen. struggling to impose on an alien space his middle class idea of order. After several misadventures at sea. names him Friday and turns him into his loyal servant and receptive pupil.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.” It is. to buy slaves. prudent and calculating mature man.2. In the 28 years of solitary life.” and leaves home on board a ship. and the book ends with his promise of further accounts of his island.” He disregards his father’s advice of continuing the family trade and keeping within the limits of his “middle station in life. of his moral strength to carry on against all obstacles. such an experience became an archetypal one.” without “any appearance of fiction in it. as well by the more recent case of a sailor who had lived in complete solitude for five years on an uninhabited island. On his return to England.1920) 124 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . but during a terrible storm he is shipwrecked on a desert island. Robinson settles in Brazil where he becomes a relatively prosperous plantation owner. In the hope of increasing his wealth. he learns that his prospering business in Brazil has made him a rich man. Wyeth . Providence helps him finally leave the island. He marries. a celebration of man’s power of spiritual endurance in adversity. Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Robinson Crusoe is recommended as “a just history of fact. in fact. he turns from a reckless. Robinson displays from a young age the romantic inclination of wandering. he starts a voyage to Africa. Son of a successful German merchant settled in England. where he has established a colony. The only survivor.
” 5. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Isolation is no longer a misfortune. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 . as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. In this light. Gradually. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. to the awakening of religious conscience.. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter.2. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. If it should differ considerably. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions.1.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 3 How does the description “honest cheat” apply to Robinson Crusoe? Answer in no more than 8 lines / 80 words. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design.2. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory.3.2. In his initial struggle with despair. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat.2. at the end of the unit. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. 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. read again subchapters 5. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. and 5. as a political or economic utopia.
Like Adam. 2. inventiveness. perseverance. perspicacity. Enumerate. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion.g. subchapter 5. 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The celebration of homo faber characteristic Puritan tendency to self-scrutiny and introspection. He takes pleasure in his work). you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5.2. 3. ingenuity). Changed in his “notion of things. with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. g. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction.” However... Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism. or the felix culpa*.” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot. 1. Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value.2. 4. or by a sentence (e. If you should fail to find any of the features mentioned there. It has its spiritual rewards. in the space below. morally autonomous.. its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress. as well as the fragment in the Reader. You may render these features either by a single noun (e. the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall. Robinson is cast out from the “edenic” safety and happiness of his father’s home into an uncertain world of toil. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter. SAQ 4 Read Text 5. at least four features of the hero’s character as they are illustrated by this description.2. at the end of the unit. In this connection. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work. which will serve his instinct for independence. as a self-reliant individual. if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience.3.” desires and “delights.
The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. at the same time. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative.2. the promise of symbolic meanings. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the frequent enumerations and inventories. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable. of familiar detail. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist.2. he paid little attention to matters of form. whose reality is difficult to doubt. The richness of concrete detail. at the end of the unit. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . on a separate sheet. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure. concreteness. with unmatched vividness. 4. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality. 2. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. which. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. clear language. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5.2. rendered in a simple. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. His simple. solid world. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. containing. the most common objects and actions in their particularity. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. clarity. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories.4. His linear. 3. read the fragment and subchapter 5. 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.4 once more and do the exercise again. 1.
Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel Richardson is the first to combine a sense of social reality with the interest in individual psychology. or Virtue Rewarded Pamela is a simple countryside girl who works as a maidservant in the house of Lady B_. Her disarming combination of graceful modesty and pride helps her come victorious in an encounter with haughty Lady Davers. Pamela has one more test to pass: winning the approval of Mr. not only in England but also on the Continent. or the History of a Young Lady (1748). hoping that she will give in. He acknowledges his love and proposes marriage to her. At the same time. in Bedfordshire. Richardson’s prominent place in the history of the English novel is ensured by two novels: Pamela.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. the double victim of the libertine aristocrat who raped her and of her narrow-minded. Both are written in the epistolary manner*. tries to seduce her and make her his mistress. Mr. Richardson focuses on the relation between feeling and virtue.2. Back to Bedfordshire as mistress of the house. In her new state. who is now convinced of the purity of her motives and of her innocence. B’s relatives and friends.5. the tone is rather that of a comedy of manners and the ending is in the spirit of the Cinderella* tale. His focus on the inner life of feeling and emotion prefigures the Romantic* sensibility. Mr.6. In Clarissa. the death of the heroine turns her into a tragic figure. Mr. cruel and greedy relatives. of individual freedom threatened by arbitrary power. unanimously loved and admired. his exploration of unconscious motivation makes him a forerunner in the great tradition of the novel of psychological analysis. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) 5. Pamela continues a diary. Both novels concentrate on the microcosm of the family and develop the themes of the trial of innocence. B_’s sister. or Virtue Rewarded (1740) and Clarissa. His influence was considerable. Upon the death of her mistress. In Pamela. sensibility and morality. There. Faced with her resistance. The plot of Pamela. impressed by Pamela’s unusual beauty and grace. Pamela differs from Clarissa in tone and ending. but also the agitation of her heart and its conflicting impulses. As the first great sentimental novelist. Her diary – intended for her parents – falls into Mr. 128 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . whose affection she finally gains. of the struggle between virtue and vice. which Richardson found best suited for the realistic rendering of psychological and moral complexity. B_.2. recording the details of her ordeal. B_’s hands. Pamela decides to thank Providence by doing as much good as she can to those around her. B_ abducts her and keeps her a prisoner for a while in his Lincolnshire house. as well as for his didactic purpose. the latter’s son.
Richardson’s implicit radical message. He thus questions the exclusive right of aristocracy.2. Social hierarchy and the individual self Pamela’s problem is not only the defense of her chastity. Through its subject and theme. B_ intercepting Pamela’s first letter to her parents (Engraving by H. that no one has the right to control the ideas and feelings of another. to set moral standards to the nation. his violation of her privacy (including the private space of her correspondence) as abusive attempts to reduce her to the condition of an object. Richardson’s novel participates in the larger illuminist debate on the issue of authority and absolute power vs. She perceives her imprisonment by Mr. The cover engraving and title page of the 1741 edition Mr. F. She sees social hierarchy as “natural. Pamela’s position of moral superiority reflects Richardson’s confidence that the values of the middle class entitled them to claim moral leadership. is consistent with the spirit of individual freedom which defines the Enlightenment. Gravelot to the 1742 edition) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 129 . a complete novelty in fiction. the freedoms that he takes with her. Pamela is brought up by her modest parents in the spirit of the strictest religious principles. as a traditionally dominant class.7. the rights of the individual. B_. This ambiguity in her condition makes her remarkably class-conscious. The moral conflict in the novel is accompanied by social issues. but the education she received in Lady B_’s house is far above that of a servant.” but she defends her dignity as an individual. Richardson’s creation of Pamela is revolutionary.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. as he embodies perfect virtue in a lower middle-class girl.
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. read again attentively subchapters 5. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave.2.2. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. at the end of the unit. to obey Mr. though in quality [i.e. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master.6. between hate and admiration.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. as a servant. If there should be significant differences.2. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. and 5. 5.”? Answer in the space left below. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty.7. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable.8. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . it is easier for her to stand his abuses.
SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. B_ follows a similar evolution. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. In Pamela’s letters and diary.9.2. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. What counts. which are captured in the process of their emergence. and his developing love. her sentimental response to them.3. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. on the other.4. and considering also Text 5. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. read again subchapter 5. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. however. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. 2. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 .The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. excerpted from Pamela. at the end of the unit. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. 1. in the Reader). Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives.. on the one hand.. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions.
Omniscient narration afforded a comic vision of life. modest and gentle creature.” Mr. Fielding’s combination of realism and comedy inaugurated a lasting tradition of realistic fiction as an instrument of criticism of manners. Joseph’s sweetheart. 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. Mr. and he thought to propose his own version of morality. His works are panoramic reflections of the age. Joseph Andrews is presented as Pamela’s brother. author of Don Quixote” (1742). Mr. Mrs. His rejection of both leads to his dismissal. but a voice external to the story. they mirror a wide range of human types. Parodic accents are revived: Pamela is not Richardson’s humble. More unexpected Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Lady Booby and Joseph Andrews (engraving by James Heath. “written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes*. 1790) 132 . and the first comprehensive literary picture of the manners and mentalities of the age. relationships and actions. The hero’s companions are Parson Abraham Adams and Fanny Goodwill. required a narrator who should be no longer a character.3. priggish* upstart. Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend. so that he sets out for home. above all. who opposes her brother’s marriage to a simple country-girl. the author asserts himself. At this point. Cervantes.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. but also by the maid. and the long central section of the novel – its picaresque part – describes Joseph’s adventures on the road. Lady Booby’s estate in Somersetshire is the scene for the novel’s last series of adventures. emulating his sister in the exemplarity of his virtue. Booby. Fielding abandons parody. but a snobbish. He is also the first novelist who displayed a remarkable sense of form. performed by means of comic satiric devices. Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Fielding is the creator of the novels of manners. in London. His acknowledged literary models were Swift. Through the omniscient* narrator. The careful narrative architecture of his novels. including Pamela and her husband. started as a parody. He is the object of seduction of “Lady Booby*.3.1. Pope. whose servant he was. and. A somber discovery marks the climax of confusion: it appears that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. The result was the first comic novel of manners in England. B_’s aunt. All important characters meet here. burlesque and comic satire. Fielding uses the technique of reversal as a parodic device. Fielding was a master of parody. to his native village. Treating seriously of male virtue results in comic effect. irony. Fielding considered the Puritan morality preached by Rhichardson’s Pamela as narrow and ungenerous. controlling the narrative and imposing his own values explicitly. Abraham Adams. as well as their inclusiveness. Slipslop. which is doubled by the fact that Joseph is pursued not only by the mistress. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) 5.
Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. Fielding likes to play with genres. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners.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. T F 2. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. for true or false) for each of them. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. For instance. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 .” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. T F 8. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. at the end of the unit. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. read the text once more. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. carefully. is an ingredient of romantic plots. which turns out to be gentle*. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. in the spirit of comedy. whom they had met during their journey.5. which closes the plot. Cervantes. T F 5. Read Text 5. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. alluding thus to the older genre.3. Mr. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. T F 4. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 1. Wilson. 5. T F 6. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. T F 3.2. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. T F 7.
in various nuances of behaviour and in its moral diversity. active goodness. By means of techniques of contrast. 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. Every social class.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Character as type The principle of contrast in characterisation 134 . Defoe and Richardson were also concerned with the relation individual-society. but manners. In order to make the extraordinary variety of human types easier to deal with. hypocrisy and intolerance he is confronted with. not an individual. Virtue and vice are not the “privilege” of a certain class or profession. there are both good and bad innkeepers. both honest and hypocrite priests. In other words. lawyers. Like his literary ancestor. cruelty. etc. The presence of Parson Adams is essential for the evolution of the main character. because “beauty and excellence” are always best demonstrated by their reverse. profession and temperament is represented in his novels. Fielding resorts to the principle of contrast in characterisation. but a species” (Joseph Andrews). but they placed their main interest in the individual. The character of Parson Adams The influence of Cervantes is clear in Fielding’s delineation of Parson* Adams. but also moral instruction.3. Fielding makes a synthesis between the comic and the morally serious. but good deeds and charity. His fund of Christian idealism is inexhaustible. etc. the essence of Christian morality is not prudence. in spite of the many instances of greed. often making him appear ridiculous. in Fielding. the parson combines innocence and simplicity with dignity and learning. and he never seems to learn from disappointing experiences. At the same time. For the author. Along the novel. he describes “not men. Fielding’s fiction displays an immense gallery of characters. fulfilling thus the novel’s double aim of entertaining and instructing.3.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. both loyal and treacherous servants or friends. which must give substance to faith. which often create comic effects. Fielding’s panoramic approach led him to find uniform patterns in human behaviour. above all.4. Parson Adams’s character remains the moral center of the novel. masters. Adams’s unsuspecting nature often gets him in trouble. Joseph emerges as morally mature. Joseph appears to follow his sister in his restriction of virtue to the question of chastity. quickly assimilating his mentor’s lesson and convinced that true Christianity means. Fielding offers aesthetic delight. In the combination of foolishness and idealism that characterises the parson. doctors. one of the most successfully accomplished quixotic* characters. He represents what Fielding considers the highest Christian value: goodness. and the reader is invited to judge all the other characters against the moral standard that he embodies. In the beginning. as he himself says. Parson Adams as a quixotic character 5. Fielding involves him in a multitude of comic situations. his virtues always outshine his occasional foolishness. as for Richardson.
If they should differ substantially. and he believes. Fielding is the most “Augustan. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. Explain them.2. read again subchapters 5.5. 5. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. 5. 1.3.3.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. 3. provide the first theory of the novel.2. through its moral and temperamental types. He is a moralist. At the same time. drawing short comparisons. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. at the end of the unit. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama.8.4. 5. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. preoccupied with the reformation of manners... 2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.. unaffected. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. like many Augustan writers. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists.2..4. and 5. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson.3. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. incorporated in the substance of his works.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. With Sterne. the narrator. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*.2.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. Fielding had demonstrated. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. In spite of his promises. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . of his uncle.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. by accident. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III. 5.e. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre. Walter. who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life. that he was. instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account. which isolates each of them in his mental universe. He digresses continually. and his long.1. These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. as well as of Parson Yorick. in Joseph Andrews. His father. other interesting things to relate. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him. the priest who baptised Tristram. i. Walter Shandy. he seems to have. we are drawn into an extremely irregular. does not manage to give a shape to his story. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel. that.” in every sense. Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision. at the age of five. corporal Trim. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia).4. which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son.” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness. Tristram.4. at every point.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals. is an erudite philosopher. the history of a private life. moulds reality into a literary pattern. a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction. unpredictable narrative. However. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction. that his brother Bobby died suddenly.4. the relation between life and literature.
Shandean* book” that Tristram is trying to write is meant to do good to the reader’s both heart and head. On the other hand. The narrator sees laughter as the ultimate defense of the sensitive soul against life’s miseries and limitations. which becomes almost a parody of human individuality. representing there the main battles as they William Hogarth. generosity. Tristram calls such obsessions hobby-horses. which influences all his thoughts and actions. It is not type (social. good-humoured. where compassion and empathy bridge the gap created by their singularity. Characterisation by hobby-horse is a negation of conventional means of realistic character delineation.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Among his most eccentric theories. gathering “almost as many books on military frontispiece to vol. Understandably. to preserve good humour in the middle of trouble. the early accidents in his son’s life cause him great distress. but the uniqueness of each individual mind.1 architecture as Don Quixote was found to have of chivalry. Tristram Shandy displays a unique combination of sentimentalism and comedy. above all.” forgetting (1760) everything in pursuit of his obsession. pitiful creature. 5. as comic eccentricity. therefore. absorbed in this activity.4.” defined as the capacity to mock at the blows of fate. They cannot share their thoughts. were being fought on the continent.3. Suffering is a permanence in Tristram’s world. uniqueness is achieved in extreme. and discharged from the army. ironic terms. There are many eccentric characters in 18th century fiction. the members of the Shandy family reach mutual understanding on the affective level. His narrative emphasises a tragi-comic vision of life. which were expected to influence a man’s conduct. moral or psychological) that interests Sterne. amiability. He becomes completely Tristram Shandy. during the War of the Spanish Succession*. Its approach to the frustrations of life is called by Tristram “true Shandeism. and it is either dealt with sentimentally or revealed in its comic absurdity. modesty and. Sterne places emphasis on the sentimental nature of his heroes as an aspect of their “moral character. but in Sterne’s novel all characters are eccentrics. gentleness. Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The characters’ obsessions and idiosyncrasies are an intellectual barrier in their communication. “My uncle Toby” is the most memorable character in the book. The “nonsensical. and this is made obvious in their endless conversations recorded in the novel. but they can enter a dialogue of the hearts. uncle Toby continues to live the reality of war through a substitute. doomed to pass from sorrow to sorrow. 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. character and destiny. However.” Toby Shandy is Sterne’s best accomplished sentimental character – the narrator continually praises his uncle’s good nature. to 137 The Shandean view of life Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a quixotic figure forming an eccentric couple with corporal Trim. with man as a vulnerable. He transforms his bowling green into a miniature military field. Wounded in Flanders.
