Program postuniversitar de conversie profesională pentru cadrele didactice din mediul rural

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

SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE

Cornelia MACSINIUC

2006

Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

LIMBA ŞI LITERATURA ENGLEZĂ

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature

Cornelia MACSINIUC

2006

© 2006

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

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

Contents

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

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

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

2
2.1. 2.1.1. 2.1.2. 2.2. 2.2.1. 2.2.2. 2.2.3. 2.2.4. 2.2.5. 2.2.6. 2.2.7. 2.2.8. 2.2.9. 2.2.10. 2.2.11. 2.2.12. 2.3. 2.3.1.

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

5.4. 4.2.1. 3.4.4. 4.2. 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. 2.4. 4. 3.4.3.3.4.2.6. 3.6.2. 3.2. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.3. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3. 3. 3.5.1.Contents 2. 3.5.1. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton.3. 4. 3. 3.4.3.2.1. 3.2. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.1.1.1.5.1.2.3. 3.5. 2. 3.2. 2.3. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 4.4.4. 3.3.5.1.7. 4. 2.3.2. 2.3.3.3.2. 2.1. 4. 3.5. 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. 3.2.2. 4.8.1.1.3.4.

4.2.2.8.2.3. 5.3.4.3.5.4.3.2.2.2.1. 5. 4.4.2.5. 5. Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 4. 5.5.2. 5. 4. 5.3.2.1.Contents 4.2.1.2.4. 5. 4.2.7.5.4.2. 5.1.2.4.3.2. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. 5. 5.4. 5. 4. 5. 5.3.4. 5.3. 5.2.3. 4. 5.4.4.4.3.3.4.4.1.4. 4. 4. 5.6.3.6. 5. 5. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5.4. 4. 5.5. 5.1. Gulliver.3. 5.4. 4. 5. 4.1. 5. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. 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 .2.1.4.1.7. 4.4.3. 5.4.6.1.

6. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 6.1.3.4.1. 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. 6.3.1. 6.3. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 6. 6.3.2.2.4. 6.2.1. 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. 6. 6. 6.5.7.4. 6. 6. 6.1.1.2. 6.6.3.2. The Seasons William Cowper.2.1.4. 6.1.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.4.2.4.2. 6.4.2. 6.3.4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.5.1.4.1. 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 .3. 1. 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1.2.1.1. 1.5. 1.2. 1.3. 1.1.4. 1.4. 1. 1. 1.1. 1.4.1.4.4. 1.1. 1.4.3.

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

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

T F 3. 1. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). continued the project of the Renaissance. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. the central concern of the Enlightenment. The growing spirit of individualism. T F 2. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. 1. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. SAQ 1 The following exercise will help you revise some of the more important aspects concerning the intellectual and cultural background of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. but also affective and instinctual. to superstition and obscurantism. The Enlightenment continued the Renaissance faith in man’s perfectibility and sought for man’s emancipation both as an individual and as a social being.1. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling This infusion of emotionalism in spiritual life may be seen as the sign of a certain evolution in the temper of the 18th century.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. 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 Enlightenment. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. 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.3. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. T F 4. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe.1.4. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. Circle T (true) or F (false). with its belief in the perfectibility of man. appropriately. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. T F 5. for each sentence. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational.

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. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. The division into Elizabethan. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. to 1. for instance. 1. After 1688. for proportion. in one way or another. symmetry. It was the main focus of literary attention. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality.2. at the end of the unit. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. in the orbit of the crown. with little or no classical knowledge. the decrease in the power of the Crown. including readers of more modest education.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 . This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. regularity. and both writers and audiences were. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria.1. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. that the notion of reading public emerges now. read again subchapters. when the literary audience becomes more diversified.4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. It is significant. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned.1. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. T F 7.1. T F 8. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*.

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

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

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

play-houses were reopened. the fundamentally evil hero/heroine. 1633). etc. or Vittoria Corombona (1612) are among the most accomplished portrayals of the villain in drama. Jacobean tragedy One of the most widespread forms of tragedy was the revenge tragedy. Shakespeare’s protagonist in Richard III (1592-3) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth. Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1601) is the finest illustration of this kind of tragedy. and in the 18th century it was replaced by the novel in popularity. the wronged hero plans revenge. sensational and macabre. daring and wit. insanity. From Senecan tragedy. each variety of spectator responding to the performance according to his/her education and imagination. They saw the theatre as a source of moral corruption through the “idle” pleasure that it offered. 1612) and especially John Webster (The Duchess of Malfi. and the rhetorical manner. On the whole.4. 1605-6). They were generally. The great acting companies were under the patronage of the king. In 1660. rape. built around the theme of revenge. inspired by the plays of the Roman Stoic Seneca*. Masters of this genre were the Jacobean dramatists Cyril Tourneur (The Revenger’s Tragedy. Some dramatic forms went out of fashion. was a miniature of the English society. and this “unholy alliance” between crown and stage increased the intransigence of the Puritans. 1607). 17 Revenge tragedy The villain in revenge tragedy Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . treachery. murder. exploiting excessively morbid ingredients like incest. where bloody deeds were only evoked through an efficient rhetoric of the dramatic discourse. Jacobean and Caroline plays usually represented atrocities on stage. but destroys himself along with his enemies. The great age of English drama ended abruptly in 1642.1. The dramatic genres popular during the Renaissance were extremely diverse: tragedy and comedy with their varieties. who usually appears as a ghost on the stage. drama witnessed a decline. historical drama. while others changed. the sensational plot. in Paradise Lost. with his exploration of the darkness of strange passions. when the Puritans* closed the theatres. 1. is the most gifted. In such plays. fascinating through unbounded ambition. Unlike Senecan plays. with its audience arranged according to rank. to accommodate the tastes of a new public. 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. 1614). as well as John Webster’s heroine in The White Devil. masque*. pastoral drama. Thomas Middleton (Women Beware Women. John Ford (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. A particular type of protagonist became fashionable in revenge tragedies: the villain. but the spirit of the great tradition was never recaptured. Milton’s Satan. with the restoration of monarchy. Renaissance playwrights borrowed the five-act structure.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Contemporary reconstruction of a Jacobean playhouse The play-house. sometimes he rights the wrong done to another. Of the Caroline playwrights. tragi-comedy.

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

The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. a stylish and sophisticated world. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. 1769). or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). Henry Fielding). Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. 1669-70). Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation.4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. In The Rehearsal (1671). It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. 1773). There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. 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. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). Heroic plays. for instance. mocks at certain theatrical conventions. who demanded models of virtue and decency. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. The Conquest of Granada.g. but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. were a passing extravagance. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. John Gay. Under the influence of French tragedies. or The Mistakes of a Night. 1665.4. She Stoops to Conquer. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. 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.4. George Villiers. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. Duke of Buckingham. 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. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. The School for Scandal. too. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism.g. but it appealed to a wide middle class public. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. 1775. 1777).3. 1768. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. 1722). Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama.

4.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.4.4. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . together with their most outstanding representatives. If there should be major differences between them. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays. at the end of the unit.2. to 1. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. revise subchapters 1. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

in which rhetorical figures were subordinated to rational lucidity. displaying a variety of styles. suitable for conveying “the knowledge of things” and intelligible to the average Englishman. philosophical and theological writings. Under the influence of Latin – especially of Cicero* –. another Latin influence began to mould English prose style: that of Seneca and Tacitus*. More and more. influenced immensely Bunyan’s the language of prose. temptations.1. Francis Bacon’s Essays (1597. Gradually. Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Of the literary forms that contributed significantly to the development of English prose. Journalism as a form of prose writing emerged during the Civil War and flourished during the 18th century. as the growing complexity of life increased the need for social and intellectual communication. weaknesses. deliberately artificial and intricate. wealth and freshness greatly influenced the language of prose. accomplished under the patronage of James I – established a model of English whose beauty. The language of prose tended to become plain and transparent. Francis Bacon was the first notable writer to plead for – and to illustrate – a prose style more suited for intellectual argument. gave way to an ideal of prose style more suited to the Age of Common Man. with its trials. blending concision with wit. Thomas Hobbes* and John Locke also insisted on the necessity of a language at once flexible and precise. Here. The development of an aphoristic style*. 1612.5. prose works written in English displayed a highly rhetorical style. the virtues of common speech permeated the language of all kinds of writings. a precious and highly ornate language. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 21 . The evolution of prose style At the beginning of the 17th century.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. he describes the Christian soul’s search for salvation in the form of an allegorical journey along the path of life. on clarity and rationality. The Pilgrim’s Progress Among the prose forms widely used for intellectual argument. religious writings are particularly important.5. Sermons were a widely popular form of prose-writing. This allegorical expression of Puritan faith. 1625) are prose classics in English literature. struggles and William Blake: aspirations. contributing essentially to the forging of a more straightforward and simple style. English as an instrument of literary and intellectual communication still competed with classical Latin. Later in the century. The English translation of the Bible – the “Authorised Version” of 1611. Influence of Latin on prose style The prose of intellectual argument 1. prepared the English language for a variety of uses: in scientific. in political tracts and pamphlets. with its illustration to simplicity and natural flow of common speech. A different vein in religious writing is illustrated by the Puritan John Bunyan (1628-1688) and his extremely popular book The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678). the universal language of the Renaissance. The rhetorical extravagance and ingenuity which had still dominated the early 17th century (not only in prose). the essay* proved the most flexible.

