Program postuniversitar de conversie profesională pentru cadrele didactice din mediul rural

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




Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature



© 2006

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

4. 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. 2.3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.2. 4. 3. 3.5.Contents 2.2. 2. 2. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton. 3.2.3. 3. 3. 2.1.1. 3.5. 3.3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1.1. 2. 2. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan.3. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 3.3. 4.3.1. 3.2. 3.4. 3. 4. 4.1.3. 3.

4.4. 4. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.4.4. 4.2.4.Contents 5.4.6. 5.3. 5. 5.2. 5. 5.5. 4.1. 4. 5. 5. 5. 4. 4.1. 4.2. 4.4. 5. Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 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 .8. 5.5. 5.1. 5.2. 5.2. 5. 5.3. 5.5. Gulliver. 5.4.1. 4. 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.2. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5. 5.1.4.

6.3.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No.2. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 6. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.4. 6. 6. The Seasons William Cowper.1.2. 6.2.4. 6. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.2. 6. 6. 6.6.3. 6. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 6. 6.1. 6. 6. 6. 6.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.

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

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

• Unit 4 (The Restoration and the Augustan Age) deals with four major aspects: the comedy of manners during the age of the Restoration. • Unit 5 (The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel) presents the main concerns and the typology of the novel as a dominant genre in the 18th century. • Unit 6 (English pre-Romantic poetry) introduces you to the poetry of sensibility of the 18th century as the illustration of an important literary tendency. The self-assessment questions (SAQs) The self-assessment questions in each unit have the role of helping you to structure and organise your study. The variety of these learning tasks will. with an emphasis on the evolution of genres and styles and their main representatives. Fielding and L. The main focus in this unit is on the imaginative structure and thematic interest of Milton’s masterpiece. as well as major representatives. and to draw your own conclusions. The units of learning Unit 1 (The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background) offers a general picture of the literary scene and its intellectual-cultural context. • Unit 3 (The works of John Milton) emphasises Milton’s Christian humanism. the epic poem Paradise Lost. the periodical essay of the 18th century as an important contribution to Augustan literature. Richardson. and with the evolution of this genre. and insists on William Blake as both a pre-Romantic and Romantic poet. • 4. but also to your independent thinking and to your imagination. S. The most common SAQs in this course will require you to: Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 3 .2. The major authors considered in this unit are Shakespeare and the poets John Donne and Andrew Marvell. hopefully. They appeal not only to your memory. The unit surveys characteristic preRomantic themes and motifs. and Augustan satire. These tasks will guide you in the process of ordering your knowledge.Introduction 4. 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). Sterne –. You will get acquainted with the contributions of four major novelists – D. H. Defoe. the literary doctrine of Neoclassicism. engage you actively and in diverse ways in the process of study. • Unit 2 (The late Renaissance and the Baroque) deals with the emergence of the baroque sensibility in English late Renaissance literature.1. with main focus on Jonathan Swift. and they will enable you to work with it in a specific context.

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

Sometimes. Some terms may recur in several units. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to. at the end. other instruments meant to assist your study.3. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge.1. not just Being. The materials indicated in the Further reading section and in the Selective bibliography (see below) offer you supplementary information.4. in Unit 1.Introduction 4.3. with the pages where you may find relevant information. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . For example. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order). will also appear in Units 5 and 6. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. for the Great Chain of Being*. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. • the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names). you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. the term Enlightenment. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course. • Further reading. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1. For instance. which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries. Thus. Most of the books included there are available in any University library. but the phrase of which that word is part. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. if necessary or desired. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities. in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6.1.