138 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . at the end of the unit. in the Reader) attentively and explain why Tristram’s selfdescription as a “small HERO” suggests a tragi-comic vision of life. SAQ 10 In Vol. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. as well as the fragment from the Reader. see again the fall of princes. To remember the features of the tragic hero..6. read again subchapter 5. Ch. restricting it to 12 lines / 120 words. in the Glossary to Unit 2. Read this short chapter (Text 5. Write the answer in the space left below.4. It is a combination of wisdom and mirth*.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel take a lightly ironic distance from suffering. V. Sterne introduces the theme of Fortune – a theme which he will develop with a characteristic mixture of sentimental pathos and comic wit.3. which enables man to keep a healthy spirit and to get around the evils of life by joking about them. I. If the difference is considerable.
The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions By taking extreme freedoms with narrative and compositional conventions. Tristram constantly oscillates between the comic despair at his incapacity to master his narrative and the delight he takes in complete narrative freedom. there are several dedications scattered through the book. This impression is increased by Tristram’s effort to be exhaustive in his presentation. which he calls “the sunshine of reading. Digressive narrative Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 139 . Faced with the problems of accurate representation through words. to a certain view of writing. even a black sheet introduced at the death of Yorick. coherent plots. there are numberless digressions and interpolated stories. but also as an author. and he takes great delight in digressions. The zigzagging narrative. Tristram is earnestly trying to tell the story of his life and his opinions as accurately as possible. watched as if by a slow motion camera. 5. with its blank pages for the reader to fill in. Tristram resorts to other means of communication. Sterne’s rambling narrative. only in the middle of Volume III that we find the author’s Preface. but also to how it is told. by exploiting them in a parodic way. The difficulty he experiences as a writer is due to the limits of language.” The confused chronology and the digressive excesses frustrate also our expectation of a plot. 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. points of suspension. Typographically. with its multitude of dashes. He thus exaggerates parodically the realistic pursuit of accuracy and immediacy. makes the reader aware of them.e. etc. It is. does not seem to move towards any climax. drawings and graphs. marking a moment of affectionate recollection. by drawing his attention not only to what is told.4. Sterne defamiliarises them. for instance. its unpredictable returns to various moments in the past. The structure of the book is equally odd. frustrates our expectation of chronological linearity commonly associated with an autobiographical account.” Not only as a man. and to involve the reader both imaginatively and sentimentally.5. and gives the impression of stagnation.4. asterisks. The narrator explicitly refuses to keep the story straight. the “imperfections of words. i. The “Shandean” view of writing This ambivalent view of life corresponds.4. in Sterne’s novel. For example. so different from Fielding’s tight. the book is a comic oddity. Tristram has the consciousness of his tragi-comic predicament. He delights in minute descriptions of postures and small gestures. the restriction of the hero’s “life” to a few episodes breaks the convention of autobiographical focus.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.
The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. One such theme in Tristram Shandy is that of human communication – or rather incommunication –. the narrated time and the time of reading. Sterne’s literary treatment of the notion of duration makes him a precursor of 20th century modernist writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. they may be related to themes the problem of fictional representation and its limits. As metafiction.” with their digressions. halfsceptical meditation on the condition of literature and its relation with reality. It is a half-amused. the process of its own writing. i. makes Tristram Shandy a work of metafiction. The main subject of Sterne’s novel is. as it explores – halfseriously. the permanent inquiry into what a novel can do and cannot do. Tristram draws the narrative “lines. formless reality. There are themes in Sterne’s Metafictional novel which may be called “metafictional”. however. works which call attention to their own devices. Tristram constantly draws attention to the way in which he manipulates fictional time. The randomness of the narrative is a mirror of the narrator’s sense of his own life as tragi-comically governed by accident. In volume VI. Basically. at the structural level. The meaning of metafiction depends. Tristram Shandy as metafiction The constant reference to the devices and conventions operating in fiction.4. making the reader aware that “literary time” is arbitrary and conventional. Its extravagant. ultimately. Another prominent theme with a metafictional relevance is that The theme of time of time and its relation with the imagination.6. half-comically – the distinction between subjective and objective time. random course of the narrative has a correspondent in the theme of Fortune. into the “laboratory” of his literary consciousness. with the narrator’s desperate effort to be allinclusive and his incapacity of managing his narrative. Sterne’s particular approach to narrative correponds to a certain vision of human experience. Tristram Shandy questions the mimetic illusion that realistic fiction endeavours to create. metafiction is fiction about fiction. which is connected. Tristram Shandy may be called the first philosophical novel in English. i. also concerned with the way in which consciousness refracts external reality. experimental character affords the reader a glimpse into the novelist’s dilemmas and arsenal of choices. in the first four volumes.e. 140 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Metafictionally. The unpredictable.e. on the author’s vision of life. the theme of time corresponds to the narrator’s concern with the distinction between the time of writing. of life as pure chance. on the possibilities of fiction to render in an intelligible pattern the elusive.
6.4. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. In this way. which he discusses in the very text of the work. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. and read the fragment attentively once more.4.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel.7. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. go again through subchapters 5. 2. and 5. Instead of continuing the story. at the end of the unit. 3.. 1. Write them in the spaces indicated below. If they differ significantly.5. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 .
Henry Fielding. which has dealt with four major novelists of this age: Daniel Defoe. the novel was a minor form. tests the possibilities and limitations of the newly-born literary genre in an experimental. on the other hand. The absence of norms and models made it an exceptionally flexible and inclusive form. in a work so committed to the matterof-fact. However. 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. Lastly. selected as an illustration of the most characteristic features of his art. who shares with Fielding the attraction to comedy and parody. Samuel Richardson. You have formed an idea of this diversity from the chapters of this unit. to the palpable reality of common objects and actions. but his interest in the psychological complexity of the individual is completed by a remarkable sensitivity to social aspects. Fielding. Defoe illustrates best the new narrative realism that emerged in fiction. readers along the ages have been able to find a wealth of symbolic meanings and a story of archetypal significance. This is reflected in the wide diversity of directions in which the novel developed in the 18th century. Their works illustrate various aspects and tendencies in the evolution of the genre. 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 . Sterne. completely ignored by Augustan poetics. in his novels of manners. and with Robinson Crusoe the middle class hero is imposed on the literary scene. At the beginning of the 18th century. this genre has enjoyed unrivalled popularity. Since its settlement on the literary scene. self-conscious novel that makes him highly modern. Richardson takes the novel in the direction of the minute analysis of emotion and feeling. and Laurence Sterne.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. We have only concentrated on one novel for each writer.
metafiction: literally. rogue) – belongs. parody: the satirical imitation of a serious work. see again the Glossary in Unit 1). He is forced to 143 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in which the poor heroine.3 and the Glossary in Unit 3. “beyond fiction”. consisting of a stick with a figure of a horse’s head at one end. characteristically. a hobbyhorse is a toy. The hero – the picaro (i. felix culpa: see subchapter 3. but producing a different sound. which dominated Western aesthetics until the end of the 18th century. persecuted by her stepmother and ugly stepsisters. a term associated with the aesthetic view according to which the work of art is an imitation – a representation – of reality. Concretely. happiness. tone. belonging to a high social class (as in gentleman). jester: a professional clown employed by a king or nobleman. omniscient: describes the perspective of a narrator who appears to know all about the characters and their action. Cinderella is the prototype of the obscure and neglected young person. booby: silly or stupid person. parson: an Anglican priest in charge of a local church. minuteness: exactness in the rendering of small detail. played like a piano. who achieves success owing to beauty and virtue. exact representation of life. or “narcissistic” – i. a term designating the contemporary mode of fiction – postmodern fiction – which is essentially self-reflexive. gentle: of good breeding. a Fool. harpsichord: an old musical instrument. epistolary manner: in a novel. ends up by marrying Prince Charming. which became popular in England through translation and imitation.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. and he seeks social integration. fun. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1.e. in which its form becomes explicitly its subject. literally: novel of formation. literacy: the ability to read and write. Bildungsroman: German term. The letter (epistle) as a literary species was widely used in the 18th century. mirth: laughter. lifelikeness: closeness to life. the way of telling the story through a character’s letters or through an exchange of letters. to the lower ranks of society. picaresque: the origin of English picaresque novels is in the Spanish picaresque fiction of the 16th century. It was Aristotle who articulated this theory. fixed idea. gaiety. or education. Cinderella: an old fairy story. mimetic: the adjective derived from mimesis (Greek: imitation). whose style. attitude and subject are deliberately distorted so as to make them appear ridiculous. hobby horse: a favourite topic or an obsessive.e.
quixotic: the word describes a character moulded after Cervantes’s Don Quixote. Britain joined Austria. 1615). which stands in an ironic contrast with the successive triumphs of the noble hero of romance). honest and brave hidalgo (i. the famous satirical romance in which the hero’s sense of reality is altered by his obsession with the romantic chivalric ideal. like a knight-errant of former times. Stimulated by the numberless stories of romantic heroism that he has read. “quixotic” indicates an unrealistically optimistic and impractically idealistic approach to life. Gallery of personalities • Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra): Spanish writer (1547-1616). Don Quixote is an implicit debate on the relation between fiction and reality.e. Spain and Bavaria in this war fought over the disputed succession to the Spanish throne. The high aspirations of this generous. War of the Spanish Succession: 1702-1713. Prussia and the Netherlands against France.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel • • • • • • find his way in a hostile world by means of his resourcefulness and ingenuity. having often to go through the experience of humiliation and frustration. Puritan: see the Glossary in Unit 1. on a quest that is both admirable and ridiculous. priggish: describes a person who is strict about rules and correct behaviour and thinks him/herself morally superior to others. Romantic: see Romanticism in the Glossary in Unit 1. Shandean: the adjective that Tristram derives from his family name. Trismegistus: Hermes Trismegistos (thrice-greatest) is the Greek name given to the Egyptian god Thoth as supposed author of various works of mysticism and magic. • 144 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Don Quixote starts. 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.
The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. and 5. Text 4. as illustrated by this fragment. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. Horrified.2. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5..4. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment.4.. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself.1. In order to win the good graces of the king. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. in grading your paper. SAA no. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. clarity. the king rejects this tribute.1. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. to revise the preceding unit. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. therefore. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. Remember that. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. 2. Text 5. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. 3.1. You will have. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. 1. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). • the coherence. with special attention to subchapter 4. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation.
the capacity for learning from mistakes. and also authors of novels. sharp sense of observation. but this is a way of accomplishing more efficiently his honest intention of conveying a moral message. 3. In the social order. 6. 3. vividness. SAQ 3 Defoe’s own phrase refers to the purpose of his novels: to entertain and to instruct. realistic account. but she lives with the deep conviction that in the spiritual order of a Christian world. minuteness SAQ 6 Pamela’s assertion points to her conviction that the right to defend the moral integrity of one’s self is independent of social status. but she denies any human being the right to control her moral 146 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural the novel of adventure the sentimental novel the picaresque novel the Bildungsroman the novel of manners the comic novel . concreteness. 5. pragmatism. patience. 4. and by the form of autobiographical record. optimism. SAQ 4 Tenacity. SAQ 2 1. which is given an air of authenticity by the meticulous. industriousness. 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.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. immediacy. SAQ 5 factuality. plainness. all souls are equal. 2. 4. The rise of the middle classes … coincides with the emergence of the novel as a literary genre. Women were … a consistent part of the novel’s reading public. 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. He delights the reader with an extraordinary adventure and a story of success. … novels focused on the ordinary and the familiar aspects of life. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. She will accept humbly her social inferiority. on contemporary social reality and on the experience of the common individual. rationality. 2. resilience. He thus “cheats” the reader with the illusion of truth. she may be deprived of the privilege of class and fortune. inventiveness. 5.
4. that is. he is concerned with human types. SAQ 11 1.” but in “pitiful misadventures. you should think first of the features of a tragic hero. it enables the author to give greater psychological complexity to the characters. 8. Fielding finds the omniscient point of view more suitable to his intentions. The conception of character: he is interested not in the uniqueness of individuals. since the letters usually record moments of crisis in the character’s experience. 3F. which makes her sensitive to any form of power abuse. SAQ 8 1. wealth and power. This is not Tristram’s case. but in the way in which the individual embodies general traits of human nature. forbidding the reading “appetite” to fail and bringing in variety.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel will. The use of digressions is meant to show Tristram’s narrative skill and constitutes a mark of his originality. Digressions keep the reader’s curiosity awake.e unfavourable] accidents” is in comic contrast with the ideas of tragic disaster and the fall of the great. SAQ 10 In formulating your answer. 3.T.T.T. The narrative manner: unlike Defoe and Richardson. His style: while the style of Defoe and Richardson is closer to the plainness of common speech. The reader is made witness to the most private thoughts of the character. Her statement reflects the strength of her sense of individual worth. living and the act of writing overlap each other.T. 3.F. SAQ 7 1. In this way. Fielding displays the elegance and refinement of the Augustan ideal of style. and this impression of unmediaded communication strengthens his belief in the character’s sincerity. 2. who write in the first person. 2. 2.F SAQ 9 1. 2.” The image of the “ungracious Duchess” – Fortune – pelting him with a series of “cross [i. It allows a more profound insight into the character’s mind. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 147 . He is a “small HERO” because the misfortunes of his life do not consist in some “great or signal evil. enjoying title. his gifts and virtues set him above common people. This technique may thus give a dramatic quality to the narrative. 5.T. they create a sort of suspense. He is always a prominent figure. It prevents the writing from ending – it allows the writer to go on indefinitely. 7. as well as a paradoxical combination of social conformity and rebelliousness. 3. It creates a greater sense of suspense and anticipation. 6.
701-704. 731-736) 3. 179-195. 53-59. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 598-602. 37-42. Allen. 2003 (pp. Macsiniuc. The English Novel. 1991 (pp. Daiches.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. Cornelia. 1969 (pp. Penguin Books Limited. 43-46. 217-231. A Critical History of English Literature. David. 116127. 712-718. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 143-163.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. Walter. 76-80) 2. vol. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings.
3. 6. 6.4. 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.7.1.4. 6.2.2. 6.1. 6.2. 6.2. The Seasons William Cowper.6.3. 6. 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 . 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52. 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6.1. 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4. 6. 18.104.22.168. 6.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6.4.2. 6.5. 6. 6.4. 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.1.
which became the vehicle for the expression of private feeling and assumed a personal voice. The sentimental novel* (e. and Fielding). the cult of Reason favoured an attitude of humanitarianism and social benevolence. but also in a new kind of meditative poetry. the century of the Enlightenment*.1. subjective experience is displayed not only in fiction. Neoclassicism*. The interest in individual psychology. to bring the significant aspects of human life and behaviour into the light of public attention. The concern with personal.g. and cultivated its public relevance. harmony. and for night as a setting. The optimism and pragmatism of a rational age which believed in progress were reflected in literature as well. discipline. led to an increasing attention to emotional response. which in turn favoured the emergence of the cult of Feeling.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. This new poetic trend ran counter to the optimistic confidence of the Age of Reason. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling 150 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Pope. as is proved by the works of the great Augustan writers (Steele. however. For instance. the century of the Enlightenment was not without paradoxes and contradictions. regarded art as the product of civilisation. Samuel Richardson) is one manifestation of this tendency. Like any modern age. as well as the preoccupation of 18th century analytic thought with the workings of the human mind. Swift. Addison. was eminently the Age of Reason. with its emphasis on order. Literature was called to deal with matters of public interest. Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The eighteenth century. and the sensibility that it cultivated favoured the rise of the Gothic novel. whose literary-artistic expression was the Neoclassical doctrine. elegance and decorum*. One trend in the 18th century poetry of meditation was the preference for the expression of melancholy and dark thoughts.