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

read again subchapters 1. roughly.1.5. 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. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4.5. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The victory of Reason over dogmatism.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background SAQ 6 In what direction did English prose style tend to develop along the 17th and 18th centuries? Answer in the space below. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. and 1. as well as the faith in progress. intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular. you will learn more about the periodical essay.. more carefully. modern science was born. at the end of the unit. If there should be major differences between them. obscurantism and intolerance. in a paragraph of no more than 7 lines / 70 words. between which there is continuity. while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. the image of the universe was changed. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 . Culturally. these two centuries correspond. This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England. Within these two centuries.

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

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

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

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

the quality of a writing that displays this capacity. orator. as well as an unfinished utopia. Marcus Tullius (106-43 B. yellow bile – or choler. and a firm believer in man’s creative potential. The assertion of the self. 1591. His literary work includes a series of essays on a wide variety of subjects. and with the French Revolution (1789). Cicero. one of the most influential literary voices of his age. in the 17th century it came to mean fancy or liveliness of thought and imagination. Amoretti. The New Atlantis (published in 1627). phlegmatic. He started his literary career as a playwright. The four traditional temperaments – sanguine. two fine examples of comedy of humours. the belief in the spiritual correspondence between man and nature. the capacity or talent of making unexpected. the emphasis on the spontaneity of poetic inspiration are also among distinctive features of Romanticism. The Romantic spirit is usually associated with the championship of progressive social and political causes. according to a dominating inclination or passion. fluids) of the body (blood. Jonson. He was also an eminent statesman. in which he anticipates many of the later conquests of modern science. it meant intelligence or wisdom. Sometimes. poet and scholar. The tradition survived into the 18th century. sonnet: a poem consisting of 14 lines. His famous political speeches and writings Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 28 . independently of circumstances. Ben (1572-1637): dramatist. Edmund Spenser.): Roman statesman.C. 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. Francis (1561-1626): the most influential thinker of the English Renaissance. philosopher and writer.e. with Every Man in His Humour (1598) and Every Man Out of His Humour (1599).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background • • • Romanticism is a European cultural and literary movement. During the Renaissance. Astrophil and Stella. In mediaeval and Renaissance physiology and pathology. phlegm. This theory had a great influence on the conception of character in the 16th and 17th century comedy. and black bile – or melancholy) were believed to determine a person’s disposition and character. 1591-1595). Romanticism reacted against the rationalist empiricism of the Enlightenment by an intense idealism and the cult of Imagination as man’s supreme faculty of the mind. surprising associations. with various rhyme patterns. choleric and melancholic – were seen as the result of the dominance of one of these humours. and a writer. song: a poem composed for singing. Renaissance dramatists used songs in their plays to create a particular atmosphere. wit: intellectual brilliance and ingenuity. the four “humours” (i. The sonnet sequence/cycle was frequently used during the Renaissance (Sir Philip Sidney. in which the characters act. Gallery of personalities • Bacon. the founder of modern rationalist materialism. the promoter of the new scientific spirit.

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

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

2. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius. 2.2. 2.3.1.3.3.7. the man of action King Lear: the madness of tragic grief To be or to seem: Othello Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience Shakespeare’s last plays The plot of The Tempest Major themes Symbols in The Tempest The play-metaphor The metaphysical poets Characteristics of metaphysical poetry The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 32 32 32 33 33 35 36 37 37 38 39 40 40 43 43 44 46 46 47 48 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 31 . 2.8. 2. 2.2.1.4. 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.2.2. 2. 2.3.9.6. 2.1.2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.11.5.2. 2.4.1. 2.10.2.5.2.3.7. 2.1.3.12.1. 2. 2.2.2. 2. 2. 2.3.2. 2.6.3.3.8. 2. 2.3.3.

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

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

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

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

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

Shakespeare deals with his great tragic themes in the frame of a revenge tragedy. 2. Young Hamlet is thus confronted with the horrors of fratricide and incest. but refrains from doing it as the latter was in prayer. the play ends on a note of hope. sensitive and idealistic. Hamlet learns that Ophelia. who was now the new king and who had married Gertrude. Hamlet feels all his certainties destroyed. Upon his return to Denmark from his university studies. During the play. accepts Claudius’s treacherous plan of killing Hamlet during a duel. generous and brilliantly intelligent. Sent on a diplomatic mission to England.3. Laertes. His Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 37 . It is in these four great tragedies that Shakespeare gives the full proof of his artistic genius. as he now sees in her only another embodiment of woman’s frailty. Hamlet escapes a criminal plot set up by Claudius. Claudius. The enlargement of meaning through consistent patterns of imagery running throughout each play. Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility Hamlet has been seen as the embodiment of the ideal Renaissance prince – refined and cultivated. mistaking him for Claudius.2.2. required by his dead father. he kills Polonius. who suspects him of aspiring to take his throne. with a poisoned sword. Confronted with the moral corruption around him. he has the occasion to kill Claudius. all the main protagonists find their death. takes over the rule of Denmark. Hamlet hides his terrible grief behind the mask of madness. At one point. when Fortinbras. In another scene. the masterful treatment of highly complex characters. absorbed more and more by his consciousness of the paradoxes of his difficult task of exposing the truth. that he had actually been poisoned by his brother.2. Her brother. brave. the widow queen. which represents a similar scene of murder. Hamlet arranges a play to be performed at court. Polonius is the father of beautiful Ophelia. Hamlet: a revenge play In Hamlet. and continually delays the act of revenge. rejected by Hamlet in spite of their mutual affection. Sir Laurence Olivier in Hamlet (1948) 2. young prince Hamlet learns from the ghost of his recently dead father. Claudius’s guilty conscience betrays him. bringing in the prospect of renewal and of the restoration of order. Back to the castle. In spite of this bloody outcome. the Norwegian prince and glorious military hero. but the plot escapes their control and. old king Hamlet. has drowned herself. in the confusions of the final scene. the first in this series of masterpieces. and with the immense burden of revenge. who had really gone mad. In order to find confirmation for the ghost’s story. a courtier. the intensity of poetic expression – especially in the soliloquies – are features that rank these plays highest in the whole history of the genre.The late Renaissance and the Baroque natural order of things or if it betrays the indifference of Nature – or God – towards man.

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

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

6. The noble protagonist. With his mind poisoned by a false evidence of Desdemona’s infidelity. Othello kills her and takes his own life when her innocence is proved to him. 2.2. Scene from Othello. a brave and honest general of the Venetian republic. painted by James Graham (early 17th century) 40 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . is led by Iago to believe his wife.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Evil as destruction of the “natural” order unnatural acts which violate this order. and the tragic disaster shows how the play of appearances can dissolve firm moral opposites like truth/lie. To be or to seem: Othello Evil coming from those who are naturally closest to us is intolerable. Claudius’s fratricide and the cruelty of Lear’s daughters are transgressions which turn the tragic hero’s world upside down. In Othello. Evil is that which destroys Nature. Othello is thrown into the terrible agony of suspecting that beauty and innocence might disguise corruption. Desdemona. innocence/guilt. acting against it. faithfulness/betrayal. essence. evil succeeds precisely because of the perfection of Desdemona’s purity and Othello’s trusting nature. As a result of Iago’s manipulations. In Othello. Othello. Shakespeare gives a special intensity to this theme by dealing with evil in the context of the most natural of human relationships: kinship (relations by blood or by marriage). unfaithful. and its outburst is always accompanied by the awakening of the tragic hero’s consciousness of the divorce between seeming and being. and this destroys his confidence in a moral order. the bond of a love marriage is the frame in which Shakespeare explores the theme of evil in connection with that of appearance vs.

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

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

the long journey. marvelous. who instantly fall in love with each other. usurped by his brother Antonio and forced into exile twelve years before. 2. After the tragedies.2.9. In a plot-line that parallels and parodies the latter. separated from each other in various parts of the island and all believing the others dead. respectively –. magic. the shipwreck. Caliban hates and fears Prospero. and certain themes and motifs (e. Prospero is the former and legitimate duke of Milan. The Winter’s Tale. a storm wrecks the ship carrying Antonio. and his supernatural powers have given him control over both the natural elements and the spirits. His acts of magic are fulfilled through Ariel. Shakespeare’s last plays Shakespeare’s four plays belonging to his last period of creation (1608-1611) – Pericles. a creature whose beastly nature is beyond Prospero’s attempt of educating him. and Sebastian. It is also in these last plays that Shakespeare’s dramatic imagination relies to a greater extent on symbolism. the fairy-tale atmosphere. In its opening scene. owing to the improbability of the action. as well as other passengers. Miranda.2. the pronounced elements of the supernatural. The Tempest (1611).The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. by his powers. involving the shipwrecked characters. duke of Milan. the jester. myth. is considered the finest. their plots contain characteristic ingredients like dangers which are finally avoided. of exile and return). Another sub-plot brings together Ferdinand and Miranda. who. the last expression of Shakespeare’s mature genius. or tension and suspense followed by happy reversals – features that make them tragi-comedies. but his plan is prevented by Ariel’s music.g. and The Tempest – are described either as tragi-comedies or as romance plays. the sense of a benevolent providential design. We soon find out that the storm and shipwreck have been magically provoked by Prospero. Trinculo. on which he lives alone with his daughter. Alonzo. Three lines of action develop. 43 John William Waterhouse: Miranda –The Tempest (1916) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the theme of loss and recovery. One of these sub-plots involves the courtiers: Antonio persuades Sebastian to kill his sleeping brother. Sebastian and Ferdinand – Alonzo’s brother and son. Alonzo. these plays offer patterns of reconciliation and positive solutions to life’s contradictions. The plot of The Tempest Of these four plays. They mix serious and comic action. has turned him into a slave. his faithful spiritservant. He had long studied the arts of magic. to take his throne. king of Naples. are encouraged by Caliban to kill Prospero and take over the rule of the island. Cymbeline. They may also be described as romance plays. a drunken servant.8. the choice of a remote setting. the master of an island. while for physical labour he uses Caliban.

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

Formulate your answer in 150 words / 15 lines. of the role of language in acquiring knowledge. or in developing self-identity. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. extracted from The Tempest. scene 2.4. Here. Caliban answers that the only benefit of being able to speak is that he can now curse Prospero. by teaching him to speak. Act I. read the fragment again. Full of resentment. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 45 . Compare your answer with the one offered at the end of the unit. for instance. more carefully. Prospero reminds Caliban that he did his best to raise him from his animal condition..The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 6 Read Text 2. What implications can you find in their exchange of replies? You may think. If there should be major differences.

Music is not only a necessary element in the spectacular quality of The Tempest. The miraculous survival of the ship’s passengers. sublimating its primitive energies. The playmetaphor. of performance. It is through the perfection of Ariel’s art that Prospero re-establishes the moral law in the world to which he can now return. This emphasis on spectacle and its power to reveal truths by its illusion constitutes a baroque element in The Tempest.12. order and harmony. but an important symbolic ingredient in its major events. Even Caliban seems to be responsive to the “sounds and sweet airs” of the island. music suggests harmony and the power of the spirit to purify human nature. or to impose upon it. suggests the victory of life over death and of spirit over the elemental power of nature. Another pervading symbol is that of music. the association of life with the insubstantiality and briefness of a theatre show. The play-metaphor The action in The Tempest is practically managed by Prospero. The sea-journey and shipwreck are the symbols of a “sea change”*.11. and it is constantly associated with the magic actions of Ariel. the same features as those of the Renaissance aesthetic ideal: beauty. It is through music that he calms down the fury of the waters. which “delight and hurt not. Shakespeare’s last masterpiece seems to suggest that if life is transient like a theatre performance. In opposition with the convulsions and dangers of the tempest.2. is frequent in Shakespeare’s plays. The whole play insists on the idea of spectacle. Symbols in The Tempest Several symbolic elements contribute to the treatment of the themes in The Tempest. and prevents the wicked plots of both the courtiers and the drunken servants. The title itself points to the importance of the symbolism of the sea-journey. Prospero also needs “some heavenly music” to accomplish the final act of his plan. whose magic art controls every incident. then at least man should strive to discern in it. manipulates the characters and prescribes the ending.” The sea-journey Music 2. comforts Ferdinand’s despair when he thinks his father dead. and it even contains (like Hamlet) a play within the play: a masque* performed as a celebration of Ferdinand and Miranda’s engagement.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2.2. a profound spiritual transformation and growth. Ariel – illustration to the 1873 edition of The Works of Shakespeare 46 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .

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

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

Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words. and allegory. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. and 2. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. If they should differ considerably. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech.3. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. and the same realistic force. Use the space left below. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . pastoral* conventions. and a highly original one.2.3.1. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. In the following subchapters. at the end of the unit. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit.3. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . revise subchapters 2.3. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. 2. its decorative use of classical mythology. In the treatment of both themes.

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

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

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

representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart.3. from the Reader. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. If there should be significant differences. nature. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). according to some critics.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. Marvell left. and love of country. at the end of the unit. Donne suggests his contradictory.7.6. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. revise subchapter 2.5. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . 2. In the last six lines. and read the poem again. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 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. As a Puritan* patriot. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love.3. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*.

2. Nature as “mystic book” Another side of Marvell’s poetic personality is illustrated by his nature poetry. but Marvell’s poem extends it into a meditation on time. The theme of love in Marvell’s poetry Of Marvell’s love poems. His nature poems have usually a mystical tendency. which begins with a most accurate description of a dew-drop on a rose petal. developed then into a complex analogy with the pure Christian soul and its relation with earth and with heaven. Marvell emphasises the dignity with which the defeated king met his fate. The most illustrative poem. behaving with royal grace in his last minute. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Carpe diem 54 . What begins as a nature poem is extended into a religious poem by means of a metaphysical conceit. A natural detail. On the other hand.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) Its classical perfection manages to hold in balance the ambivalence of attitude and the complication of thought characteristic of the metaphysical trend. Marvell does not portray Oliver Cromwell and his opponent. anticipating the early Romantic attitude to nature.e.3.3. On a Drop of Dew 2. Victorious Cromwell is admirable for his fiery spirit and the courage with which he assumed the task to “cast the kingdoms old / Into another mould” (i.e. pictured with remarkable precision.” and finally dissolves itself “into the glories of the almighty Sun. Gifted with a sharp sense of observation of natural detail. in which the speaker develops an ingenious argument in order to persuade his mistress to give up her coyness [i. He showed a deep love for the countryside.” whose visible beauties are the key to spiritual truths. lest it grow [i.8. King Charles I Stuart. on the scaffold. the most accomplished is To His Coy Mistress. It is a seduction poem. a masterpiece of metaphysical wit. these details as emblems of a transcendent reality. which illustrates the poet’s skill in combining the playful and the serious.” associated with his mistress’s preference for a prolonged courtship. reveals thus its symbolic dimension to the poet’s contemplative mind. The carpe diem* motif was popular in Renaissance poetry.e. He rather sees the events and the fate of the two rulers in the context of a providential history.7. and many of his poems reveal his delight in the contemplation of rural nature. The speaker’s argument opposes the “deserts of vast eternity. in this respect. aspiring to union with almighty God. in contrasting colours. Although loyal to the Puritan cause. however. for fear that it might grow] impure.” so the Christian Soul denies the earth and its “impure” pleasures. is On a Drop of Dew. in which both of them act according to a divine order. Just as the dew-drop is “trembling. as if Nature itself were a “mystic book. to change the form of ruling power). and thus he can find reason to praise both of them. Marvell often sees. shyness] and accept his passionate love.