1. and the dominant tone is that of nostalgia and regret. but its subject and mood are preRomantic. It begins with the contemplation of the landscape. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. but its influence on the birth of Romanticism* in England and on the Continent was huge. 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. which contrasts with the Augustan focus on contemporary civilisation. which awakened a steady interest in older poetic styles. The fascination with the Middle Ages is another feature which illustrated the rise of the Romantic sensibility.2. It is in this tradition that one of the most popular poems in English must be placed: Elegy written in a Country Churchyard.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. The most spectacular manifestation of this interest is the volume Poems of Ossian. published in 1765 by James Macpherson (17361796).D. imitating partly the cadence of biblical verses and of Milton’s blank verse. known as the Graveyard School of poetry. with tombstones lit by the pale moon – contributed to the birth of the taste for Gothic. whose life had passed in complete anonymity. death and immortality. sublime landscapes. whose basic motifs were the shortness and sorrows of life and the inexorable passage of time. Celtic* and Norse* legend and mythology. and folk literature in general. and misty. by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). The poetry of melancholy meditation Edward Young is one of the most important representatives of this new kind of reflective poetry. The perfect form of Gray’s poem shows his classical training. 1782) What Macpherson presented as a great primitive Celtic epic turned out to be entirely his own imaginary creation. He also claimed that their author was the (painted by Nicolai Abildgaard. is the most outstanding expression of this new spirit in poetry. Young and other poets formed a distinct trend in the mideighteenth century. Macpherson’s “Ossianic poems” are pieces of highly rhetorical poetic prose. His long poem in nine books. The lamentations of the blind bard evoke an ancient world of heroic virtue. In 1765. wild. Macpherson claimed to have translated these poems from “the Gaelic or Erse* language. Its gloomy setting – the churchyard. This new interest was reflected in the curiosity about “primitive* poetry” – biblical poetry. legendary Irish bard and hero Ossian.” and to have collected them in the Ossian Highlands of Scotland*. supposed to have lived in the 3rd century A. and it exerted an immense influence both in England and on the Continent. The interest in early poetry Another tendency which announced a change in literary sensibility was a new sense of the past. It consisted in long blank verse* meditations on such things as earthly vanity. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 151 . Edward Young (1683-1765) 6. Thomas Percy published a collection of mediaeval ballads.1.1. Night Thoughts (1742-1745).
regarding him as a martyr. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. … a. published a volume of poems presented as belonging to the mediaeval poet-monk Thomas Rowley. but they proved to be (like the Ossianic poems) entirely the product of Chatterton’s inflamed Death of Chatterton. d. If you have failed to make the right match for every sentence. is a pre-Romantic reaction against Neoclassic literary decorum. … for the pre-Romantic poetry of melancholy meditation. b. imagination. When his literary fraud was exposed.” presenting his own poems as authentic mediaeval verse. The completed sentences will describe aspects of the emergence of a pre-Romantic current in 18th century poetry. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the victim of an (1856) insensitive and hostile world. The coming generation of Romantic poets turned by Henry Wallis him into a legend. young Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770). reflected… 4. with its taste for the macabre and the supernatural. The publication. These poems displayed lyric grace and the promise of talent. c. … the pre-Romantic interest in the Middle Ages and popular poetry. at the end of the unit. The churchyard was a favourite setting … 2. SAQ 1 Read the partial statements below and match them. 1. … as well as Gothic fiction. with its gloomy atmosphere. Write the correct sequel in the space provided for each sentence. in 1765. Like James Macpherson. … Chatterton is also the author of a literary “fraud. aspiring to poetic fame. who claimed to have translated an ancient Celtic epic poem by the legendary Ossian.English pre-Romantic poetry In 1770. Chatterton committed suicide. 152 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . read again the previous subchapters. … 3. The melancholy poetry of the Graveyard School. of Thomas Percy’s collection of ballads.
and the simplicity of country life with moral virtue. but also literary forms. The pre. characteristic of the Enlightenment. Samuel Taylor Coleridge). The emphasis on sentimental response. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 153 . we shall look more closely at two important pre-Romantic aspects of 18 th century poetry: the development of a sentimental interest in rural life. The return to blank verse 6. busy life of the city with moral confusion. The great novelists (e. the state of nature began to be idealised. This change in taste concerned not only themes and subjects. an interest developed in popular forms of poetry. There was a growing suspicion that civilisation may have a corrupting effect on man’s innate goodness.Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The transition from the Augustan to the Romantic age was slow and long.g. the interest in rural life and its contrast with civilisation. the inspiration from folk myths and legends. towards the highest achievement of man’s Reason: civilisation itself. sometimes within the context of Augustan conventions. and the 18 th century abounded in optimistic utopias about an idyllic. In the following subchapters.1.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. and the emergence of a distinct poetic attitude towards nature.3.2. valued for their simplicity and directness by the first Romantics (William Wordsworth. William Blake would call the heroic couplet* the “great cage” of Augustan poetry. and indeed the tendency along the century was to abandon it for poetic forms that allowed more freedom. Elements of a pre-Romantic sensibility can be found all along the century. the new feeling for nature – these were features indicating that literary taste was changing. such as the song and the ballad. Under the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau*. A return to blank verse – for which Shakespeare and Milton were the great models – allowed greater flexibility of expression. the interest in the local and national past. Henry Fielding) would often associate the turbulent. Towards the end of the century. The sentimental opposition between town and country was to become a convention in 18 th century literature. The rural universe in 18th century poetry The emerging Age of Sensibility oriented the critical spirit. In the latter part of the century. patriarchal society in which men could enjoy fully their natural right to freedom.
English pre-Romantic poetry
6.2.1. The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith
An idyllic view of the countryside is present in the poem The Deserted Village (1770), by Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774). Goldsmith’s literary preferences were Neoclassic, but his remarkable achievement is to have combined a sentimental theme with the elegant, balanced form of the Augustan couplet. The poem is Goldsmith’s reaction to a social and economic reality: the enclosure* of land, a capitalist process which changed radically the life of the traditional village. Goldsmith sets in contrast the former happiness of Auburn (an idealised version of his native village, in Ireland) with the desolation of the present, when the land is concentrated in the hand of “one only The Deserted Village master.” He remembers the days gone by, with their “humble illustration by happiness” spent in the middle of a hard-working but cheerful and W. Lee Hankey warm-hearted community. Their life was measured then by the cycles (1900 edition) of agricultural labour, alternating with the simple “sports” (i.e. amusements) and pleasures of the moments of well-deserved leisure. Goldsmith gives an idyllic picture of a rural paradise, in which man lives in harmony with nature and enjoys “health and plenty,” “innocence and ease,” and in which toil becomes a pleasure. This sentimental image of the “loveliest village of the plain” is only a memory, and the poet constantly moves between the happy past and the sorrowful present. His evocation of the past charms of “sweet Auburn” has an elegiac tone, and he laments the disintegration of the traditional, stable rural civilisation. Goldsmith blames the decay of the former way of country life on the increasing greed of man, on the excessive concern with accumulation of wealth, and on the vice of “luxury.” His village was an idyllic microcosm, a small but organic universe sustained by temperance and virtue, but incapable to resist the pressure of the new economic tendencies.
6.2.2. Character sketch in The Deserted Village
The Deserted Village illustrates not only Goldsmith’s sharp sense of observation in the description of natural beauty and of the human scene, but also his art of character sketch. His remembrance of the old days in Auburn focuses now and then on some member of the community, whom he evokes in short, precise and vivid features. Among his notable miniature portraits is that of the village schoolmaster, whose small eccentricities are captured with affectionate humour. A memorable sentimental description is that of the village preacher. Goldsmith emphasises the decency, moderation and humility of his simple life, “remote from towns,” his complete lack of ambition and vanity, and his strong attachment to the place and community which he serves. Firm in his moral guidance and a severe judge of human “wanderings,” Goldsmith’s parson is, however, a truly charitable soul, “to all the country dear.”
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English pre-Romantic poetry
SAQ 2 The portrait of the preacher in The Deserted Village completes the idyllic picture of Auburn in the old days. Below, there are several features of this character. Read Text 6.1., containing a fragment from Goldsmith’s poem, and identify those lines which illustrate or suggest these features. Write these lines down in the provided spaces, after each mentioned feature. 1. moderation (1 line): 2. strong attachment to the humble community that he served (2 lines):
3. complete lack of worldly ambition or vanity ( 2 lines):
4. selflessness and sincere concern for the fate and spirit of those in pitiful circumstances (1 line): 5. hospitality to the poor (2 lines):
6. severity in his judgement of human error, but unconditional charity (1 line):
Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs, at the end of the unit. If they should differ significantly, read the fragment from Goldsmith again.
6.2.3. The realistic approach: George Crabbe
Goldsmith’s idealisation of rural life received a sharply realistic reply from a poet who also continues the Augustan tradition: George Crabbe (1754-1832). His poem in rhymed couplets The Village (1783) is an attack on those poetic conventions which created the illusion of the innocence and happiness of country life. Crabbe’s medical practice afforded him a first hand observation of the rural world, and the sentimental cult of its idyllic charm had little to do with the realities that he encountered. His poem aims to paint village life “as Truth will paint it and as bards will not”. Instead of the cheerful ease, the innocent pleasures and the rewarding toil described in Goldsmith’s Deserted Village,
Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural
English pre-Romantic poetry
Illustration to (1905 edition)
Crabbe presents a sordid reality. For him, the sad truth of village life is the people’s hopeless poverty, their many vices, their struggle with an unfriendly nature for the daily bread. Despised and neglected by the rich, they lead a bitter existence, whose miseries never end. Crabbe denounces the unreality and artificiality of pastoral poetry, whose Muse knows nothing of the real pains and cares of the peasants. The moralist in him could not accept to disguise their deplorable fortune “in tinsel trappings [i.e. glittering ornaments] of poetic pride.” The classical image of the happy shepherd playing his pipe in the fields is out of place in the contemporary world, only a “mechanic echo” of other literary times. To prolong this convention, painting everything in “fair colours,” means to deviate from “Truth and Nature.” Crabbe pleads for a change in the poets’ attitude towards the subject of country life, in the belief that its realistic reflection will at least awaken curiosity and sympathy in the reader. The superficial praise of an idealised, conventional world serves only the poet’s vanity. The peasant, “overcome by labour” and consumed with many cares, would not get any comfort from such praise. Crabbe’s poem is completely unromantic, removing the veil of poetic illusion from a subject that was already a conventional one. However, his realism and critical spirit did not exclude genuine compassion. His sympathetic interest in the life of humble people anticipates the radical attitude of the first great English Romantic poet, William Wordsworth.
6.2.4. Robert Burns and the popular tradition
At about the same time, the Scottish peasant-poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) was opening a path towards the Romantic revolution in poetry. Written in his native tongue, the collected poems he published in 1786 were the authentic expression of a passionate nature, whose experiences were fundamentally linked to the universe of rural life. These poems are greatly indebted to the popular tradition of poetic forms (songs, ballads, etc.) and they display either delicate sentimental lyricism or vigorous realism, spirit and humour. Their intensely personal tone and their vividness and warmth in the description of the natural scene contrasted sharply with the formal rigidity and didacticism of much late 18th century poetry. Burns’s success as a poet confirmed the early Romantic belief in the close connection between nature, spontaneity of feeling, and poetic imagination. It was Burns who provided the lyrics for the song Auld Lang Syne, whose title means “old times” or “times past”. They were partly Burns’s composition, partly his transcription, as he said, “from an old man’s singing.”
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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praise of friends. James Thomson (1700-1748) 158 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The conventional Augustan “local” poem (or “topographical” poem*) looked at nature from the perspective of historical or classical mythological associations. As Dr.” The Seasons marked an important moment in 18th century poetry. more amusing. The Augustans were interested in nature only to the extent that it helped them emphasise the conquests of civilization. an expression of national pride. Pre-Romantic nature poetry One of the most significant shifts in poetic sensibility was the new attitude to nature. becomes an object of interest in itself. patriotic enthusiasm. nature. political comments. the philosophical reflection. It appealed both to the Augustans and to the Romantics. in its magnificence and diversity. “The reader of The Seasons wonders that he never saw before what Thomson shows him. more ready to awake the poetical enthusiasm.1. and the apparent cruelty of winter. in which the descriptive detail was often used in order to create a certain mood. The Seasons has a unity ensured by the recurrent themes and motifs related to the observable natural universe. His praise of nature and of the countryside. Each of the four parts of the poem describes seasonal aspects of nature and rural life. In spite of its eclectic nature. but also the feeling for it.3. Britannia. the peace of autumn – bringer of “Philosophic Melancholy” –. With James Thomson (1700-1748) and his long poem The Seasons (1726-1730). not only the perception of nature. His poem educated. exerting a considerable influence on both of them. Thomson evokes the glory and joy of reviving nature in spring.” 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. and that he never yet has felt what Thomson impresses. poetic renderings of current notions of natural history.3. 6. with a remarkable attention to detail and precision of notation. “Winter. The Seasons In the Preface to the fourth part of The Seasons. than the works of Nature. manifest as early as the 1730s. the splendour of summer.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. James Thomson. Thomson is also famous for the patriotic lyrics that he wrote for the song Rule. as well as his glorification of “retirement in solitude” as the best state in which to “sing the works of nature. in many generations of readers. etc.” inspired many other poets along the 18th century. and the moral sentiment. Thomson practically inaugurated the trend of descriptive-meditative poetry. Samuel Johnson said.” Thomson confesses that he knows “of no other subject more elevating. It contains reflections on the natural and social condition of man and on Nature as the manifestation of the divine ordering mind.
but his blank verse poem has a much more personal tone. “Autumn. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 159 . William Cowper.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 4 Read Text 6. in which a sensitive and thoughtful Christian. and he displayed the Augustan taste for stylistic refinement. Cowper displays an Augustan concern for elegance and refinement in expression. He was interested in the mediaeval past. in which he captures with precision and delicacy the crepuscular atmosphere. religious meditations and character sketches accompany Cowper’s celebration of rural domestic happiness and communion with nature. One of Thomson’s great admirers was William Collins (17211759). in popular superstitions and the supernatural. whose work brings into harmony the various tendencies in 18th century poetry. at the end of the unit.2. Like Thomson and Collins. which represents a fragment from Thomson’s The Seasons – more exactly. which actually inspired Thomson). but his subjects anticipate the Romantic sensibility. the poem The Task (1785) by William Cowper (1731-1800) reflects a similar attraction to the theme of nature. The Task has actually been described as a spiritual autobiography.3. more carefully. which the poet calls “Philosophic Melancholy” (remember Milton’s Il Penseroso*. social satire. The Task Much closer in time to the beginning of the Romantic Age. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. in a paragraph of no more than 6 lines / 60 words. from the third part. unrhymed stanzas. and his feeling for Nature is that of a pre-Romantic. He reaches perfection in his famous Ode to Evening (1746).” Autumnal nature favours a contemplative-meditative mood. read text C again. He preferred the classical form of the ode*. If there should be major differences. How does the Philosophic Melancholy influence the poet? Answer below. William Collins 6. records his observations and reflections.3. with its short.. living in retirement from the city. Passages of moral and political commentary.
at the end of the unit. concerning the opposition country/town. Read again the fragment if you answer is significantly different. His meticulous descriptions of countryside scenery and animal life. T. he becomes aware of the instability of this last retreat from the confusions and corruption of modern urban civilisation. like gardening. and his expressions of gratitude for the spiritual comfort and superior joys that it offers anticipated the first generation of English Romantics (W. Rural “domestic happiness” seems to him “the only bliss. As a poet of nature. in the 18th century. Your answer should not exceed 10 lines / 100 words. Retirement to the countryside does not mean for him idle solitude – it is not isolation that he seeks in rural nature. of the seasonal diversity of natural aspects.English pre-Romantic poetry illustration by Birket Foster. which he opposes to the civilisation of the city. The contemplation of nature has a healing effect on Cowper.e. Coleridge). / Paradise that has survived the fall. in the Reader. Cowper displays a remarkable eye for detail and a landscape-painter’s sense of perspective. S. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. with its vices and follies. extracted from Cowper’s The Task. but the joy of communion with friends. indicate an affectionate observer. Read this fragment and explain why Cowper finds the countryside superior to the urban world. fearing that “The town has tinged [i.4. He praises the simple pleasures. in which he can find shelter against depression and anxiety. 1856 The Task. Wordsworth. Cowper’s love of nature is closely linked to his love of the countryside. domestic activities.” Sometimes. affected] the country. 160 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . SAQ 5 Text 6. and of simple. the peace and quiet of village life. however. represents one of the most memorable statements.