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

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.5. 3. 3. 3.4. 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton.4.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3.2. 3.2.2. 3.5. 3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3.4.5.4.3. 3. 3. 3.3.1.3.4.3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2. 3.2.5.1.1.6.1.4.2. 3.3. 3. 3. 3. 3.5.4.4. 3.1.2.

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

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

2. there is a strong emphasis on music.” contemplative mood. at the end of the unit.e. the crowing of the cock. 1.1. you will thus review some aspects of Milton’s literary personality.The works of John Milton satisfactions that it offers. in his poetic work. In both poems. Milton’s Christian humanism is reflected in a. In Il Penseroso. In each poem. The secular* pleasures of common life. his constant preoccupation with his own poetic becoming. b. and 3. If your choices should be wrong. celebrate the diurnal pleasures of pastoral life and its activities. appropriate mythological allusions contribute to the creation of the atmosphere. of classical erudition with biblical themes. Are Milton’s first poems in English which deal with a Christian theme. to become a great epic poet of the Christian age. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 65 . but the “natural” music of L’Allegro (the song of the lark. b. SAQ 1 Make the right choice to continue each of the three beginning statements. The diurnal activities and the cheerfulness of L’Allegro are replaced here by the nocturnal peace and quiet of the “lonely tower. c. c. revise subchapters 3. the song of the milkmaid) contrasts with the deep. the diversity of subjects in his prose essays and pamphlets. are complementary poems about poetic inspiration and creative moods. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso a. Milton’s literary ambition was a. in L’Allegro. in Il Penseroso. There is both parallelism and contrast between the two poems. the poet emphasises the blessings of the “pensive.2. with its simple pleasures. gives way to the mystic exaltation of the poet-student listening to religious music. c. polyphonic sounds of the organ. The final part of Il Penseroso expresses the poet’s aspiration of attaining visionary power. 3. the integration. b. he expects to discern in the heavenly notes a spiritual truth. and on the happiness of rural life. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the poet hopes to hear “more than is meant to meet the ear” – i.” in which the studious poet finds the gratification of intellectual experience. In the latter. to master a variety of styles. to rival the classics in his perfect mastery of Latin.

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

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

His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. and the two sonnets. Dante* –.1.3. at the end of the unit. 3. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. read again subchapter 3. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. in the Reader). Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. and 3. and he worked at it over several years. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza).4. Virgil. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. respectively. and of leaving to posterity an undying work. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation.2. If there should be significant differences. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. when he was already blind. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657.

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

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

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

that cannot change]. King Anointed*”.4.3. and fear to transgress!” 3. sweetness. 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. sent by God. and he explicitly warns Adam: “remember. the “divine historian. and about his perfect happiness in the company of “divinely fair” Eve.The works of John Milton 3. space]” left by the fallen angels.” to fill in the “vacant room [i.” Man himself was created as a “better race.” Raphael leaves them.” for the evocation of the making of the world. In Book VIII.4. Adam admits that. 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. Raphael tries to restrain Adam’s curiosity about “things above this world. He draws Adam’s attention that God has made him “perfect. as this diminished W.” and reminds him that obedience to his Maker means enjoying the present happy state. with her “absolute” loveliness and grace. after the defeat of the rebel angels. in order to prolong his guest’s visit. and wishes to know more about the celestial motions. in Milton’s poem. Blake: The downfall of the his own power and pre-eminence. Raphael’s warning to Adam In Book V. the divine creation took place after the fall of Lucifer. not before repeating his warning. Adam is grateful to Raphael. in the multitude of its phenomena and living forms. and its impulse was God’s desire to create “good out of evil. Satan. and most evident in the treatment of the fall of Adam and Eve. and. without aspiring to know things above his power of understanding.4. It is interesting that. not immutable [i. whose pride had been hurt when God proclaimed His Son the “Messiah. The creation of the world Raphael also tells Adam the story of the creation of the world and of man.” He explains to Adam that true wisdom lies in the desire to know those things which directly concern one’s own being. Adam asks Raphael to tell him the story of the fallen angels. and in the description of more familiar details of earthly Nature. Milton displays an extraordinary evocative power. In Milton’s interpretation. innocence and “virgin modesty. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural The divine creation: Good coming out of Evil 72 . so that he may know more about his enemy. visits Adam in Paradise to warn him about the danger from Satan. both in the large-scale description of the making of celestial bodies or in the sublime picture of the primal waters. The rest of Book V and Book VI are a retrospective account of the war in Heaven. Raphael once again advises him against trying to penetrate the secrets of the “great Architect.e. The idea of Good coming out of Evil is central to Paradise Lost. in Book VII. the angel Raphael. instigated by Lucifer.” and that this happiness depends on his free will. The six days of the biblical Genesis are developed by Milton into an impressive poetic vision.e. he tells him about his own experiences after he was created.

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

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

read once more the indicated text and do the exercise again. 75 Book X: the world open to Sin and Death Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which will bring her close to the condition of God.8. The sentences below describe various moves in Satan’s strategy of seduction. _______ c. at last. the whole assembly of fallen angels are temporarily turned into monstrous hissing snakes and dragons. hoping to arouse her pride. He denigrates God. Satan’s victory seems complete. by inciting her to disbelieve God’s threat. and he proudly boasts of it in the Pandemonium. He tempts Eve with the promise of absolute knowledge. He tries to awaken in Eve the spirit of defiance and insubordination. He tries to arouse Eve’s suspicion that God’s reason for His interdiction may not be man’s own good. or fragments. from the speech by which Satan tempts Eve into disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. at the end of each sentence. 3.4. in the middle of this speech. the consequences of man’s original sin are unfolded in episodes of great poetic and emotional intensity. This emphasises the idea that Satan’s victory is not final. Write the number(s) of the corresponding fragment(s) in the indicated space. _______ f.” _______ g. they taste its fruit. in which these moves are illustrated. Match these sentences with the fragment. If any of your matches should be wrong. at the end of the unit. on a separate sheet.The works of John Milton SAQ 5 Text 3. He tries to introduce into Eve’s mind the doubt about God’s being “the author of all things. but His fear that His power might be weakened if His creatures equalled him in knowledge.6. He tries to dispel Eve’s fear of death. which marks the conquest of the world by Satan. annihilate Sin and Death. but are terribly humiliated to find that they are tasting only dust and ashes. Milton continues to expand moments of the biblical Genesis. _______ e. Seduced by the illusion of the Tree of Knowledge. The world after the Fall In the next books. in the Reader contains four fragments from Book IX. _______ b. as God himself predicts: His Son. but. a. but he also adds symbolic episodes.” is the one who will. the destined “restorer of Mankind*. accusing Him of keeping Adam and Eve ignorant so that He may hold them in a state of servitude. _______ d. such as the building of a huge bridge across chaos by Sin and Death. He flatters Eve. _______ Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

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

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

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

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

“and “The mind is its own place.3. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A. Read the whole fragment carefully. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero.5. in Hell. and 3.2. at the end of the unit. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . “A mind not to be changed by time or place. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. revise subchapters 3. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell.. and read the indicated fragment again.5.) B.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words. If there are significant differences.1. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.

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

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

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

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

before the final battle. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve.). which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth.1. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit.. God’s creation. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. romantic in The Tempest –. Send-away assignment no.2. and 2. 2. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. in which he explores his inner hell.3.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. In both of them. in Heaven • his oscillation between remorse and pride • his oscillation between self-justification and self-blame for his rebellion against God • his consideration and rejection of the possibility of rehabilitating Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 85 . A revision of subchapter 3. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. at the end of the play. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%.6.4. 1. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul.2. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. Text 3. and the last paragraph of 2. as well as of SAQ 7 and its solution at the end of the unit might help you to better understand the text and organise your answer. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. and thus of destroying man..5. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. one of the greatest Roman poets.C. Texts 2. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. • Read attentively this fragment. 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.2. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. At the beginning of Book IV. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue.1.

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

435-449) 2. If Hell is a space of freedom. The Literature of the Beginnings. g. i. is meant to keep alive the memory of their transgression. Preda. He wants man’s obedience to be the result of an act of free choice. unless he exercises his will and reason. Satan feels God’s absolute power as a limitation to his enormous ambition. but at least they have the mutual comfort of their love. 2003 (pp. under the guidance of Providence. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). Forced to look ahead. Editura Universităţii Suceava. faith and love untested. 141-152) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 87 . unless he is put in the situation of making choices. of the responsibility that accompanies freedom. 2. Ioan-Aurel (coord. comforting himself that he exchanged submission for sovereignty. These lines suggest Satan’s formidable strength of will and the independence of his indestructible spirit.. Paradise is now a forbidden place. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. who draws a firm line between the formed and the formless (chaos). then it is like Heaven for a spirit that cannot accept constraints.e. d. and for him servitude in Heaven is the real hell. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. vol. Further reading 1. It is his will and desire that give value to things around.3. as God has made him. 153-163) 3. 1969 (pp. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. 3. and the image of the terrible gates. 2. SAQ 5 a. David. SAQ 8 God cannot be pleased with blind submission. Daiches.4. the intelligible and the unintelligible (the dark void). SAQ 7 1. with passive virtue.). Incapable of obedience to God. Man is not a free creature. Satan is willing to exchange the happiness of Heaven for the torments in Hell. If God leaves man’s loyalty. Turcu. f. of human solidarity. c.e. 4 SAQ 6 For Adam and Eve. 1.4. Luminiţa Elena. English Literature and Civilisation. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. His gift of Reason to man has no justification (it is “useless and vain”). 2. guarded by fear-inspiring armed angels. to be dictated by Reason. 2. This line illustrates both his aspiration to complete independence and his ambition. b. e. 1.The works of John Milton Architect”). A Critical History of English Literature. i. Their hesitant steps suggest their awareness of the difficulty of all choice. The same rational spirit separates what is vital from what is “adverse to life” (the “infernal dregs”). 1983 (pp. 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.

1. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4.4. 4.1. 4.7. Gulliver. 4.2. 4.3.1.1.4. 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.1. 4.2. 4.3.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.2.4.2. 4. 4. 4.4.5. 4.2.2 4.1.5.5.4.4.3.1. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4.1.3.4.6.2.2.3.4.4. 4.2. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 4.1.1. 4.4. 4. 4. 4.

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

Restoration comedy was a mirror of the Comedy of manners environment in which it developed. sumptuous costumes. the 90 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . exotic places.3. betrayal and mockery were recurrent motives in the comic plots of Restoration drama. on the other. and the characteristic theme was the conflict between love and honour. The conception of character in Restoration comedy was indebted to the Renaissance comedy of humours*. One of the most common types was the rake – the libertine. 4. or Court Wits. and satirised the aspiration of social climbing and the ideal of virtue and respectability of the middle classes. Gallantry. and the plays of the Restoration Wits*. Another dominant dramatic form during the Restoration was the comedy of manners. on the one hand. Dominant forms in Restoration drama The main kinds of drama were heroic tragedy and comedy of manners. the cynicism. above all. Restoration comedies dealt primarily with sexual intrigue and the pursuit of pleasure – including the pleasure of cynical manipulation of others. and absolute villains. jealousy. or in the survival of love over the criminal machinations of the villains.2. of incredible cruelty and perfidy. and its audience was restricted to the exclusive and fashionable circles in London. It made fun of the people from the countryside. magnificent settings. Restoration comedy and its character types Restoration comedy was “class drama. both of them highly conventional forms. an artificial. The range of character types in Restoration comedy was very diverse. but they were loveless marriages and love affairs without warmth and affection. Heroic tragedy* was a dramatic development from the epic poem. reflected the hedonism* and promiscuity encouraged at court by Charles II himself (nicknamed “the Merry Monarch” for his pleasure-loving way of life). lust. The highest achievement of this kind of baroque theatre was provided by John Dryden’s plays*. although each in its own way and for different reasons. with characters conventionally distributed into fabulously valiant heroes and virtuous beautiful heroines.” reflecting the aristocratic ethos of the time.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.1. Conquest and seduction. The Puritan rigidity and austerity of the former period were repudiated. A certain coarseness of feeling. wit*. grandiloquent declamations and sentimental exaltation. The action was usually set in remote. and. the licentiousness* and frivolity characterising Restoration comedy were accompanied by a cult for elegance. fashionable manners.1. refinement and sophistication. were essential for the true man of the world. adultery. Marriage and the games of love were a prevailing theme. ending in Heroic tragedy the death of the hero or heroine or both and the triumph of honour. ridiculing their crude manners and lack of sophistication. Sensational turns of situation. 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.

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

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

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

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

His main critical work is An Essay on Dramatic Poesy (1668). 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. and propriety would favour the spirit of social unity and order and would contribute to the protection of the achievements of civilisation. In both cases. but it represents the quintessence of the Augustan literary ideal. in a series of essays and prefaces where he discussed matters of literary composition and taste and defended his own literary practice. and harmony extended beyond literature.2.1. Alexander Pope brought to perfection Dryden’s achievements in poetic style and technique. elegance. Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Two great writers constituted the main influence in the development of the Neoclassic literary doctrine in England: John Dryden in the 17 th century. of the elegant French classical drama over English Renaissance drama. 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 . His didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711) is the most outstanding literary manifesto of English Neoclassicism. English literary Neoclassicism* The Neoclassic aspiration for order. and he laid the foundations of modern literary criticism. In it. His work doesn’t equal in variety that of his predecessor and master. Oliver Goldsmith* and Samuel Johnson*.2. 4. other great writers who were influenced by Neoclassicism or defended its doctrine were Jonathan Swift*. Augustan England believed that a cultural idea of balance. The excellence of their literary work and the elegance and force of their critical arguments made them central figures of the Augustan Age. John Dryden illustrated with masterpieces all contemporary literary genres. Besides Dryden and Pope. Joseph Addison*.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. such as the superiority of the Ancients over the Moderns. or of the heroic couplet* over blank verse*. balance. a society exhausted by civil wars was expressing its need for stability and moderation. in which he systematises his Neoclassic view on literary art. and Alexander Pope* in the 18 th . 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*.

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

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

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

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

Joseph Addison wrote: The mind that lies fallow* but [i. 100 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Think of present relevance of this remark. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.3. collected in book form. think again and try to do the exercise once more.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 4 In one of his periodical essays. 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). If they are significantly different. whose essays were published several times in the century. Explain the analogy that his observation invites us to develop.e. Like other writers. To increase the efficiency of their undertaking. they tried to make their essays not only instructive but also attractive and amusing. were Richard Steele*’s The Tatler* (1709-1711). only] a single day sprouts up* in follies that are only to be killed by an assiduous culture. on a separate sheet. “The Spectator’s Club” Among the most important periodical essayists. and Joseph Addison’s The Spectator (1711-1714). and by far the most popular ones. in no more than 12 lines / 120 words. 4.1. at the end of the unit. The Tatler and The Spectator.

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

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

admiration and condemnation. Bayes*. and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden.4. The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. and satire became their formidable weapon. 4. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne. to religious debates and literary practices. appears also as a stormy spirit. genuinely gifted for leadership. from political and social life. stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. hypocrisy. turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time. The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force. the Duke of Monmouth. Samuel. Pope. contradictions and dark aspects. greed. It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation.2. folly. The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury. intrigues. Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion. 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 . often touched by ironic humour. urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682). a passionate. and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury. selfishness.1.4. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness. its cult of reason and common sense. 1743).4. are mingled: the evil conspirator. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets. Political and religious dissensions.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions. 15-18). brave and fearless man. disloyal and excessively ambitious. 4. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart. king David. Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son. in which Dryden’s praise and criticism. Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. struggle for power and profit. Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence. The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II.

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

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

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

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

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

however. The careful reader will. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia. and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable.6.4. Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit. find anti-utopian elements in it. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. from the Reader. more carefully. and to revise subchapter 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 8 Swift’s ironic method is to mislead the reader by giving the appearance of rationality to the absurd. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . For Gulliver. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4.6. If there should be major differences. you need to read the fragment again.