4. In his first great illuminated work. minute work of mediaeval miniaturists and their illuminated* manuscripts. Like other pre-Romantic poets. whose attitudes and concerns define him sharply as an anti-Augustan. Blake’s late fame is due. He was an admirer of Shakespeare.1. It was in the latter half of the 19th century that he was rediscovered by a group of poets and painters.civilisation. exerting influence only on a small circle of friends and admirers. He used a special method for engraving and printing the handwritten text. and being regarded as an eccentric artist. The charms of nature have also an almost magic influence on human creativity and depth of thought. The theme of childhood in this work enables Blake to explore the opposition nature . 6. The combination of calligraphic text. Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake is often regarded as a pre-Romantic poet. these various dimensions of his works shed light on each other. and displays the same humanitarian spirit as his contemporaries. He associates nature with the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 161 . Each copy was then coloured by hand. Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794). and he rejected the classical standards of style. Apart from a volume of early verse. in the tone and rhythms of Biblical psalms and religious hymns.4. picture and decoration reminds of the painful. finding literary inspiration in the simplicity and directness of popular poetry. the rural setting. and his creative personality manifested itself in combined and complementary modes of expression. our sense of a common fate for all humanity. In Blake. Blake did not publish his poems in conventional printed form. and Macpherson. Milton. but also a gifted painter and engraver. A heart that is insensitive to nature is a hard heart. he turns his attention to the rural world. Gray. These beliefs – in Nature as a moral teacher and as a guide for imagination – were central to the creed of the first Romantics. widening the range of meanings. all Blake’s major poems were composed in this way. rendered in its pastoral simplicity. “unfit for human fellowship” and “dead” to “love and friendship both” (Cowper). William Blake (1757-1827) 6. He was a relatively marginal figure during his lifetime. to the special way in which he produced his work. and this laborious process restricted the number of copies that Blake could produce. William Blake. represents symbolically the uncorrupt order of nature.English pre-Romantic poetry Both Thomson and Cowper see a strong connection between love of nature and a humanitarian spirit. which was accompanied by drawings and decorations. to a large extent. Nature “nurses” the sympathy for our fellow beings. the visionary artist William Blake holds a unique place in the history of English literature. Thomson. and recognised as one of the most original creators. He was not only a poet.
and he denounces the evils of civilisation.” This is Blake’s own creed. His rebellion against the “systems” which limit the energies of the Imagination takes a literary form in his Prophetic Books*. or be enslaved by another man’s. which oppresses man in the name of Reason and Progress. in which Blake creates a mythology of his own. in Blake’s last poem. says. 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. Plate from the poem Jerusalem (1805-1820).” asserting that ”Imagination has nothing to do with Memory.” He is a true Romantic in his belief that poetic creation is a spontaneous. Los*. 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. / I will not reason and compare: my business is to create. unpremeditated act.2. by William Blake 162 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a tribute to Milton. is one of the most powerful assertions of Romantic creativity. Blake was a rebel. Like the other English Romantics. and his whole work. One of Blake’s mythological creatures in these poems. in a way.” Blake worshipped Imagination as the only true way to spiritual freedom. whom Blake (like the other Romantics) venerated. the Romantic visionary Blake is also frequently assimilated to the first generation of Romantic poets. They are.English pre-Romantic poetry innocence of man in his condition before the Fall – the “childhood” of humanity –. a prophet. Jerusalem: “I must create a system. 6. Blake. original and strange. The classical Muses were for him the “Daughters of Memory”*. He insisted on the visionary and inspired quality of his writings – he asserted. and he opposed to them the “Daughters of Inspiration.” or “I write when commanded by spirits. for instance: “I copy Imagination.4.
with its repertoire of rhetorical conventions. Blake enjoyed a great popularity during his lifetime. the association of childhood with edenic nature is opposed to civilisation as the fallen condition of man. or Cradle Song offer a glimpse into a world filled with simple. echoing with laughter and sustained by love and by the belief in the goodness of nature. 163 Songs of Innocence (1789) Title page of Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . T F 4.3.e. their clarity of expression and their musicality. T F 3. T F 5. The Echoing Green. Blake’s works combine the handwritten text with picture and decoration – a technique that reminds of mediaeval manuscripts. The main influence in Blake’s work were the ancient Greek and Latin poets admired by the Augustans. What chiefly impressed Blake in Milton’s Paradise Lost was its astonishing display of classical-humanistic erudition. Songs of Innocence marked a new departure in English poetry.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 Read the following sentences and identify the four true statements which describe features of Blake’s work. by their remarkable lyrical delicacy. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). which echoed the rhythms of popular verse. T F 7. The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence In 1789 – the year of the French Revolution –. The Blossom. that is. Spring.” They build a charming picture of the universe of childhood. Blake is a creator of myths in his Prophetic Books. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. which are the expression of his Romantic rebellion against all forms of constraint.4. T F 6. The Shepherd. these are “happy songs / Every child may joy [i. The extreme formal simplicity and the apparent lack of sophistication of these short poems anticipated the Romantic rejection of poetic diction*. It was the year of a revolution in poetry as well. revise the whole subchapter. enjoy] to hear. Poems like Infant Joy. and its origin was visionary experience. of the world seen through the eyes of the child. For Blake. 1. If you have made mistaken choices. As a poet. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The subchapter that follows will acquaint you with some of the poems illustrating Blake’s “double vision” in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. As the poet emphasises in the Introduction. Blake composed his first significant work: Songs of Innocence. at the end of the unit. T F 2. Laughing Song. innocent delights. 6. poetic creation was the spontaneous fruit of inspiration. and the three statements that are false.
taking care of his flock of innocent lambs. associated with childhood. 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. “Old John. in Nurse’s Song. Blake filtered these ideas through his own intense idealism and his unconventional religious beliefs. in his natural tendency to virtue. According to him. with which Blake was acquainted. meadow]”. The child has a kind of wisdom which comes from the freshness and freedom of his imagination. It is a world in which evil has not penetrated and in which there is no suffering. gratified desire. allows the children more time to play “on the green [i. because she has the empathic understanding of the children’s need for freedom. the guardian angel. The pastoral figure of the shepherd receives in Blake a Christian connotation. and every child is a manifestation of the Divine Imagination in the world.” 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. childhood represents the unfallen state of man. The innocence associated with childhood is for him the equivalent of the original state of paradisal innocence. The pastoral setting symbolises the closeness of man to a benevolent nature and the bliss enjoyed by man in Paradise. In The Echoing Green. Innocence.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. Besides the children themselves. or even Jesus.” Throughout his work. is a biblical allusion. the shepherd. which a proper education should develop. love. The good shepherd. suggesting the child’s closeness to a protective divinity. the Songs of Innocence display protective figures like the caring mother or nurse.” can “laugh away care. Blake identifies Jesus with the Imagination. The adult figures represented in these poems share the child’s freshness of perception and capacity for joy. Blake rejected the praise of Reason as man’s supreme faculty and proclaimed instead the importance of man’s “Poetic Genius. Rousseau believed in the original innocence of man. does not mean ignorance. Infant Joy (Songs of Innocence) 164 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The nurse. and absence of frustration or inhibition. although the sun has set. In these poems. For Blake. with white hair.e. who express their candid feelings of piety and uninhibited joy. and the perception of childhood was greatly influenced by Jean Jacques Rousseau’s ideas. The world of Innocence is the paradise of freedom.
Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be a significant difference between them. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 165 .5. revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. in the Reader.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 7 Read Text 6. in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. What makes this poem a Song of Innocence? Start from the idea that The Lamb may be read as the vision of Innocence on the act of Creation.” Answer in the space below. at the end of the unit. which reproduces Blake’s poem The Lamb. and in which he represents to himself its “making. Focus on the way in which the child imagines the creator of the lamb.
4. nature. which is a promise of divine mercy. i. In The Chimney Sweeper*. or the mind of others. 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 fall from the paradise of Innocence to Experience is the entrance in a world of rules and constraints. the reader cannot miss the implicit reference to the social reality of children’s exploitation and cruel treatment. and Nurse’s Song shows the (1794) jealousy consuming an adult who has lost the vision of Innocence. the ethical and social implications are more obvious. Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence Blake’s graceful Songs of Innocence may appear to be simple and transparent. the greed of the powerful and their indifference to the sufferings caused by social injustice. In Songs of Experience. for instance. Like the chimney sweeper. The complete work offered now a set of contrary symbolic visions of man.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. when this life ends. it is suggested that human suffering and oppression is the result of “mind-forged manacles*”. 166 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In London. the reader cannot help noticing paradoxes and contradictions. the thirst for war. disease.5. the child has a wonderful vision of all souls freed from their “clouds” of flesh – black or white –. 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. in which man’s lot is hard work. but the child in the poem is comforted by the vision of the Angel. full of indignation and anger. The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Blake developed such implications into open statements. love and joy have been replaced by fear. protesting against the evils of his time. hate. often. but. of the prejudices and constraints with which man “enchains” his own mind. However. which deny man his freedom. The poet attacks the tyranny exercised on the individual by the church and state.4. The serene and peaceful pastoral setting of the world of Innocence is set in opposition with the sombre world of Experience.e. envy and deceit. A poem like A Poison Tree points out Title page of the murderous effects of secret hate. of “stony laws*”. In the fallen state of Experience. in the poems that he added in 1794: the Songs of Experience. The world is seen through the eyes of an angry observer. poverty and oppression. In The Little Black Boy – an anti-slavery poem –. standing equal before God. Blake’s speakers in these poems are often bitter and ironic. 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 Clod and the Pebble Songs of Experience contrasts selfless with selfish love. a gloomy reality makes itself felt sometimes. Beyond the children’s innocent visions of happiness and harmony. society and divinity. even sarcastic. for instance.4. 6.
in Songs of Experience. in a paragraph of 10 lines / 100 words at the most. The speaker in the latter poem wonders not only who created the “fearful symmetry” of the powerful. dangerous tiger.6.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. but also if this creator is also that of the gentle lamb.6. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The two stanzas of The Lamb contain the child’s simple. 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. Knowledge in the world of Experience The clarity and directness of Songs of Innocence is replaced. you]?) and his own answer. at the end of the unit. the event of a child’s birth becomes the symbol of the fall into the world of Experience.e. revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 167 . with no explicit answer. SAQ 8 In Blake’s poem Infant Sorrow.4. in the Reader – and find out in its lines suggestions for at least one aspect which defines this “dangerous” world. This suggests that the world of Experience is more opaque and uncertain. The implication is that knowledge in the state of Experience is always incomplete and fragmentary. and the rhythms of the poems are also more difficult. while The Tyger consists only in an accumulation of questions. who made thee [i. Read this poem – Text 6. Quote the respective words or line(s) and give your comment in the space below. innocent question (“Little Lamb. If it should differ in major respects. by ambiguity and even obscurity. provoking more anxiety than certainty.
He displays. like that of Hell as a punishment for sin.” or with a “multitude of lambs. One of the targets of Blake’s critical attacks is the Church. tyrannical figure. in Songs of Experience. but with ways of seeing and feeling. served by the institutionalised churches. in fact. and King” “make up a Heaven of our misery. The former is represented in Blake’s work (the Prophetic Books included) as an “angry” God. The double vision in Blake’s Songs Several other poems in Songs of Experience have a counterpart in Songs of Experience. seeing it as an instrument of oppression and a source of corruption. “contrary states of the human soul. A deeply religious person.” In the counterpart poem. imposing constraints and inflicting punishment.” The angry speaker protests against the duplicity of a society that feeds its poor “with cold and usurous* hand.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. and he is also a child. Blake made in fact a distinction between the God of the Old Testament and God of the New Testament. which allows the rich and powerful of this world to ease their conscience and “buy” Heaven by occasional and festive acts of charity. The two poems entitled Holy Thursday* deal with the hypocrisy of the church.4.” which lead to contrary visions. This is the God of the world of Experience. a stern. In the poem of Innocence. bearing even the same titles. Blake hated nevertheless the church as an institution. with its “mysteries”*.” The idea of Heaven as a reward of happiness for earthly misery. a double awareness of his own innocence and of the hypocritical and cruel world around him. The Chimney Sweeper in Songs of Experience is bitterly ironic about the way in which “God.” in a country that is “rich and fruitful. but also complementary aspects of man’s imagination. the spectator to the same scene has a quite different vision. compared with “flowers” and “Thames’ waters.7. 168 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . indeed. in Blake’s view: “Attraction and Repulsion. There is a Chimney Sweeper in Songs of Experience as well. and His Priest. but he seems to be fully aware of his condition in an unjust world. was responsible. was seen by Blake as an instrument by which the church kept men in a state of obedience. since those are “babes reduced to misery. Contraries are essential to progression. Love and Hate are necessary to Human existence. in Blake’s view. He sees nothing “holy” in the beautiful picture. which are thus strengthening their own power.” Blake’s Songs suggest that Innocence and Experience are not only inevitable stages in human growth. The church. for keeping man at a distance from God. Reason and Energy*. They reveal.” Such corresponding poems illustrate the fact that Innocence and Experience are not necessarily to be associated with ages in man’s life. as Blake indicated in the subtitle. this sad reality is shadowed by the speaker’s idyllic description of the poor children of London.
but he is no longer able to do that. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. and read the poem again more carefully. at the end of the unit. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. revise subchapters 6. to 6. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 .4.1. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast.4.7. to regain the vision of Innocence. except as an act of remembering.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. If there should be major differences between them.2. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience..
presents the outstanding figure of William Blake. 6. 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.3.2. The theme of childhood is examined in several Songs. His Songs of Innocence and of Experience are the testimony of the visionary artist. in whose work pre-Romantic and Romantic elements meet. The first subchapter of this unit deals with two prominent features announcing the Romantic sensibility.. The theme of Nature in pre-Romantic poetry is sometimes closely associated with the opposition country-town.English pre-Romantic poetry Summary This unit aims at enlarging your picture of the literary diversity of the 18th century. George Crabbe adopts a more realistic and critical view. The “Graveyard” poets (e. 170 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the interest in early poetry. the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience completing each other. g. Oliver Goldsmith emphasises the idyllic happiness of the traditional rural civilisation. Another feature of 18th century pre-Romantic poetry is the perception of rural life in its close connection with Nature. and they acknowledge Nature’s subtle influence on man’s thoughts. One of them is the emergence of a kind of meditative poetry fond of melancholy themes and gloomy settings. The transition from the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling in the 18th century was accompanied by changes in literary taste. you have been acquainted with two poets who turned their attention to the rural universe. imagination and feelings. deals with the way in which poets like James Thomson. Their poetry displays an unprecedented attention to natural detail. The other feature is primitivism.4. William Collins and William Cowper approach the theme of Nature. The latter may be also seen as complementary aspects of poetic imagination. Subchapter 6. The same theme and situation acquires contrary implications. In subchapter 6. The fascination of James Macpherson with Britain’s Celtic past. Edward Young and Thomas Gray) illustrate this new trend. and of Thomas Chatterton with the Middle Ages anticipates the Romantic spirit.. He condemns the literary habit of idealising the countryside. as Blake’s “double” poems suggest. who sees the opposition nature-civilisation in the light of the myth of Paradise and of the Fall. now threatened by the march of Progress. in its relation with “the two contrary states of the human soul”: Innocence and Experience. nature-civilisation. The last subchapter.
goddess of Memory. passion. Imagination was free Energy. Energy: for Blake. chimney sweeper: in the 18th century.2. the enclosures meant ruin. which has survived in parts of Scotland. Gothic novel: a type of fiction that emerged in opposition with the realistic novel in the 18th century. enclosed portions of land were turned into private parks and gardens. A tendency in 18th century poetry went precisely against this rule. and horror. and they were forced to find work in towns or to emigrate to America. Their father was Zeus. for the sake of more profitable farming. graveyards. For the small farmers. The first Gothic novel was Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764). Celtic refers also to the language spoken by the Celts.English pre-Romantic poetry Key words ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● pre-Romantic nature vs. putting fences round) common land. The Neoclassic principle of decorum did not. Celtic: related to the Celts.e. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. 171 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It was a kind of work that contributed to the child mortality rate. because the life of the poor was not actually reflected in such official records. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. in Unit 4. The Celtic variety spoken in Ireland and Scotland is called Gaelic. Sometimes. Daughters of Memory: in Greek mythology. Gray is sadly ironic. civilisation rural universe primitivism melancholy sentimentalism humanitarianism childhood imagination Innocence and Experience double vision Glossary • • • annals: yearly record of events. for instance. as the next subchapter will show. the term “Gothic” referred to the mediaeval inspiration of such tales of mystery. Ireland and Wales. enclosure: in the latter half of the 18th century. which they could climb more easily.2. Haunted castles. the nine Muses were indeed the daughters of Mnemosyne. the members of an Indo-European people who inhabited Britain before the arrival of the Romans. favour melancholy or morbid themes. while Reason was concerned with setting limits. Initially. children were often employed for the cleaning of chimneys. the changes in agriculture led to the enclosing (i. or Erse. ruins. decorum: see subchapter 4.
etc. Pity.1. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. in Unit 1. The Four Zoas. on which the Ten Commandments were written. the Passions. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people.3. Milton. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. The custom in London was to bring the poor.1. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. or of gold or silver paint.3. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. The Book of Urizen. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. in Unit 5. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. 2 in Unit 4. Paul’s Cathedral. See also subchapter 4. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. to attend the religious service.2. in Unit 3. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. with His laws formulated as interdictions. Among the most important of them are America. belonging to the beginnings. orphaned children from the charity schools to St. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. as well as against the sophistication. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . A Prophecy. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. The Book of Los. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. philosophical and political convictions. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1.. the 39th day after Easter. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. Jerusalem. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. wild landscapes. primitive: original.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. etc.
The Chimney Sweeper.). • 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. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. 6. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. • the coherence.8.13. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau.10. and 6. SAA no. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus.9. 6.. 6.. gardens or estates.. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. 6. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. in grading your paper. clarity..” usurous: from usury. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. Remember that.12. meant to win a patron’s favour.11. 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). Send-away assignment no. with his law of love. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection.
In the city. the vagants’] wanderings. “Unpractised he to fawn. Nor e’er had changed. but relieved their pain” 6. SAQ 5 The first line of the fragment contains the implication that everything made by God is perfect. b. Meditation leads to illumination.e. love of nature. Health and virtue are God’s “gifts” to man. or seek for power. these gifts are “threatened” – the life of pleasure and luxury with which the city tempts man may corrupt his moral fiber. “More skilled to raise the wretched than to rise” 4. The country is thus a substitute for Eden. 4. a. Crabbe also gives a reply to those who idealise rural nature: instead of the pleasing “smooth stream” sung in such poetry. For Cowper. “Remote from towns he ran his godly race. in which everything seems to be in decline. 3. the “drooping weary” father. disease and poverty. d. all intensified.” vitality and cheerfulness of the idyllic village life. the mind can see beyond the “dim” surface of things. Their hard life has no room for illusions about the comforts of old age. the place where “health and virtue” can be found abounding. on his soul.” “expiring” fire suggest overwork. Crabbe presents a desolate picture. whereas what man makes is inevitably deficient. “passing rich with forty pounds a year” SAQ 3 In contrast with Goldsmith’s idealised image of rural happiness and ease. 174 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Its bare. By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour” 5. 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. and love of man. “He chid their [i. There is a general sense of decay and exhaustion in the humble scene in the cottage: the “pale” mother. nor wished to change his place” 3. 2. c SAQ 2 1. the “feeble. the country is therefore morally superior to the city. SAQ 4 The personified Philosophic Melancholy exerts “his” influence on man’s imagination.English pre-Romantic poetry Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. “His house was known to all the vagrant train” “The long-remembered beggar was his guest” 2. he focuses sharply on the withered tree. broken branches are a “sad emblem” of the unrewarding existence of the poor in the countryside. This heightened understanding is accompanied by “correspondent passions”: love of God. and on his thoughts.
“walking their rounds” like soldiers guarding a Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 175 . Nature and Divinity form a harmonious whole. in the state of Experience. In the second stanza. F SAQ 7 The child cannot imagine the Creator of the lovely and tender creature otherwise than “meek and mild. 7. which he has lost. 4. a child’s birth is no cause for joy. The shut gates of the chapel symbolise the estrangement of man from God. Man. T.” that is. incarnated in a child and having the Lamb as a symbol. the child identifies himself and the lamb with Jesus. T. SAQ 9 The “garden” where he “used to play” – the Eden of childhood – is the symbol of the state of Innocence. and is itself one more care in the family. At the same time.” 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. SAQ 8 Examples: 1. The vision of Experience reveals to him the perspective of death: the garden turns out to be a graveyard. It is the intuition of Innocence that dictates the confident answer to the child: the Creator is Jesus. 5. no longer able – or permitted – to relate to God “naturally” and directly. and the father weeps perhaps because his new baby comes into a world of trouble and cares. meadow. gentle and humble like the lamb itself. T. vales) emphasise the close connection between Innocence and Nature. In the simple economy of the poem. 2. being thus a source of oppression. T.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 1. His swaddling bands and his father’s arms do not suggest care and protection. 2. the lamb is God’s gift to the child: it is a “delight” to look at and to touch. “My mother groaned. the “Lamb of God. but are symbols of limitation. it controls man’s relationship with Divinity. against which man. and his “tender voice” fills all nature with joy. confinement and oppressive authority. The pain and sorrow accompanying birth are symbolic anticipations of the suffering. “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. 3. The church as an institution belongs to the world of Experience. F. in Blake’s vision. the God of Love. disappointments and frustrations that await man in the world of Experience. the few elements of the natural setting (stream. This is also suggested by the gloomy figure of the priests. and. In a vision of Innocence. The mother “groans” with the pains of delivery. 6. struggles in vain. If the child’s play suggests the freedom and pleasure enjoyed in the state of Innocence. therefore. The interdiction “Thou shall not” on the door of the chapel suggests repression and limitation. my father wept” – In the vision of Experience. F. Experience brings about inhibition and constraint. and the beauty of the “sweet flowers” – symbols of life – is replaced by the grim image of the tombstones.
. Ford.). A Critical History of English Literature. vol. vol. 1991 (pp. 6987) 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 1969 (pp.). and conditioning man’s access to the mystery of Divinity on the suppression of his desire. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. 1991 (pp. David. Further reading 1. Daiches.4 (“From Dryden to Johnson”).. 652-658. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature.5 (“From Blake to Byron”). Penguin Books Ltd.English pre-Romantic poetry restricted area. Boris (ed. Boris (ed. 84-94) 3. Penguin Books Ltd. Ford. vol. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd.. 692-699) 2. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). 671-684.
Reader READER in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 177 .
this most excellent canopy*.1. forewent.g. What a piece of work is man! How noble in Reason! How infinite in faculty! In form. in apprehension* how like a god!! The beauty of the world! The paragon* of animals! And yet. cum să spun. şi. acest mândru firmament ce senalţă deasupra noastră. how express and admirable! In action how like an angel. îmi pare un promontoriu sterp. această boltă falnică împodobită cu scântei de aur.Reader UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE TEXT 2. pildă a vieţuitoarelor. vedeţi. cât de chibzuit şi de admirabil e în faptele sale. this majestical roof fretted* with golden fire. şi totuşi. the air. pământul. literary) the sky fretted decorated foul very bad or unpleasant apprehension understanding. încât acest frumos tărâm. ce fără de număr îi sunt facultăţile. ability to understand paragon a model of excellence Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi and Dan Duţescu) Hamlet: În ultima vreme – de ce. pentru mine. m-am lăsat de toate obişnuitele exerciţii. William Shakespeare. of late recently wherefore why. nu ştiu – mi-am pierdut toată voioşia. cât de asemenea unui zeu: frumuseţea lumii. look you. strălucitor overhanging hanging over firmament (archaic. 178 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . alcătuirile şi mişcările. foregone* all custom of exercises. in moving. – but wherefore* I know not. Hamlet (Act II. Scene II) Hamlet: (…) I have of late*. seems to me a sterile promontory. – lost all my mirth*.excelent. the earth. it appears no other thing to me but a foul* and pestilent congregation of vapours. and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly* frame*. cât de nobilă îi este inteligenţa. văzduhul. acest preaminunat baldachin. foregone: to give up goodly pleasant or satisfying in appearance frame form. Ce minunată lucrare e omul. ce înseamnă această chintesenţă a ţărânii? Omul nu mă desfată (…). sufletul îmi este atât de apăsat. what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights me not (…). nu-mi pare alta decât un vălmăşag odios şi infect de miasme. shape canopy a large or wide covering (e. într-adevăr. this brave* overhanging* firmament*. for what reason mirth happiness and laughter foregone to forego. cât de asemenea unui înger în puterea sa de înţelegere. to me. the sky) brave minunat.
iar la ospăţul vieţii Cel mai de seamă fel. Macbeth (Act II.3. out. methought past tense from methinks (archaic): it seems to me to knit up a împleti. ţanţoş. principal nourisher that which gives (someone) what is needed to grow. and tomorrow. neînsemnat) out (interjection) termină. great nature’s second course*. chinuitor) course fel de mâncare chief most important. trifling (mărunt. desfirat. 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. crept to move quiety and slowly (a se târî.2. isprăveşte (stinge-te) brief short in duration candle lumânare to strut a umbla/păşi/călca mândru. trivial. desfăcut sleeve mânecă sore causing grief or sorrow (dureros. semeţ. scene V) Macbeth: Tomorrow. Creeps* in this petty* pace from day to day. The death of each day’s life. a se furişa) petty inessential. to be in a state of anxiety and agitation (a se agita. it is a tale Told by an idiot. Out*. a poor player. Signifying nothing. Balm of hurt minds. El. To the last syllable of recorded time. a se frământa) sound zgomot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 179 .” the innocent sleep. Chief* nourisher* in life’s feast* (…). cu un aer important to fret to be distressed. brief* candle*! Life’s but a walking shadow. scene II) Macbeth: Methought* I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep. Macbeth (Act V. a înnoda ravelled destrămat. full of sound* and fury. moartea vieţii fiecărei zile. William Shakespeare. Sleep that knits up* the ravelled* sleeve* of care. TEXT 2. and tomorrow. cel ce desface Fuiorul încâlcit al grijii – somnul: El. William Shakespeare. scalda grelei trude şi balsamul Durerii sufleteşti. şi-a doua mană A marii firi. That struts* and frets* his hour upon the stage. to creep. sore* labour’s bath.Reader TEXT 2. And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. And then is heard no more.
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. E o poveste spusă de-un nătâng. but wouldst* gabble* like A thing most brutish*. ce-n ceasul lui pe scenă Se grozăveşte şi se tot frământă Şi-n urmă nu mai este auzit. a suporta therefore as a result. sălbatic. Caliban: You taught me language. Te stinge. taught thee each hour One thing or other: when thou didst not*. stupid (necioplit. savage. lumânare de o clipă! Ni-e viaţa doar o umbră călătoare. and my profit on it Is I know how to curse: the red plague rid you. had that in it which good natures Could not abide* to be with. netrebnic. Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee*. The Tempest (Act I. abject. William Shakespeare. Cu pas mărunt se-alungă zi de zi. for that reason wast thou were you deservedly rightly learning teaching vile 180 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . TEXT 2. I endowed thy purposes With words that made them known: but thy vile* race*.Reader Romanian translation (by Ion Vinea) Macbeth: Dar mâine şi iar mâine.4. Şi fiecare “ieri” a luminat Nebunilor pe-al morţii drum de colb. Know thine* own meaning. ticălos) race neam. tagmă thou didst learn you did learn to abide a răbda. nasty (josnic. tot mereu. therefore* wast thou* Deservedly* confined* into this rock Who hadst deserved more than a prison. cruel. Un biet actor. a bâigui) brutish coarse. scene II) Prospero: Abhorred* slave. Though thou didst learn*. Which any print* of goodness will not take. redus. Spre cel din urmă semn din cartea vremii. mărginit) shameful and evil. Took pains to make thee speak. mârşav. Din vorbe-alcătuită şi din zbucium Şi nensemnând nimic.
pe drept. into thin air: And. colour. palate mândre. These our actors.5. the gorgeous palaces. Deşi-ai fost dăscălit. ca-nchipuită scena-aceasta. William Shakespeare. like this insubstantial pageant* faded*. avea ceva Ce bunul simţ nu rabdă. turnuri Cu turlele în nori. Leave not a rack* behind. Te-am învăţat de toate. and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. foretold: a anunţa. Scoteai doar mugete. În stare de orice. all which it inherit. were all spirits and Are melted* into air. The cloud-capped towers*. Caliban: M-ai învăţat vorbi. scene I) Prospero: Our revels* are now ended. Cu tot ce-a moştenit. duhuri. structure. cu singurul folos Că ştiu acum să-njur – dea ciuma-n tine Şi-n limba ce m-ai învăţat. alcătuire) cloud-capped towers towers whose tops are capped (covered) by clouds yea (archaic. the great globe itself. a se dizolva baseless unfounded (fără bază. As I foretold* you. Yea*. toţi. şi-n văzduh S-au destrămat cu toţii. Biserici maiestoase. a spune dinainte melted to melt: a se topi. au fost. indeed pageant splendid public show or ceremony faded to fade: to lose brightness. dar. afară doar De-un dram de bunătate! Mi-a fost milă. Te-am surghiunit aici. consistency. etc. temelie) fabric building. literary) truly. chiar pământul. The solemn temples.Reader Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi) Prospero: Slugoi scârbavnic. duşi. The Tempest (Act IV. We are such stuff As dreams are made on. shall dissolve And. M-am străduit sa te deprind cu graiul. Actorii Ţi-am spus. like the baseless* fabric* of this vision. fiară. TEXT 2. Nici spulber n-au să lase-n urma lor. Şi întocmai Ca funigeii viziunii. dar proasta-ţi fire. când meritai Mai mult decât o temniţă. când tu. framework (clădire. se vor topi Şi. revels festivitate teatrală pentru curteni foretold to foretell. ţi-am arătat Al vorbei meşteşug. Plămadă suntem precum cea din care Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 181 . rack a floating cloud Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi) Prospero: Serbarea noastră s-a sfârşit. nepricepând Nici tu ce bălmăjeşti.
‘Twere* profanation of our joys To tell the laity* our love. Moving of the earth* brings harms and fears. The breath goes now. And makes me end. as that comes home. Dull* sublunary* lovers’ love (Whose soul is sense*) cannot admit Absence. 182 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . is innocent. Though greater far. no: So let us melt*. where I begun. If they be two. Whilst* some of their sad friends do say. but an expansion. but doth. John Donne. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning As virtuous men pass mildly* away*. and hands to miss. lips. Care less eyes. No tear-floods. But we by a love so much refined. and hearkens* after it. Though I must go. Such wilt* thou* be to me. şi scurta viaţă Împrejmuită ni-e de somn. because it doth* remove* Those things which elemented* it. and make no noise. That our selves know not what it is. obliquely run. And whisper* to their souls. Yet when the other far doth roam*. Thy* soul the fixed foot. Like the other foot.Reader Făcute-s visele. which are one. and some say. Men reckon* what it did and meant. Thy firmness makes my circle just*. But trepidation of the spheres.6. makes no show To move. It leans*. nor sigh-tempests* move. who must. And though it in centre sit. TEXT 2. Inter-assured of the mind*. they are two so As stiff* twin* compasses are two. endure* not yet A breach*. to go. Our two souls therefore. And grows erect*. Like gold to aery thinness beat. if the other do.
a elibera to enthrall a supune. 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. like an usurped town. John Donne. for I Except your enthrall* me. a silui Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 183 . to another due*. to break. exact Text 2. a înrobi. datorat to labour to work hard. a presupune dull not intense sublunary: beneath the moon. Reason your viceroy* in me. and proves weak or untrue*. except you ravish* me. you As yet* but knock. a subjuga to ravish a răpi. therefore subject to change whose soul is sense in which physical presence is essential doth does to remove to take away. mirean) moving of the earth earthquake to reckon a gândi. to undergo breach break. untie*. But is captived. overthrown: a nimici. ferm. apply your force due cuvenit. precis. overthrew. Batter My Heart Batter* my heart. shine. breathe. to struggle to no end vainly. 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. sigh-tempests şuvoaie/potop de lacrimi. Divorce me. me should defend. Nor ever chaste. a fi atent la (here: to seek to join. Yet dearly I love you. leant a se apleca. rupture stiff rigid. to no end*. a înfrânge bend your force concentrate. a ajunge în poziţie verticală wilt will thou you just corect. a lua cu sila. for. 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. and would be loved fain*. fig. burn. and stand.7. hotărât twin îngemănat thy your to roam a hoinări. I. but oh. 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. Labour* to admit you. Take me to you. to long for) to grow erect a se îndrepta.: inflexibil. and make me new. softly to whisper a şopti whilst while to melt a-şi înmuia firea. o’erthrow me*. or break that knot again. But am betrothed* unto your enemy. three-personed God*. and bend Your force*. a fi supus (the speaker urges his beloved to face the separation calmly and quietly) tear-floods. blow. gladly betrothed unto logodit cu to untie a dezlega. imprison me. a rătăci to lean. a se înclina to hearken a asculta. and seek to mend. That I may* rise.Reader pass away to die mildly gently.