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

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

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

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

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

which may be cultivated or left to “lie fallow. for sophisticated Millamant.e. open-mindedness. SAQ 5 honesty. Civilised reserve in society. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 115 . She also refuses to see marriage as a limitation of the woman’s freedom. 9.F.” Just as weeds (i.T. 7. Addison’s observation reflects the faith in man’s intellectual and moral perfectibility through responsible education – an attitude characteristic of the Enlightenment. furnished with ideas.” Shakespeare will appeal to readers across the ages. good breeding. 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. so the mind which is not assiduously and constantly cultivated – i. 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. common to all humanity – is greater than the pleasure of “sudden wonder” procured by the depiction of “particular manners” and by “fanciful invention.e. In marriage.T. the refusal to make a public show of their affection. 5.T. Johnson implies that an author’s greatness depend on his insight into Human Nature. common sense.F SAQ 2 Millamant has an unconventional view of marriage. or judgment.T. because he succeeded in rendering the general “truths” of human nature. industry. and. educated to think – will employ itself with trifles. by the standards of her social environment. good judgment. 3. of those features which are universal. 2. in an analogous sense. Dryden makes an analogy between the sharp blade of the executioner’s sword and the sharp irony and wit of the satirist. diligence. benevolence. 4. abdicating from reason. SAQ 3 The pleasure of contemplating representations of “general nature” – i.F. and she rejects the idea of the wife’s subordination. good sense. and she proposes to reject the social rituals and fashions that would require them to wear masks. She wishes for a sincere and authentic relationship. reasonableness. a way of protecting their intimacy and their feelings. SAQ 4 Addison builds an analogy between the human mind and a field. regardless of their particular condition. of Human nature. each partner should accept and respect the other’s wishes. opinions and tastes. wild plants growing where they are not wanted) will invade an uncultivated field.F.The Restoration and the Augustan Age Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. Culture is thus seen as an improvement of nature. sense of responsibility.T.e. 8. integrity. 6. and should not try to impose his/her habits on the other. modesty. is.

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

4. 5. 5. 5.1.4.3.4.5.2. 5. 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5. 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.7.6.2.3.3. 5. Unit objectives The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.8.1.4.2. 5. 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 .2. 5. 5.2.2.1.2.3.2.3.2.4. 5. 5. 5.1.5.4. 5.1. 5. 5.3.2.2. 5.1. 5. 5. 5.4.3.4.6.1. 5. 5.2.5.3.1. 5.3.4. 5. 5.2. 5.4.3.

natural rights. values and attitudes characteristic of the Age of the Enlightenment ♦ describe typological features of the studied novels ♦ compare the studied novelists from the point of view of their approach to character and plot ♦ delineate a character from one of the novels under discussion.1. and whose protagonists were of noble stock. 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 5.1. Women’s education was beginning to be encouraged. A significant part of this new reading public consisted in women. in the early years of the 18 th century. The late 17 th century had seen a flourishing of this kind of fiction. 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. Background and main concerns The novel’s emergence is commonly associated with the aspiration of the middle classes to overcome cultural marginality. and generally about women. a certain tendency to women’s emancipation. and their involvement with literary life was increasing. more inclusive reading public. whose vast majority was middle-class. 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.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ identify. of a genre which became the main rival of the novel: the romance. and there is a connection between. Such tales gratified the fantasies of a class of readers who were still barred from public self-assertion. 5. whose action was often set in remote. mostly imitations of French models. exotic settings. in various aspects of the novels discussed in this unit.1. confined to the 118 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The general growth of literacy* in the 18 th century led to the rise of a new. tolerance. the rise of the middle classes. but there was a considerable amount of novels written by women. and the development of the novel. Novel and romance in the 18th century The dominance of female readership explains the enduring popularity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

read again subchapters 5. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition.. to the awakening of religious conscience. at the end of the unit. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat.3. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. If it should differ considerably.2. and 5.2.2. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. In this light. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases.2. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 .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. 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. as a political or economic utopia. Gradually. In his initial struggle with despair.1. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions. Isolation is no longer a misfortune.” 5.

Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism. If you should fail to find any of the features mentioned there. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise.2.g. as well as the fragment in the Reader. 3. inventiveness. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion. perseverance. Like Adam. in the space below. or the felix culpa*. perspicacity. 4. subchapter 5. g. You may render these features either by a single noun (e. Enumerate.” However. morally autonomous. 2. which will serve his instinct for independence. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour.. at the end of the unit. ingenuity). It has its spiritual rewards. In this connection. its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress. Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value.. as a self-reliant individual. 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Robinson is cast out from the “edenic” safety and happiness of his father’s home into an uncertain world of toil. He takes pleasure in his work). if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience. Changed in his “notion of things. with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot. the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work. 1.2. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction.” desires and “delights.” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise.3. at least four features of the hero’s character as they are illustrated by this description. you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God..2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The celebration of homo faber characteristic Puritan tendency to self-scrutiny and introspection. or by a sentence (e. SAQ 4 Read Text 5.

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

or Virtue Rewarded Pamela is a simple countryside girl who works as a maidservant in the house of Lady B_. of individual freedom threatened by arbitrary power. who is now convinced of the purity of her motives and of her innocence.6.2. impressed by Pamela’s unusual beauty and grace. the death of the heroine turns her into a tragic figure. which Richardson found best suited for the realistic rendering of psychological and moral complexity. As the first great sentimental novelist. His focus on the inner life of feeling and emotion prefigures the Romantic* sensibility. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) 5. Richardson focuses on the relation between feeling and virtue. Mr. but also the agitation of her heart and its conflicting impulses. There.2. In Pamela. or the History of a Young Lady (1748). Both novels concentrate on the microcosm of the family and develop the themes of the trial of innocence. 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. The plot of Pamela. his exploration of unconscious motivation makes him a forerunner in the great tradition of the novel of psychological analysis. not only in England but also on the Continent. Pamela has one more test to pass: winning the approval of Mr.5. B_’s sister. the tone is rather that of a comedy of manners and the ending is in the spirit of the Cinderella* tale. In Clarissa. tries to seduce her and make her his mistress. unanimously loved and admired. Her diary – intended for her parents – falls into Mr. Her disarming combination of graceful modesty and pride helps her come victorious in an encounter with haughty Lady Davers. in Bedfordshire. sensibility and morality.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Pamela continues a diary. of the struggle between virtue and vice. Pamela decides to thank Providence by doing as much good as she can to those around her. as well as for his didactic purpose. Faced with her resistance. cruel and greedy relatives. He acknowledges his love and proposes marriage to her. whose affection she finally gains. In her new state. Mr. the latter’s son. B_ abducts her and keeps her a prisoner for a while in his Lincolnshire house. Richardson’s prominent place in the history of the English novel is ensured by two novels: Pamela. or Virtue Rewarded (1740) and Clarissa. Mr. 128 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . recording the details of her ordeal. hoping that she will give in. Both are written in the epistolary manner*. Back to Bedfordshire as mistress of the house. the double victim of the libertine aristocrat who raped her and of her narrow-minded. Upon the death of her mistress. B’s relatives and friends. Pamela differs from Clarissa in tone and ending. At the same time. B_. His influence was considerable. B_’s hands.

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

2. at the end of the unit. and 5.8. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable.2.”? Answer in the space left below. 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. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave. as a servant. though in quality [i.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel.7. read again attentively subchapters 5. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . between hate and admiration.e. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor.2. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty.6. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. If there should be significant differences. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. to obey Mr. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. 5. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination.

The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. 2. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. What counts. B_ follows a similar evolution. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions.4. The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. and his developing love. and considering also Text 5. however. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus.2. at the end of the unit. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. which are captured in the process of their emergence. In Pamela’s letters and diary. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 .The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5.9. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is.. on the other. excerpted from Pamela.3. on the one hand. 1. her sentimental response to them.. read again subchapter 5. in the Reader).

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

but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. 5. alluding thus to the older genre. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. is an ingredient of romantic plots. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. for true or false) for each of them. Wilson. T F 7. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. Read Text 5. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. T F 5. at the end of the unit. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. T F 4. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. carefully. Fielding likes to play with genres. 1. which closes the plot. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. whom they had met during their journey.3. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. Mr.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. T F 2.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 8. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy.2.5. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. Cervantes. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. T F 6. which turns out to be gentle*. For instance. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. read the text once more. T F 3. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). in the spirit of comedy.

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

He is a moralist. 5. At the same time.5.. read again subchapters 5.3. and he believes. 2. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel.2.3. Fielding is the most “Augustan. 3.. incorporated in the substance of his works.2. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony..” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. If they should differ substantially. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Explain them. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson.. preoccupied with the reformation of manners.4. like many Augustan writers. and 5.2. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. through its moral and temperamental types. 5. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. 1.8. at the end of the unit. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists.3. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. provide the first theory of the novel. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition.4. 5. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. drawing short comparisons. unaffected.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province.