But at my back I always hear Time’s winged* chariot* hurrying near. Now let us sport* while we may. Thou* by the Indian Ganges’ side Shouldst* rubies* find. And tear* our pleasure with rough strife* Thorough* the iron gates of life. like amorous birds of prey. To His Coy Mistress Had we but* world enough. and on thy* forehead gaze. Thus. refuse Till the conversion of the Jews*. And now. Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball. yet we will make him run. And while thy willing* soul transpires At every pore with instant fires*. you deserve this state*. We would sit down. And the last age should show your heart. Two hundred to adore each breast. But thirty thousand to the rest. and time. do there embrace. and think which way To talk. And yonder* all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. Thy beauty shall no more be found. Rather at once our devour Than languish* in his slow-chapt power*. and pass our long love’s day. But none. Lady. And you should. An hundred years should go to praise Thine* eyes. Nor. For. if you please. And your quaint* honor turn to dust. Andrew Marvell. And into ashes all my lust*: The grave*’s a fine and private place. An age at least to every part.8. then worms shall try That long-preserved virginity. 184 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . though we cannot make our sun Stand still. Nor would I love at lower rate.Reader TEXT 2. Lady. My vegetable* love should grow Vaster than empires and more slow. I by the tide Of Humber* would complain. This coyness*. I think. shall sound My echoing song. while the youthful* hue* Sits on thy skin like morning dew*. in thy marble vault*. I would Love you ten years before the Flood*. were no crime. Now therefore.
groapă youthful de tinereţe. a lâncezi. modestie thou you shouldst should ruby rubin Humber an estuary in the north-east of England the Flood Potopul the conversion of the Jews considered to be one of the events at the end of history vegetable growing slowly as a plant thine. a se plictisi slow-chapt power the power of its slowly devouring jaws to tear (tore. inclined instant fires the flush in her face. fast chariot ceremonial carriage (car) yonder (poetic) over there vault burial chamber (cavou) quaint odd. peculiar. which. indicates her “willing soul” to sport a petrece.: swift. inappropriate (nefiresc) ashes cenuşă lust strong sexual desire (dorinţă. a lua cu de-a sila strife violent struggle thorough through Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 185 . a se veseli to languish a se ofili. patimă) grave mormânt.Reader had we but… if only we had coyness timiditate. fig. nuanţă. torn) a smulge. tineresc hue culoare. sfială. tentă dew rouă willing favourably disposed. thy your state ceremonial treatment winged having wings. in spite of her coyness.
in this dark world and wide. destiny mean humble. to endue: a înzestra (Inward ripeness. Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year*! My hasting days fly on with full career*. which endues some more timely-happy spirits. lucky endueth endues. if I have grace to use it so. a strict overseer TEXT 3. That I to manhood* am arrived so near. boboc showeth shows (My late spring shows no bud or blossom) semblance outward appearance to deceive to mislead (a înşela) manhood bărbăţie. It shall be still* in strictest measure even To that same lot*. Yet be it less or more.Reader UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON TEXT 3. 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. but Patience. Ere* half my days. All is. '”Doth God exact* day-labour. lest he. who best Bear his mild yoke*. Perhaps my semblance* might deceive* the truth. soon replies: “God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts. Toward which time leads me. Sonnet XVII When I consider how my light* is spent*. or soon or slow. insignificant ever eternity task-master the one who imposes tasks. Sonnet VII How soon hath* time. the subtle* thief of youth. rush bud mugur. to prevent That murmur*. light denied*?” I fondly* ask. obscure. 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.” 186 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . That some more timely*-happy* spirits endueth*. appears [in me] much less – i. And that one talent* which is death to hide Lodged with me useless*. vârstă adultă ripeness maturitate doth does timely occuring atjust the right moment. and the will of heaven. however mean* or high. But my late spring no bud* or blossom showeth*.1. John Milton. John Milton. opportune happy fortunate. chide*. they serve him best.2. As ever* in my great task-master's* eye.e to a lesser extent) still always lot fortune. though my soul more bent* To serve therewith* my maker. And inward ripeness* doth* much less appear. speed. returning. and present My true account.
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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How should ye? by the fruit? it gives you life To knowledge. producing every kind. a apuca Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 191 . these and many more Causes import* your need of this fair fruit. I question it. that Man may not become As they. if all be his? Or is it envy? and can envy dwell In heavenly breasts? These. then. modest thereof din ace(a)sta. or this tree Impart against his will. by venturing* higher than my lot. to emerge fair beautiful to import a însemna to reach a întinde mâna. for this fair* Earth I see. 4. participating* godlike* food? The Gods are first. do not believe Those rigid threats of death. that seem so clear Yet are but dim*. and that advantage use On our belief. was this forbid*? Why but to awe? Why but to keep ye low* and ignorant. your eyes. and ye shall be like Gods. Knowing both good and evil.) venturing to venture: a îndrăzni. yet both live And life more perfect have attained than Fate Meant me. Warmed by the Sun. And what are Gods. Shall that be shut to Man which to the beast Is open? 2. reach* then. as they know. a se încumeta forbid forbidden low humble.Reader TEXT 3. by the Threatener? look on me. Them nothing. in the day Ye eat thereof*. Why. 3. His worshippers? He knows that. that all from them proceeds*. Queen of the Universe. din el/ea (eat from the Tree of Knowledge) dim having weak or indistinct vision participating sharing godlike divine to proceed (from) to originate. Me who have touched and tasted. Paradise Lost (Book IX) 1. and freely taste.8. ye you (pl. shall perfectly be then Opened and cleared. What can your knowledge hurt him. ye* shall not die. John Milton. Goddess humane.
with wandering steps and slow. The world was all before them.Reader TEXT 3. John Milton. the gate With dreadful faces thronged* and fiery* arms: Some natural* tears they dropped.9. literary): to look at so late până nu demult seat locaş. all the eastern side beheld* Of Paradise. Through Eden took their solitary way. beheld (archaic. looking back. Waved over by that flaming brand*. and Providence their guide. beheld to behold. where to choose Their place of rest. sălaş flaming brand sabia de foc/flăcări thronged (with dreadful faces) plină (de chipuri de temut) fiery în flăcări. hand in hand. but wiped them soon. so late* their happy seat*. care arde natural firesc 192 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . They. Paradise Lost (Book XII) They.
because they are your acquaintance. like my Lady Faddler and Sir Francis. so far trifle fleac. and as well bred as if we were not married at all. and then never be seen there together again. to wear what I please. without giving a reason. you shall always knock at the door before you come in. without interrogatories or wry faces* on your part. which you must never presume* to approach without first asking leave*. (…) fond affectionate. because they may be your relations*. as if we were proud of one another the first week. the only oneto presume to dare (a îndrăzni) to ask leave to ask permission Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 193 . reserved well-bred binecrescut.Reader UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE TEXT 4. dine in my dressing room when I’m out of humour*. To have my closet* inviolate*. Mirabell: Have you any more conditions to offer? Hitherto* your demands are pretty reasonable. but let us be very strange* and well bred*.1. And lastly. nor kiss before folks*. and ashamed of one another ever after. let us be as strange as if we had been married a great while*. The Way of the World Millamant: (…) Good Mirabell. politicos a great while a long time hitherto until this time. 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. Let us never visit together. wherever I am. or to be intimate with fools. to provoke eyes and whispers*. to have no obligation upon me to converse with wits* that I don’t like. Millamant: Trifles* – as liberty to pay and receive visits* to and from whom I please. to be sole* empress of my tea table. to write and receive letters. abătut closet a small private room inviolate in which nobody intrudes sole only. don’t let us be familiar or fond*. William Congreve. nor go to a play together. Come to dinner when I please. nor go to Hyde Park together the first Sunday in a new chariot*. tender folks people chariot trăsură to provoke eyes and whispers to attract attention and provoke gossip (bârfă) strange distant. and choose conversation with regard only to my own taste. manierat.
fantezist awhile for a short period satiety the state of being too much filled or satisfied peculiarity particularitate but only transient temporary. 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. cap sec knave escroc. variabil fanciful capricios. escroc. and that wittily*! But how hard to make a man appear a fool. the poet of nature. and therefore few only can judge how nearly* they are copied. and please long. a blockhead*. or by the accidents of transient* fashions or temporary opinions: they are the genuine progeny* of common humanity. above all writers. 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 a knave* without using any of those opprobrious* terms! (…) There is (…) a vast difference betwixt* the slovenly* butchering* of a man. pungaş. a livra. nemernic opprobrious insulting betwixt between slovenly neglijent butchering căsăpire. but just representations of general nature. successfully irregular neuniform. unpractised by the rest of the world.3. secătură. the poet that holds up to his readers a faithful mirror of manners and of life. In the writings of other poets a character is too often an individual: in those of Shakespeare it is commonly a species. descendenţi to supply a oferi. John Dryden. and leaves it standing in its place. dobitoc.Reader TEXT 4. manners moravuri nearly faithfully. such as the world will always supply* and observation will always find. and the mind can only repose on the stability of truth. Particular manners* may be known to few. A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire How easy is it to call rogue* and villain*. Shakespeare is. potlogar villain nemernic. His characters are not modified by the customs of particular places. which can operate but* upon small numbers. at least above all modern writers. măcelărire fineness eleganţă. by the peculiarities* of studies or professions. The Preface to Shakespeare Nothing can please many. Samuel Johnson. a furniza 194 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . transitory (trecător) progeny urmaşi. and the fineness* of a stroke* that separates the head from the body. but the pleasures of sudden wonder are soon exhausted. lichea wittily in a witty manner (cu mult spirit) blockhead nătâng. ticălos. rogue pungaş. perfecţiune stroke lovitură TEXT 4.2.
He confined* the knowledge of governing within very narrow bounds*: to common sense and reason. (…) I take* this defect among them to have risen from their ignorance. and transcendentals*. it gave him (directly contrary to my intention) a very mean opinion* of our understandings. A strange effect of narrow principles and short views*! that a prince possessed of every quality which procures veneration. yet he would rather lose half his kingdom than be privy* to such a secret (…). chapter VII) The King was struck with horror* at the description I had given of those terrible engines* and the proposal I had made.4. let slip* an opportunity put into his hands that would have made him absolute master of the lives. to the speedy* determination* of civil and criminal causes. with some other obvious topics* which are not worth considering. love. wherein* they must be allowed to excel. entities. I could never drive* the least conception into their heads. The learning of this people is very defective. endued* with admirable talents for government. unnecessary scruple. He could not tell what I meant by secrets of state.Reader TEXT 4. in a discourse one day with the King. and mathematics. when I happened to say there were several thousand books among us written upon the art of government. great wisdom. the liberties. 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. and esteem. consisting only in morality. and profound learning. And as to ideas. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 195 . history. For I remember very well. to justice and lenity*. Gulliver’s Travels (Book II. poetry. whereof* in Europe we can have no conception. of strong parts. He professed both to abominate* and despise all mystery*. and the fortunes of his people. they not having hitherto reduced politics into a science. as the more acute wits* of Europe have done. refinement and intrigue. Jonathan Swift. abstractions. 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. and almost adored by his subjects. He was amazed how so impotent and grovelling* an insect as I (these were his expressions) could entertain* such inhuman ideas. But the last of these is wholly applied to what may be useful in life. where an enemy or some rival nation were not in case. he protested* that although few things delighted him so much as new discoveries in art or in nature. should from a nice*. to the improvement of agriculture and all mechanical arts*.
he found as near a resemblance in the disposition* of our minds. a face să priceapă TEXT 4. That this leader had usually a favorite as like himself as he could get. For he only meant to observe what parity* there was in our natures. and hide them by heaps* in their kennels*. but not in themselves. there are certain shining stones of several colors. perspicace) mean opinion părere nefavorabilă to abominate to detest. a încredinţa to be privy to a fi făcut părtaş la. încheiere (a unei cauze juridice) topic temă. and the like. each single one impatient* to have all to itself. in some fields of his country. as sometimes happens. than any of the rest. (…) That. for fear their comrades should find out their treasure. and carry them away. He said the Yahoos were known to hate one another more than they did any different species of animals. greu de mulţumit) whereof of which to let slip (an opportunity) a lăsa să-i scape. our manners. and the reason usually assigned* was the odiousness* of their own shapes. a i se încredinţa (e. my master confessed he could find little or no resemblance between the Yahoos of that country and those in ours. keeps always near the 196 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . to restrict bound limit. manufactures*. 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. speed. and activity. (…) But he now found he had been mistaken. the shortness of my claws*.5. a fi iniţiat în. (…) As to learning. which all could see in the rest. for which he was known and then rewarded with a piece of ass’s flesh*. and some other particulars* where Nature had no part*. VII) He observed that I agreed* in every feature of my body with other Yahoos. and drive the female Yahoos to his kennel. and therefore* to protect himself. I suppose acute wits spirite luminate (acute: pătrunzător. un secret) short views concepţii înguste endued înzestrat nice fastidious. boundary (hotar) lenity tolerance (îngăduinţă) speedy quick. without delay determination rezolvare. Gulliver’s Travels (Book IV. so. whereof the Yahoos are violently fond*. and our actions. they will dig with their claws for whole days to get them out. from the representation I had given him of our lives. driven) an idea into one’s head a băga în cap. they will instead of eating peaceably. to dislike intensely mystery urzeli tainice to confine to limit. For. Jonathan Swift.g. excessively particular about details (pretenţios. government. and when part of these stones are fixed in the earth. a asigura. except where it was to my real disadvantage in point of* strength. fall together by ears*. if (said he) you throw among five Yahoos as much food as would be sufficient for fifty. arts. whose employment was to lick* his masters feet and posteriors. This favorite is hated by the whole herd. but still looking round with great caution.Reader struck with horror cuprins de groază engines maşini (piese de artilerie) grovelling to grovel: to crawl. and that the dissensions of those brutes in his country were owing to the same cause with ours. as in fear or humility (a se târî) to entertain (an idea) a nutri (o idee) to protest a declara. and mischievous* in disposition. a scăpa din mână (o ocazie) I take I think. 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. as I had described them. Ch.
person of his leader. (…) But how far this might be applicable to our courts and favorites, and ministers of state, my master said I could best determine. (…) My master likewise* mentioned another quality, which his servants had discovered in several Yahoos, and to him was wholly unaccountable*. He said, a fancy* would sometimes take a Yahoo, to retire into a corner, to lie down and howl*, and groan*, and spurn* away all that came near him, although he were young and fat, and wanted* neither food nor water; nor did the servants imagine what could possibly ail* him. And the only remedy they found was to set* him to hard work*, after which he would infallibly* come to himself*. To this I was silent out of partiality* to my own kind*; yet here I could plainly discover the true seeds* of spleen*, which only seizes on* the lazy, the luxurious, and the rich (…). His Honor had farther observed, that a female Yahoo would often stand behind a bank* or a bush*, to gaze* on the young males passing by, and then appear, and hide, using many antic* gestures and grimaces; at which time it was observed, that she had a most offensive* smell; and when any of the males advanced, would slowly retire, looking back, and with a counterfeit* show of fear, run off into some convenient place where she knew the male would follow her. At other times, if a female stranger came along them, three or four of her own sex would get about her, and stare* and chatter*, and grin*, and smell her all over; and then turn off with gestures that seemed to express contempt and disdain.
I agreed I corresponded in point of în ceea ce priveşte claws gheare particulars details no part no role, no contribution near close disposition predispoziţie, înclinare to assign (a reason) to give, to attribute (a reason) odiousness hidoşenie they will fall together by ears se vor lua la bătaie impatient zorit, grăbit whereof of which to be fond of a fi amator, a-i plăcea mult by heaps în grămezi kennel culcuş, vizuină manufacture meşteşuguri parity corespondenţă, asemănare, analogie herd cireadă ruling dominant, conducător stag cerb park parc cinegetic mischievous răutăcios, rău intenţionat, pus pe rele to lick a linge ass’s flesh carne de măgar therefore that is why likewise also unaccountable inexplicable a fancy would sometimes take a Yahoo din când în când i se năzare câte unui Yahoo to howl a urla to groan a geme to spurn (away) a îndepărta, a refuza, a alunga to want a duce lipsă de to ail a durea, a deranja to set (somebody) to work a pune la muncă infallibly negreşit he would come to himself îşi revenea, îşi venea în fire partiality părtinire, slăbiciune, înclinaţie my own kind cei de-un neam cu mine seeds seminţe (fig.: izvor, cauză) spleen ipohondrie, melancolie seizes on se abate asupra, îi cuprinde pe bank movilă bush tufiş to gaze to look long and fixedly antic grotesque offensive unpleasant, disgusting counterfeit simulated; a counterfeit show of fear: prefăcânduse că îi este teamă to stare a se holba to chatter a flecări to grin a rânji
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TEXT 4.6. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (Book IV, chapter VIII)
As these noble Houyhnhnms are endowed by Nature with a general disposition to all virtues, and have no conceptions or ideas of what is evil in a rational creature; so their grand* maxim is to cultivate reason, and to be wholly governed by it. (…) Friendship and benevolence are the two principal virtues among the Houyhnhnms; and these not confined to particular objects, but universal to the whole race. For a stranger from the remotest* part is equally treated with the nearest neighbour, and wherever he goes, looks upon himself* as at home. They preserve decency and civility* in the highest degrees, but are altogether ignorant of ceremony*. They have no fondness* for their colts or foals*; but the care they take in educating them proceeds* entirely from the dictates of reason. And I observed my master to show the same affection to his neighbour’s issue* that he had for his own. They will have that* Nature teaches them to love the whole species, and it is reason only that makes a distinction of persons, where there is a superior degree of virtue. When the matron* Houyhnhnms have produced one of each sex, they no longer accompany* with their consorts, except they lose one of their issue by some casualty*, which very seldom* happens; but in such a case they meet again; or when the like accident* befalls* a person whose wife is past bearing*, some other couple bestows* on him one of their own colts, and then go together* a second time, until the mother be pregnant*. This caution* is necessary to prevent the country from being overburdened with numbers*. But the race of inferior Houyhnhnms bred up to be servants is not so strictly limited upon this article*; these are allowed to produce* three of each sex, to be domestics* in the noble families. Courtship, love, presents*, jointures*, settlements*, have no place in their thoughts, or terms whereby* to express them in their language. The young couple meet and are joined, merely because it is the determination* of their parents and friends; it is what they see done every day; and they look upon it as one of necessary actions in a reasonable being. But the violation* of marriage, or any other unchastity* was never heard of; and the married pair pass their lives with the same friendship and mutual benevolence that they bear to all others of the same species who come in their way, without jealousy, fondness, quarreling*, or discontent*. Temperance*, industry*, exercise*, and cleanliness* are the lessons equally enjoined* to the young ones of both sexes; and my master thought it monstrous in us to give the females a different kind of education from the males, except in some articles of domestic management (…).
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grand principal, capital, supreme remote distant, far away looks upon himself considers himself civility amabilitate, curtenie, politeţe, bună creştere ceremony protocol, etichetă fondness duioşie, afecţiune, dragoste colt, foal mânz to proceed (from) to come from, to originate in (a izvorî) issue odrasle, progenituri, urmaşi they will have that they say that matron mamă de familie to acompany (with) a se împreuna casualty accident, nenorocire, năpastă seldom rarely the like accident o năpastă de felul acesta to befall (befell, befallen) a se abate asupra is past bearing nu mai poate zămisli to bestow to give, to offer they go together se împreunează pregnant grea, însărcinată caution măsură de prevedere overburdened with numbers overpopulated upon this article în această privinţă, la acest capitol to produce a zămisli domestic servitor present dar, cadou jointure averea cuvenită soţiei după moartea soţului settlement contract whereby by which determination decision violation necinstire unchastity infidelitate quarreling ceartă discontent nemulţumire temperance cumpătare industry hărnicie exercise exerciţii fizice cleanliness curăţenie enjoined imposed, prescribed
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UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL
TEXT 5.1. Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
It was now that I began sensibly* to feel how much more happy this life I now led was, with all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked*, cursed*, abominable* life I led all the past part of my days. And now I changed both my sorrows and my joys; my very desires altered*, my affections changed their gusts*, and my delights were perfectly new from what they were at my first coming, or indeed for the two years past. Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting or for viewing the country, the anguish* of my soul at my condition would break out* upon me on a sudden*, and my very heart would die within me to think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in, and how I was a prisoner locked up with the eternal bars* and bolts* of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption*. In the midst* of the greatest composures* of my mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and make me wring* my hands like a child. (…). But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts. I daily read the Word of God, and applied all the comforts* of it to my present state. One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words: “I will never, never leave thee*, nor forsake* thee.” Immediately it occurred* to me that these words were to me. Why else* should they be directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition as one forsaken of* God and Man? (…) From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition than it was probable I should have ever been I any other particular state in the world; and with this thought I was going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place.
sensibly în mod apreciabil, destul de mult wicked păcătos cursed nelegiuit, ticălos abominable odios to alter to change gust răbufnire, explozie, izbucnire anguish pain, misery, agony to break out a se dezlănţui, a izbucni on a sudden suddenly, abruptly bars gratii, zăbrele bolt zăvor redemption mântuire, izbăvire, salvare midst middle composure linişte, calm, cumpăt, stăpânire de sine to wring (wrung) a frânge; to wring one’s hands: a-şi frânge mâinile de durere comfort mângâiere, consolare, încurajare thee you to forsake (forsook, forsaken) to abandon to occur (to someone) a-i veni în minte, a-i trece prin gând why else? altfel de ce? forsaken of forsaken by
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the clay* not being stiff* enough to bear its own weight*. or glazing* them with lead*. when I went to put it out* after I had done with it. (…) Though I miscarried* so much in my design* for large pots*.2. It happened after some time. making a pretty large fire for cooking my meat. being set out too hastily*. I found a broken piece of one of my earthenware vessels* in the fire burned as hard as a stone. after having laboured hard to find the clay. so as to make it burn me some pots. to dig* it. to tell how many awkward* ways I took to raise this paste*. 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 (…). such as the potters* burn in. But all this would not answer my end*. in a word how. and placed my firewood* all round it. to pity a căina awkward incomod. Daniel Defoe. what odd. or rather laugh at me. I plied the fire* with fresh fuel round the outside and upon the top till I saw the pots in the inside red-hot quite through*. a se desprinde clay lut. oală Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 201 . and the heat of the sun baked* them strangely hard*. and how many fell in pieces with only removing* as well before as after they were dried. flat dishes*. and I had hardly patience to stay till they were cold before I set one upon the fire again with some water in it to boil me some meat. This set me to studying how to order* my fire. 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. how many cracked* by the over-violent heat of the sun. but I placed three large pipkins and two or three pots in a pile. and any things my hand turned to*. No joy at a thing of so mean a nature* was ever equal to mine when I found I had made an earthen pot that would bear the fire. and bear* the fire. de pământ jar oală. with a great heap of embers* under them. ugly things I made. to bring it home and work it.Reader TEXT 5.. and pipkins*. anevoios. I was agreeably surprised to see it. though I had some lead to do it with. dificil paste cocă misshapen diform fell in to fall. pitchers*. and red as a tile*. to temper* it. and said to myself that certainly they might be made to burn whole if they would burn broken. which it did admirably well. and how many fell out*. yet I made several smaller things with better success – such as little round pots. fallen) out: a se desface. a prelucra above more than earthen de lut. I could not make above* two large earthen* ugly things – I cannot call them jars* – in about two months’ labour. misshapen*. one upon another. dug a săpa to temper a amesteca. vas to miscarry a da greş design intenţie pot vas. fallen) in: a se prăbuşi. (fell. When I saw them clear red. how many of them fell in*. and. I let them stand in that heat about five or six hours(…). a frământa. Robinson Crusoe It would make the reader pity* me. a cădea fell out to fall. I had no notion of a kiln*. which none of these could do. which was to get an earthen pot to hold what was liquid. and observed that they did not crack at all*. (fell.
and of so much honour too. crept. and tender years*. to my grief*. dubious uncertain. Much more lively* and affecting must be the style of those who write in the height* of a present distress*. so much affection. nenorocire pangs mâhnire.3. She seems taken by surprise by her own feelings.Reader dish blid. farfurie pitcher ulcior ulcea pipkin gavanos to turn to a se apuca de lucru. unanimated style of a person relating difficulties and dangers surmounted*. Samuel Richardson. I imagine. and before I knew what was the matter. however. upon me. 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. it looked like love. narrative. […] O my dear parents. But to be sure*. but with what may be called instantaneous descriptions and reflections (…). punct culminant. B_. chinuri womb pântece. a ţine la to put out (the fire) a stinge (focul) earthenware vessels vase de lut tile ţiglă. intenţie to bear (bore. a învinge. apogeu distress nefericire. Samuel Richardson. did I say! […] I know not how it came. like a thief. scop.] This letter. I must own* to you. nay*. durere. before. the womb of fate: incertitudinea sorţii dry sec. forgive your poor daughter! How am I grieved* to find this trial so severe* upon me. Pamela [Pamela receives a letter from Mr. the mind tortured by the pangs* of uncertainty (the events then hidden in the womb* of fate). and so it is: but love. This was a good fortune. O my unguarded* youth. […] Forgive. For here plainly* does he confess his great value for me. my dear father. plin de viaţă) height culme. în întregime at all deloc handsome frumos. that my heart was too partial* in his favour. neutru to surmount to overcome (a birui. that I shall never be able to think of any body in the world but him! Presumption*! you will say. arătos a thing of so mean a nature un lucru atât de mărunt TEXT 5. when I expected some new plot*. forgive me! but I found. but it has crept*. but now. is not a voluntary thing – Love. nor when it began. I am quite overcome*. has greatly affected me. placă de ceramică how to order the fire cum să potrivesc focul kiln cuptor potter olar to glaze a smălţui lead plumb firewood lemn de foc embers jăratec I plied the fire am întreţinut focul quite through cu totul. and accounts for his rigorous* behaviour to me. can be.4. than the dry*. a depăşi) TEXT 5. I beseech* you. in which he confesses his affection for her. I had no reason to expect. a se pune pe lucru to bake a coace strangely hard neobişnuit de tare end ţel. to find him capable of so much openness. doubtful lively vivid (însufleţit. will ye* not in some 202 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . born) a rezista.
torn) out a smulge. when I get home. and introducing a greater variety of characters. burlesque itself may be sometimes admitted. for there it is never properly introduced. în mod clar rigorous aspru. of inferior manners. necaz wert were inconsiderately (în mod) nesocotit. in its sentiments and diction*. It differs from the serious romance in its fable* and action. [Memorandum*. a înştiinţa mischief neajuns. a rupe memorandum notă. sever grief durere. as the serious epic from tragedy: its action being more extended and comprehensive*. thy whole self.5.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. of which many instances will occur in these works […]. îndrăzneală crept to creep (crept): a se strecura.) 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. mai mult chiar to overcome a depăşi. without ever consulting thy poor mistress* in the least*! But thy punishment will be the first and the greatest: and well. we have carefully excluded it from our sentiments and characters.my heart] fully deserve to suffer summons chemare. nechibzuit thyself yourself thy poor mistress biata ta stăpână (not) in the least câtuşi de puţin. and consequently. who had used me so hardly. I hope. But though we have sometimes admitted this in our diction. unless* in writings of the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 203 . and the benefits of your good lesson and examples. in this. by preserving the ludicrous* instead of the sublime. O my treacherous*. and when likewise* thou hadst* so well maintained thy post* against the most violent and avowed*. mâhnire partial to având o slăbiciune pentru nay (literary) ba mai mult. I must either not show you this confession of my weakness. In the diction. a comic romance* is a comic epic poem* in prose. în consecinţă to tear (tore. a implora grieved amărât. and therefore*. before summons* came. only dangerous attacks! After all. nicidecum traitor trădător (noun) deservest well …deservest thou to smart: you [i. will enable me to get over this heavy trial.) treacherous trădător (adj. Yet. perfidious traitor*! deservest* thou to smart. I think.] plot uneltire. or tear* it out of my writing. Henry Fielding. intrigă plainly în mod deschis. whereas the grave romance sets the highest* before us: lastly. to consider of this. I could have no notion of what it was to be so affected! But prayer. and to one too. and resignation to the Divine Will. mâhnit severe trial încercare grea unguarded imprudent tender years vârstă fragedă ye you (pl. avertizare likewise de asemenea hadst (you) had thou hadst so well maintained thy post you put up resistance successfully avowed făţiş therefore aşadar. Joseph Andrews (Preface) Now.e. 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. for giving up so weakly. însemnare TEXT 5. differing from comedy. as I thought. a copleşi to be sure cu siguranţă to own a mărturisi presumption cutezanţă. that as in the one these are grave and solemn. întristat. a se furişa to beseech (besought) a ruga cu stăruinţă.
where we shall find the true excellence of the former to consist in the exactest copying of nature. as they proceed* from very different motives. to the degree he would be thought to have it. and in the same manner the comic writer and painter correlate to each other. or hath not the virtue he affects. which this is not intended to be. whereas in the Caricatura we allow all licence* – its aim is to exhibit monsters. so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavour to avoid censure*. in so much that a judicious eye instantly rejects anything outré*. for to discover any one to be the exact reverse of what he affects. if we examine it. it be nearly allied to deceit*. Burlesque is in writing. and. therefore. than when from vanity. and the Ridiculous to describe than paint. […] Let us examine the works of a comic history painter. that. […] Now. and where our delight. so it is in the latter infinitely on the side of the writer. any liberty which the painter hath* taken with the features of that alma mater*. which always strikes* the reader with surprise and pleasure. so they are as clearly distinct in their operations: for indeed. not men. for as the latter is ever* the exhibition* of what is monstrous and unnatural. for though the vain man is not what he would appear. yet when it comes from vanity only. when it proceeds from hypocrisy. From the discovery of this affectation arises the Ridiculous. and all distortions and exaggerations whatever are within its proper province*. the affectation of liberality* in a vain* man differs visibly from the same affectation in the avaricious. It may be likewise noted. And here I shall observe. Indeed. what Caricatura is in painting. which that of the hypocrite hath. who is the very reverse of what he would seem to be. by concealing* our vices under an appearance of their opposite virtues. arises from the surprising absurdity. for the Monstrous is much easier to paint than describe.Reader burlesque kind. as it hath not that violent repugnancy* of nature to struggle with. vanity or hypocrisy: for as vanity puts us on affecting false characters*. And though these two causes are often confounded (for there is some difficulty in distinguishing them). as in appropriating the manners of the highest to the lowest*. affectation proceeds from one of these two causes. so in the former we should ever confine* ourselves strictly to nature. yet it sits less awkwardly* on him than on the avaricious man. or e converso*. […] The only source of the true Ridiculous (as it appears to me) is affectation. with those performances which the Italians call Caricatura. as in the former the painter seems to have the advantage. from the just* imitation of which will flow all the pleasure we can this way convey to a sensible* reader. Now. the affectation which arises from vanity is nearer to truth than the other. though. in order to purchase* applause. and consequently more ridiculous. yet. than to find him a little deficient in the quality he desires the reputation of. no two species of writing can differ more widely than the comic and the burlesque. is more surprising. and that in a higher and stronger degree when the affectation arises from hypocrisy. 204 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . that affectation doth* not imply an absolute negation of those qualities which are affected. it partakes* of the nature of ostentation: for instance.
which at first moved our compassion. comic romance roman comic comic epic poem poem eroicomic comprehensive cuprinzător fable subiect. 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.Reader […] Much less are natural imperfections the objects of derision. fig. contradiction doth does deceit înşelătorie it partakes of se înrudeşte cu. cu bun simţ) outré (French) exaggerated hath has alma mater (Latin) the nourishing mother. putting on a flattering mask to purchase to obtain censure so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavour to avoid censure tot astfel ipocrizia ne îndeamnă/ne face să ne străduim a evita critica to conceal to hide to proceed from to come/to emerge from repugnancy incompatibility. […] Great vices are the proper objects of our detestation. tend* only to raise our mirth*. sferă affecting false characters pretending to be in a way that one is not. 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. or lameness* endeavours to display* agility. / Ci de-a nu fi ceea ce vrea să pară. it sits less awkwardly on him than: îi şade mai puţin rău decât strikes the reader with surprise and pleasure îi oferă cititorului plăcerea surprizei applause when ugliness aims at the applause of beauty: când urâtul/urâţenia aspiră la aplauzele meritate de frumuseţe lameness şchiopătare. cu stângăcie. smaller faults. exact sensible endowed with common sense (cu judecată. of our pity. dărnicie) vain vanitos awkwardly stângaci. face parte din liberality generosity (mărinimie.” Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 205 . but affectation appears to me the only true source of the Ridiculous.: the primary source licence liberty province domeniu. but when ugliness aims at the applause* of beauty. it is then that these unfortunate circumstances. The poet carries this very far: None are for being what they are in fault. But for not being what they would be thought*.