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

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

Ch.4. Read this short chapter (Text 5.6. which enables man to keep a healthy spirit and to get around the evils of life by joking about them. It is a combination of wisdom and mirth*.3. SAQ 10 In Vol. in the Reader) attentively and explain why Tristram’s selfdescription as a “small HERO” suggests a tragi-comic vision of life. To remember the features of the tragic hero. If the difference is considerable. see again the fall of princes. I. restricting it to 12 lines / 120 words. Write the answer in the space left below. at the end of the unit. 138 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. read again subchapter 5. Sterne introduces the theme of Fortune – a theme which he will develop with a characteristic mixture of sentimental pathos and comic wit. in the Glossary to Unit 2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel take a lightly ironic distance from suffering. V. as well as the fragment from the Reader.

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

The main subject of Sterne’s novel is. metafiction is fiction about fiction. experimental character affords the reader a glimpse into the novelist’s dilemmas and arsenal of choices. ultimately. i. 140 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . as it explores – halfseriously. the narrated time and the time of reading. which is connected. Sterne’s particular approach to narrative correponds to a certain vision of human experience. in the first four volumes. formless reality. makes Tristram Shandy a work of metafiction. In volume VI.” with their digressions. One such theme in Tristram Shandy is that of human communication – or rather incommunication –. Tristram draws the narrative “lines. The randomness of the narrative is a mirror of the narrator’s sense of his own life as tragi-comically governed by accident. on the possibilities of fiction to render in an intelligible pattern the elusive. with the narrator’s desperate effort to be allinclusive and his incapacity of managing his narrative. The unpredictable.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Another prominent theme with a metafictional relevance is that The theme of time of time and its relation with the imagination. at the structural level. The meaning of metafiction depends. There are themes in Sterne’s Metafictional novel which may be called “metafictional”. Basically. i. It is a half-amused.e. works which call attention to their own devices.e. on the author’s vision of life. Sterne’s literary treatment of the notion of duration makes him a precursor of 20th century modernist writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. the process of its own writing. random course of the narrative has a correspondent in the theme of Fortune. Tristram Shandy may be called the first philosophical novel in English. of life as pure chance. Tristram constantly draws attention to the way in which he manipulates fictional time. Its extravagant. the theme of time corresponds to the narrator’s concern with the distinction between the time of writing.4.6. half-comically – the distinction between subjective and objective time. Tristram Shandy as metafiction The constant reference to the devices and conventions operating in fiction. however. they may be related to themes the problem of fictional representation and its limits. Tristram Shandy questions the mimetic illusion that realistic fiction endeavours to create. halfsceptical meditation on the condition of literature and its relation with reality. Metafictionally. making the reader aware that “literary time” is arbitrary and conventional. into the “laboratory” of his literary consciousness. As metafiction. the permanent inquiry into what a novel can do and cannot do. also concerned with the way in which consciousness refracts external reality.

The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. at the end of the unit.4. Write them in the spaces indicated below. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. go again through subchapters 5. which he discusses in the very text of the work. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. In this way.6. and read the fragment attentively once more.. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. 1.4.5. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions.7. 3. 2. Instead of continuing the story. and 5. If they differ significantly.

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

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

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

clarity.4. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. • the coherence. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment.1.1. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. to revise the preceding unit. as illustrated by this fragment. SAA no.2. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. Remember that.4. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea.1. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. 3. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. 2.. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. therefore. Horrified. in grading your paper. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. Text 4. the king rejects this tribute. You will have. Text 5. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. and 5. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. 1. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. with special attention to subchapter 4. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). In order to win the good graces of the king.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no.. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%.

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

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

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

1. 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 .4. 6.1.2.4.4.2.3. 6. 6.1.5.3. 6. 6. 6.4.6.4.2. 6.2. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6. 6. 6.2. 6. 6.1.4. The Seasons William Cowper.3. 6.2. 6. 6.4. 6.1.1.4.4.2.4.3. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6.3.2.1.1.2. 6.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6. 6.3. 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.7.

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

whose life had passed in complete anonymity. supposed to have lived in the 3rd century A. The poetry of melancholy meditation Edward Young is one of the most important representatives of this new kind of reflective poetry.1.1. Its gloomy setting – the churchyard. Thomas Percy published a collection of mediaeval ballads. but its influence on the birth of Romanticism* in England and on the Continent was huge. Edward Young (1683-1765) 6. imitating partly the cadence of biblical verses and of Milton’s blank verse.1. The lamentations of the blind bard evoke an ancient world of heroic virtue. sublime landscapes. with tombstones lit by the pale moon – contributed to the birth of the taste for Gothic. It begins with the contemplation of the landscape. is the most outstanding expression of this new spirit in poetry. which awakened a steady interest in older poetic styles. The perfect form of Gray’s poem shows his classical training. Celtic* and Norse* legend and mythology. Macpherson’s “Ossianic poems” are pieces of highly rhetorical poetic prose. He also claimed that their author was the (painted by Nicolai Abildgaard. It is in this tradition that one of the most popular poems in English must be placed: Elegy written in a Country Churchyard.” and to have collected them in the Ossian Highlands of Scotland*.D.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. known as the Graveyard School of poetry. The most spectacular manifestation of this interest is the volume Poems of Ossian. and folk literature in general. and it exerted an immense influence both in England and on the Continent. by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). His long poem in nine books. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. It consisted in long blank verse* meditations on such things as earthly vanity. whose basic motifs were the shortness and sorrows of life and the inexorable passage of time. The fascination with the Middle Ages is another feature which illustrated the rise of the Romantic sensibility. published in 1765 by James Macpherson (17361796). wild. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 151 . In 1765. death and immortality. which contrasts with the Augustan focus on contemporary civilisation. but its subject and mood are preRomantic. and the dominant tone is that of nostalgia and regret. Macpherson claimed to have translated these poems from “the Gaelic or Erse* language.2. legendary Irish bard and hero Ossian. Young and other poets formed a distinct trend in the mideighteenth century. The interest in early poetry Another tendency which announced a change in literary sensibility was a new sense of the past. Night Thoughts (1742-1745). and misty. 1782) What Macpherson presented as a great primitive Celtic epic turned out to be entirely his own imaginary creation. 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. This new interest was reflected in the curiosity about “primitive* poetry” – biblical poetry.

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

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

Illustration to (1905 edition)

The Village

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

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

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

but his subjects anticipate the Romantic sensibility. William Collins 6.2. in which he captures with precision and delicacy the crepuscular atmosphere. “Autumn. social satire. with its short.3. the poem The Task (1785) by William Cowper (1731-1800) reflects a similar attraction to the theme of nature. in popular superstitions and the supernatural. religious meditations and character sketches accompany Cowper’s celebration of rural domestic happiness and communion with nature. If there should be major differences. in which a sensitive and thoughtful Christian.3. He preferred the classical form of the ode*. which the poet calls “Philosophic Melancholy” (remember Milton’s Il Penseroso*. which actually inspired Thomson). He was interested in the mediaeval past.” Autumnal nature favours a contemplative-meditative mood. which represents a fragment from Thomson’s The Seasons – more exactly.. whose work brings into harmony the various tendencies in 18th century poetry. and he displayed the Augustan taste for stylistic refinement. Cowper displays an Augustan concern for elegance and refinement in expression. and his feeling for Nature is that of a pre-Romantic. more carefully. living in retirement from the city. at the end of the unit. but his blank verse poem has a much more personal tone. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 159 . How does the Philosophic Melancholy influence the poet? Answer below. He reaches perfection in his famous Ode to Evening (1746). Like Thomson and Collins.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 4 Read Text 6. from the third part. One of Thomson’s great admirers was William Collins (17211759). in a paragraph of no more than 6 lines / 60 words. Passages of moral and political commentary. read text C again. The Task has actually been described as a spiritual autobiography. William Cowper. unrhymed stanzas. records his observations and reflections. The Task Much closer in time to the beginning of the Romantic Age.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This suggests that the world of Experience is more opaque and uncertain. in a paragraph of 10 lines / 100 words at the most.6. Read this poem – Text 6. by ambiguity and even obscurity.e. provoking more anxiety than certainty. but also if this creator is also that of the gentle lamb. you]?) and his own answer. Knowledge in the world of Experience The clarity and directness of Songs of Innocence is replaced. who made thee [i. and the rhythms of the poems are also more difficult. at the end of the unit. innocent question (“Little Lamb. while The Tyger consists only in an accumulation of questions. The implication is that knowledge in the state of Experience is always incomplete and fragmentary. If it should differ in major respects. in Songs of Experience. in the Reader – and find out in its lines suggestions for at least one aspect which defines this “dangerous” world. 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. with no explicit answer.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 167 . SAQ 8 In Blake’s poem Infant Sorrow. revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. The two stanzas of The Lamb contain the child’s simple. The speaker in the latter poem wonders not only who created the “fearful symmetry” of the powerful. Quote the respective words or line(s) and give your comment in the space below. the event of a child’s birth becomes the symbol of the fall into the world of Experience. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.4.6. dangerous tiger.