lipsit de cordialitate/amabilitate to pelt a bombarda. povară signal însemnat. yet I constantly take care to order affairs so. and that I fly off* from what I am about. brought forth born scurvy păcătos. not for want of penetration* in him. that my main business does not stand still in my absence. Tristram Shandy (Vol. In a word. provided a man could be born in it to a great title* or to a great estate*. – and at the same time. with reverence be it spoken*. remarcabil good temper voie bună turn cotitură to get at (somebody) to irritate. to annoy ungracious răutăcios. Tristram Shandy (Vol I.6. I fear. I can truly say that from the first hour I drew my breath into it […] I have been the continual sport* of what the world calls Fortune. in a digression. and though I will not wrong her by saying she has ever made me feel the weight* of any great or signal* evil. two contrary motions are introduced into it. and it is progressive too. which were thought to be at variance* with each other. – not but the planet is well enough*. or could any how contrive* to be called up to public charges* and employments* of dignity or power – but that is not my case […]. as in my all digressions (one only excepted) there is a master-stroke* of digressive skill. răspundere publică employment slujbă sport jucărie weight greutate. on my conscience. but because it is an excellence seldom* looked for. […] The machinery* of my work is of a species by itself. 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. brought forth* into this scurvy* and disastrous world of ours. dirty planet of ours. […] 206 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which. as far and as often too as any writer in Great-Britain. or expected indeed. – and it is this: That though my digressions are all fair*. Chapter V) On the fifth day of November. I wish I had been born in the Moon. a reuşi public charges însărcinare. and reconciled. the ungracious* Duchess has pelted* me with a set of as pitiful* misadventures* and cross* accidents as ever small HERO sustained. and at every turn* and corner where she could get* fairly at me. 1718 […] was I Tristram Shandy. as you observe. yet with all the good temper* in the world I affirm it of her that in every stage of my life. nefericit TEXT 5. been overlooked* by my reader. a izbuti. my work is digressive. abject vile ticălos with reverence be it spoken fie spus cu tot respectul shreds zdrenţe clippings resturi. Laurence Sterne.I. the merit of which has all along. Laurence Sterne.7. Gentleman. Chapter XXII) For in this long digression which I was accidentally led into. I take to be made up of the shreds* and clippings* of the rest. or in any of the planets […] than in this vile*.Reader TEXT 5. a asalta pitiful jalnic misadventure nenorocire cross potrivnic.
one wheel within another*. bidden) a ura all hail trăiască!. from the beginning of this. that the whole machine. bids* All hail*. you see. has been kept agoing. I have constructed the main work and the adventitious* parts of it with such intersections. brings in variety. – take them out of this book for instance. what’s more. master-stroke mişcare măiestrită skill meşteşug to overlook a-i scăpa. but also of the author. artă culinară distress stare jalnică pitiable vrednic de milă to stand stock-still a încremeni. – they are the life. and if he goes on with his main work. and have so complicated and involved* the digressive and progressive movements. it shall be kept a-going these forty years. în contradicţie to reign a domni to step forth a păşi bridegroom mire to bid (bade. whose distress*. I observe. from that moment. so as to be not only for the advantage of the reader. a sta pe loc vile work ticăloasă treabă adventitious întâmplător to involve a încurca. restore them to the writer. sadea to fly off a-şi lua zborul machinery mecanism at variance potrivnic. if it pleases the fountain of health to bless me so long with life and good spirits*. and forbids the appetite to fail. incontestably. – and. a trece cu vederea for want of penetration din pricina lipsei de pătrundere/înţelegere seldom arareori fair fără cusur. For which reason. the soul of reading. cum trebuie. This is vile work*. you might as well take the book along with them. his whole work stands stock-still*. All the dexterity* is in the good cookery* and management of them. – one cold eternal winter would reign* in every page of it. then there is an end of his digression. if he begins a digression. he steps forth* like a bridegroom*.Reader Digressions. is truly pitiable*: For. in this matter. slavă! dexterity îndemânare cookery gătit. in general. a încâlci one wheel within another cu rotiţele îmbucându-se una întralta good spirits voie bună Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 207 . are the sunshine.
a mângâia) TEXT 6. Go! if the peaceful cot* your praises share. Who. Whose beard descending swept his aged breast. Far other aims his heart had learned to prize*. to all the country dear. modelat. Unpracticed he to fawn*. Or theirs. the matron* pale. a alina. distant godly pious. hoinar. a aprecia the wretched cei sărmani/nenorociţi vagrant vagabond. nor wished to change his place. The Deserted Village A man he was. looks up to see The bare arms* broken from the withering* tree On which. chid: to rebuke. By doctrines fashioned* to the varying hour. croit to prize a preţui. 208 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . whose age Can with no cares except his own engage. cortegiu şir chid to chide. Go. a mustra) wandering rătăcire to relieve to bring alleviation (a uşura. Oliver Goldsmith. he climbed the loftiest bough*. fiind considerat bogat pound liră remote far away. a boy. Nor e’er* had changed. cucernic) e’er ever to fawn to seek attention and admiration by flattering (a se ploconi. The Village Ye* gentle* souls who dream of rural ease*.2. but his sad emblem now. Or hers. His house was known to all the vagrant* train*. If peace be his – that drooping* weary* sire*. More skilled to raise the wretched* than to rise.Reader UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY TEXT 6. Then his first joy. propped* on that rude* staff*. whose trembling hand Turns on the wretched* hearth* the expiring* brand*! (…) (…) yonder* see that hoary swain*. passing rich trecând drept bogat. and ask if peace be there. Remote* from towns he ran his godly* race. Whom the smooth* stream and smoother sonnet please. a linguşi) fashioned potrivit. but relieved* their pain: The long-remembered beggar was his guest. He chid* their wanderings*. look within. cerşetor train alai.1. or seek for power. that offspring* round their feeble* fire. devout (evlavios. George Crabbe. to scold (a dojeni. And passing rich* with forty pounds* a year.
linişte. The Task (1785) God made the country. rezemat rude rudimentary. the noble scorn* Of tyrant pride*.) gentle nobil. liniştit cot căsuţă drooping aplecat. o’er over to exalt to raise. urmaş feeble plăpând. gifts That can alone make sweet the bitter draught* That life holds to all. William Cowper. should most abound And least be threatened in the fields and groves*? draught înghiţitură. to stimulate. The love of Nature. simple.Reader ye you (pl. raised To rapture* and divine astonishment. As varied. slab matron mamă de familie wretched biet. the sigh for suffering worth* Lost in obscurity. and. jalnic. ecstatic joy unconfined unlimited chief most important suffering worth men of merit and virtue who suffer scorn contempt. The Seasons (from Autumn) He comes! he comes! in every breeze the Power Of Philosophic Melancholy comes! (…) O’er* all the soul his sacred influence breathes. What wonder then that health and virtue. chief*. and as high: Devotion. ales. Inflames imagination. cămin expiring dying (care se stinge) brand tăciune yonder (poetic) there hoary swain săteanul cărunt/nins/venerabil propped proptit. sprijinit.4. With all the social offspring of the heart*. părinte offspring vlăstar. to excite swelling expanding rapture ecstasy. (…) The sympathies of love and friendship dear. and far Beyond dim earth exalts* the swelling* thought. the large ambitious wish To make them blest. disdain (dispreţ) tyrant pride the arrogance of arbitrary or unjust power the social offspring of the heart the community. whom the heart feels as a family TEXT 6. coarse. încovoiat weary exhausted (istovit) sire (poetic) tată. and man made the town. sorbitură grove crâng. unconfined*. through the breast Infuses every tenderness. (…) As fast the correspondent passions rise. losing vitality (care se usucă) loftiest bough ramura cea mai înaltă TEXT 6. nenorocit hearth vatră. lacking adornments staff toiag bare arms ramurile/crengile desfrunzite withering decaying. James Thomson. pace smooth calm. Of human race. dumbravă Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 209 .3. generos ease tihnă. to elevate.
leapt: a sări. I’ll tell thee. Infant Sorrow (from Songs of Experience) My mother groaned*. By the stream and o’er* the mead*. a fi supărat/îmbufnat 210 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . God bless thee. God bless thee. Gave thee such a tender voice. a închide weary tired. Helpless. Like a fiend* hid* in a cloud. a se arunca piping to pipe: to utter something in a high and thin voice fiend demon hid hidden swaddling bands scutece bound to bind. te-a poftit să te hrăneşti o’er over mead meadow (pajişte. a ţâşni. Into the dangerous world I leapt*. naked. not violent (blajin. and bid thee feed*. îngăduitor) TEXT 6. Softest clothing. a suspina wept to weep (wept): a plânge leapt to leap. William Blake. Striving against my swaddling bands*. Little Lamb. who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb.The Lamb (from Songs of Innocence) Little Lamb who made thee*? Dost thou know* who made thee? Gave thee life. I’ll tell thee: He is called by thy* name. Struggling in my father’s hands. Gave thee clothing of delight. Little Lamb. He became a little child: I a child and thou a lamb. Making all the vales rejoice*! Little Lamb. exhausted to sulk to be silent and resentful a se bosumfla. bound: a lega strâns. and he is mild*. to groan a geme. William Blake. cuminte. piping* loud. Little Lamb.Reader TEXT 6. my father wept*. We are called by his name. I thought best To sulk* upon my mother’s breast. gentle and uncomplaining (blând. Bound* and weary*.5. who made thee who made you dost thou know do you know bid thee feed ţi-a oferit hrană. For he calls himself a Lamb: He is meek*. wooly* bright. supus) mild gentle.6. a înlănţui. luncă) wooly made of or feeling like wool (lânos) to rejoice to feel or show great joy thy your meek very quiet.
” “No.8. to disappear to leap (leaped/leapt) a sări. robă walking their rounds făcându-şi rondul binding to bind. And the gates of the Chapel were shut. The Garden of Love (from Songs of Experience) I went to the Garden of Love. And then go home to bed. let us play.7. So I turned to the Garden of Love. Nurse’s Song (from Songs of Innocence) When the voices of children are heard on the green*. a sălta.” “Well. And we cannot go to sleep. And laughing is heard on the hill. And the dews* of night arise. And the hills are all covered with sheep. come leave off play. at ease dew rouă let us away să megrem to fade away to die. iarbă neagră) TEXT 6. And Priests in black gowns* were walking their rounds*. no. And binding* with briars* my joys and desires. Come. the sun is gone down. And ‘Thou shalt not’* writ* over the door. well. in the sky the little birds fly. bound: to tie briar a wild bush with branches that have thorns (măceş. “Then come home my children. Besides. midst middle ‘Thou shalt not’ ‘You shall not’ (the interdictory formula beginning the ten commandments in the Bible) writ written bore to bear. William Blake. And I saw it was filled with graves*. and let us away* Till the morning appears in the skies.” The little ones leaped* and shouted and laughed And all the hills echoed*. borne: to give birth to grave mormânt tomb-stone piatră funerară gown mantie. And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst*. go and play till the light fades away*. My heart is at rest* within my breast. a ţopăi to echo a răsuna Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 211 . tranquil.Reader TEXT 6. bore. And tomb-stones* where flowers should be. green pajişte verde at rest calm. William Blake. And every thing else is still. That so many sweet flowers bore*. Where I used to play on the green. for it is yet day.
my children.10. And by* came an Angel who had a bright key. Tom. Dick. and that very night. Ned and Jack. they run. My face turns green* and pale. never mind it. Your spring and your day are wasted* in play. Tom was happy and warm. There’s little Tom Dacre. William Blake. Nurse’s Song (from Songs of Experience) When the voices of children are heard on the green And whisperings* are in the dale*. Were all of them locked up in coffins* of black. weep!” So your chimneys I sweep. He'd have God for his father and never want* joy. And my father sold* me while yet my tongue Could scarcely cry “weep*. The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind. Then down a green plain leaping. They rise upon clouds. weep. and we rose* in the dark. So if all do their duty.9.Reader TEXT 6. for when your head's bare. a irosi TEXT 6. As Tom was a-sleeping. And the Angel told Tom. he had such a sight*!– That thousands of sweepers. 212 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The Chimney Sweeper* (from Songs of Innocence) When my mother died I was very young.” And so he was quiet. And wash in a river. laughing. And so Tom awoke. And he opened the coffins and set them all free. And your winter and night in disguise. and shine in the Sun. Then come home. the sun is gone down. they need not fear harm. and in soot* I sleep. Though the morning was cold. who cried when his head That curled* like a lamb’s back. whisperings şoapte. weep. And the dews of night arise. foşnet. was shaved: so I said “Hush*. freamăt dale vale. And got with our bags and our brushes to work. all their bags left behind. and sport* in the wind. vâlcea my face turns green as in “green with envy” to waste a pierde. You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair. if he'd be a good boy. Joe. William Blake. Then naked and white.
their innocent faces clean. Crying “weep*. it is ironic that “sweep” becomes “weep” (a plânge) soot funingine to curl a se încreţi/cârlionţa hush taci. risen): a se scula. nedreptate misery intense unhappiness or suffering TEXT 6. but multitudes of lambs. Grey-headed beadles* walked before. 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.12. to be lacking something rose to rise (rose.11. O what a multitude they seemed. Now like a mighty* wind they raise to heaven the voice of song. Who make up a Heaven of our misery*. Holy Thursday (from Songs of Innocence) ‘Twas* on a Holy Thursday*. And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King. And because I am happy and dance and sing. And smiled among the winter’s snow. coşciug by aproape. în preajmă to sport a zburda. They clothed me in the clothes of death. Because I was happy upon the heath*. They think they have done me no injury*. William Blake. Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands. The children walking two and two in red and blue and green.” weep see explanation above woe intense grief/sorrow/unhappiness thy your say? ia spune! heath câmpie stearpă injury rău. And taught me to sing the notes of woe. fii liniştit sight vision coffin sicriu.Reader chimney sweeper coşar. a se deştepta TEXT 6. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 213 . Till into the high dome* of Paul’s* they like Thames’ waters flow. Or like harmonious thunderings* the seats* of heaven among. lest* you drive* an angel from your door. Then cherish* pity. Beneath them sit the aged men. The hum* of multitudes was there. a se juca to want to feel the need or longing for something. alături. William Blake. The Chimney Sweeper (from Songs of Experience) A little black thing among the snow. 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). wise guardians of the poor. potoleşte-te. with wands* as white as snow. hornar sold to sell.
It is eternal winter there. 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. neroditor thorn spin.Reader ‘twas it was th Holy Thursday Ascension Day. fertil. And where-e’er the rain does fall. For where-e’er* the sun does shine. lugubru bare gol. the 40 day after Easter. a iubi) lest ca să nu. Holy Thursday (from Songs of Experience) Is this a holy thing to see. a goni TEXT 6. re-built th in the late 17 century. rece. fruitful fecund. ca nu cumva to drive (from) a alunga. in the Revelation) to cherish to treasure something (a preţui. sterp. soft.13. William Blake. In a rich and fruitful* land Babes reduced to misery. roditor fed to feed (fed): a hrăni usurous cămătăresc (see again the Glossary) bleak sterp. when the ascension of Christ to heaven is celebrated beadle an officer in British churches in the past. Nor poverty the mind appal*. ghimpe where-e’er wherever to appal to make someone feel shocked and upset (a îngrozi) 214 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and to the Last Judgement. especially by keeping order wand baghetă dome hemispherical roof St Paul’s Cathedral the largest cathedral in London. And their fields are bleak* and bare*. And their ways are filled with thorns*. 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. Babe can never hunger there. who helped the priest in various ways. a monument of baroque architecture seated aşezaţi radiance great happiness that shows in someone’s face.
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