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

at the end of the unit. to 6.7. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience.1.2.4. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words. revise subchapters 6.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. but he is no longer able to do that. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. If there should be major differences between them. except as an act of remembering. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. to regain the vision of Innocence. and read the poem again more carefully. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 .. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.4.

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

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

when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. etc.2. on which the Ten Commandments were written. primitive: original. the 39th day after Easter. Jerusalem. in Unit 1. philosophical and political convictions. with His laws formulated as interdictions. Pity. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.. to attend the religious service. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1.3. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. 2 in Unit 4. orphaned children from the charity schools to St.1. the Passions. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. belonging to the beginnings. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. See also subchapter 4. The Book of Urizen.1. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. or of gold or silver paint. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. Paul’s Cathedral. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. The Book of Los. in Unit 3.3. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). as well as against the sophistication. Among the most important of them are America. The custom in London was to bring the poor. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. A Prophecy. Milton. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. etc. wild landscapes. in Unit 5. The Four Zoas. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious.

the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. The Chimney Sweeper..English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. 6. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate. Remember that. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task.. and 6. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). 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). Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger.. clarity. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance.. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks.13.” usurous: from usury.12. 6. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. in grading your paper. 6. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . 6.8. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. meant to win a patron’s favour. SAA no. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution.10.9. gardens or estates. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. with his law of love. Send-away assignment no. • 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.11.). • the coherence. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power.

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

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

A Critical History of English Literature. and conditioning man’s access to the mystery of Divinity on the suppression of his desire. 1991 (pp. Ford. Penguin Books Ltd.. 652-658. vol. vol.5 (“From Blake to Byron”). Penguin Books Ltd. vol. 692-699) 2.4 (“From Dryden to Johnson”). 1969 (pp. Daiches.. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature.English pre-Romantic poetry restricted area. 1991 (pp. Boris (ed.). Boris (ed. 84-94) 3.). 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). 671-684. Further reading 1. David.. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 6987) 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Ford.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

or by the accidents of transient* fashions or temporary opinions: they are the genuine progeny* of common humanity. măcelărire fineness eleganţă. Samuel Johnson. at least above all modern writers. His persons act and speak by the influence of those general passions and principles by which all minds are agitated and the whole system of life is continued in motion. A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire How easy is it to call rogue* and villain*. and therefore few only can judge how nearly* they are copied. but the pleasures of sudden wonder are soon exhausted. successfully irregular neuniform. fantezist awhile for a short period satiety the state of being too much filled or satisfied peculiarity particularitate but only transient temporary. pungaş. descendenţi to supply a oferi. transitory (trecător) progeny urmaşi. dobitoc. ticălos. John Dryden. escroc. His characters are not modified by the customs of particular places. Shakespeare is. The Preface to Shakespeare Nothing can please many. the poet of nature. a livra. In the writings of other poets a character is too often an individual: in those of Shakespeare it is commonly a species. but just representations of general nature. potlogar villain nemernic. and please long. unpractised by the rest of the world. which can operate but* upon small numbers. a blockhead*. Particular manners* may be known to few. the poet that holds up to his readers a faithful mirror of manners and of life.Reader TEXT 4. perfecţiune stroke lovitură TEXT 4. variabil fanciful capricios. and the fineness* of a stroke* that separates the head from the body. cap sec knave escroc. by the peculiarities* of studies or professions. lichea wittily in a witty manner (cu mult spirit) blockhead nătâng. nemernic opprobrious insulting betwixt between slovenly neglijent butchering căsăpire.3. and leaves it standing in its place. above all writers. such as the world will always supply* and observation will always find. and that wittily*! But how hard to make a man appear a fool. rogue pungaş. secătură. and the mind can only repose on the stability of truth. manners moravuri nearly faithfully. 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. a furniza 194 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(…) As fast the correspondent passions rise. sorbitură grove crâng. to elevate. the sigh for suffering worth* Lost in obscurity. rezemat rude rudimentary. should most abound And least be threatened in the fields and groves*? draught înghiţitură. gifts That can alone make sweet the bitter draught* That life holds to all. sprijinit.) gentle nobil. whom the heart feels as a family TEXT 6.3. generos ease tihnă. părinte offspring vlăstar.4. to stimulate. 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. urmaş feeble plăpând. As varied. William Cowper. raised To rapture* and divine astonishment. disdain (dispreţ) tyrant pride the arrogance of arbitrary or unjust power the social offspring of the heart the community. and. James Thomson. (…) The sympathies of love and friendship dear. ecstatic joy unconfined unlimited chief most important suffering worth men of merit and virtue who suffer scorn contempt. The Task (1785) God made the country. What wonder then that health and virtue. The love of Nature. simple. the large ambitious wish To make them blest. ales. jalnic. to excite swelling expanding rapture ecstasy. and man made the town. Of human race. dumbravă Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 209 . nenorocit hearth vatră. coarse. încovoiat weary exhausted (istovit) sire (poetic) tată. Inflames imagination. lacking adornments staff toiag bare arms ramurile/crengile desfrunzite withering decaying. With all the social offspring of the heart*. and far Beyond dim earth exalts* the swelling* thought. chief*. liniştit cot căsuţă drooping aplecat. pace smooth calm. losing vitality (care se usucă) loftiest bough ramura cea mai înaltă TEXT 6. through the breast Infuses every tenderness. cămin expiring dying (care se stinge) brand tăciune yonder (poetic) there hoary swain săteanul cărunt/nins/venerabil propped proptit.Reader ye you (pl. and as high: Devotion. unconfined*. slab matron mamă de familie wretched biet. linişte. o’er over to exalt to raise. the noble scorn* Of tyrant pride*.

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

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

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

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). William Blake. Then cherish* pity. William Blake. They think they have done me no injury*. They clothed me in the clothes of death. And taught me to sing the notes of woe. a se juca to want to feel the need or longing for something. The children walking two and two in red and blue and green. with wands* as white as snow. The hum* of multitudes was there. coşciug by aproape. Who make up a Heaven of our misery*. Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands. Beneath them sit the aged men. Till into the high dome* of Paul’s* they like Thames’ waters flow. Because I was happy upon the heath*. a se deştepta TEXT 6.12. to be lacking something rose to rise (rose. nedreptate misery intense unhappiness or suffering TEXT 6. their innocent faces clean. O what a multitude they seemed. Holy Thursday (from Songs of Innocence) ‘Twas* on a Holy Thursday*.11. hornar sold to sell. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 213 . but multitudes of lambs. Crying “weep*. fii liniştit sight vision coffin sicriu. alături. And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King.Reader chimney sweeper coşar.” weep see explanation above woe intense grief/sorrow/unhappiness thy your say? ia spune! heath câmpie stearpă injury rău. The Chimney Sweeper (from Songs of Experience) A little black thing among the snow. Or like harmonious thunderings* the seats* of heaven among. potoleşte-te. wise guardians of the poor. risen): a se scula. Now like a mighty* wind they raise to heaven the voice of song. And smiled among the winter’s snow. weep!” in notes of woe*! “Where are thy* father and mother? say*?” “They are both gone up to church to pray. lest* you drive* an angel from your door. Grey-headed beadles* walked before. în preajmă to sport a zburda. it is ironic that “sweep” becomes “weep” (a plânge) soot funingine to curl a se încreţi/cârlionţa hush taci. And because I am happy and dance and sing. these flowers of London town! Seated* in companies they sit with radiance* all their own*.

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

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