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

As in the case of the SAQs. • the coherence. Of these hours. Plan your study by taking into account that a semester has 14 weeks. If your level of proficiency is lower. Note that a typewritten paper is likely to ease your tutor’s work. 50% 50% 50% 30% 20% 100% 10% 20% 10% 40% In the assessment of each assignment. your course work may take you more time. This is more likely to happen when you are required to work on literary texts. 1. 2. 28 are meant for individual study of the course material (the solving of the SAQs included). 1. 6 hours are allotted to your tutorial meetings. clarity. 2. 3. half of the answer is already contained in the question. Most of the time. 6.3 3 5 6 2 3 1 1. Your study schedule This course is devised for 42 hours of study. You can reserve two weeks for each unit of learning – which means that you are expected. whose reading may take you some extra time. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 7 . Your ability to identify and use the knowledge required by a particular situation is part of what is assessed in any test.1 SAA no.Introduction Unit Number of tasks and their weight in each SAA Weight of each SAA in the final assessment SAA no. at least take care that your handwriting should be fully legible. to go through each unit in approximately 4 hours. the tutor will take into account: • the degree to which your answer respects the formulated requirement. and 8 hours to the completion of your SAAs.2 SAA no. If you have no possibility to type your assignment. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Each assignment must be completed and sent to the tutor in the allotted study week (see Your study schedule below). You may. however. find your own rhythm and divide your study time into several sessions. theoretically. make sure you understand what is being asked of you in each assignment. so pay special attention to the instructions for each task (30%).

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

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 . 1.2.1. 1. 1.3. 1.1.4. 1. 1.5. 1.1. 1.1. 1.1.

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

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

The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. 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.1. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. appropriately. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . T F 5.3. T F 4. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. 1. to superstition and obscurantism. 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 interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. but also affective and instinctual. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. continued the project of the Renaissance. 1. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling.4. 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 Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. Circle T (true) or F (false). and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*.1. The growing spirit of individualism. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. the central concern of the Enlightenment. T F 3. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. the Enlightenment. T F 2. for each sentence. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. 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. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. 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.

with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. when the literary audience becomes more diversified.1.2. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. The division into Elizabethan.4. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. in the orbit of the crown. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. for proportion. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. read again subchapters. the decrease in the power of the Crown.1. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. with little or no classical knowledge. that the notion of reading public emerges now. at the end of the unit.1. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. in one way or another. 1. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. It was the main focus of literary attention. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. T F 7. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. It is significant. regularity. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. and both writers and audiences were. including readers of more modest education. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 .” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. for instance. The study and imitation of the great Latin and Greek authors and the concern with literary tradition as a reliable source of models made literature highly conventional. After 1688. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. to 1. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. T F 8. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. symmetry.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6.

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

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

we shall look more closely at some of the most representative poetic works of these two centuries: the metaphysical poetry of Donne and Marvell (Unit 2). together with their most outstanding representatives. It was the only form of literature which. In little more than half a century (1580-1642). some of them of popular origin (the song. a new appreciation of older poetic forms. The flourishing of English drama during the Renaissance is a unique phenomenon. the verse satires of Dryden and Pope (Unit 4). at the end of the unit. enjoyed a widely popular appeal.4. If there should be major differences between them. In the following units of this course. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. a brilliant constellation of playwrights founded a dramatic tradition which represents the best and most original expression of the nation’s creative genius. 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. 16 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 1. revise subchapter 1.3. through its representation on stage. 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. SAQ 3 Which are the most popular kinds of poems in the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least six of them.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Towards the end of the century. in the space left below. Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries The Renaissance was the Golden Age of English drama.

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

18 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . or in Philaster (1609) by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. T F 4. His best plays. T F 5. and 1.4. in miniature. at the end of the unit. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson are the great masters.1. whose fall from eminence marks the destruction of an order. or at least tinged with bitterness.4. The mixture of serious and comic elements results in tragicomedy. Shakespeare’s Elizabethan phase included a number of exquisite romantic comedies. For each sentence. read the following statements. but. reflecting. the satirical comedy. Seneca’s tragedies inspired Jacobean and Caroline authors in the representation of atrocities on stage. circle the appropriate letter: T (true) or F (false). Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic example of domestic tragedy. The English play-house during the Renaissance accommodated a diverse audience. read again subchapters 1. or The Silent Woman (1609). as in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) or The Winter’s Tale (1610-11).2. in the last period of creation. 1. T F Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Milton’s Satan. T F 6. Renaissance tragedy had four acts – a structure borrowed from Seneca. 1. Ben Jonson* illustrates another form. intended to correct vices and follies by denouncing them. If you have failed to identify the true statements. Comedy in the early 17th century In the field of comedy. identifying the four true ones. though each in a different way. SAQ 4 For a revision of some important features of Renaissance English drama. T F 7.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background A distinct type in late Renaissance drama is domestic tragedy. T F 3. The hero of revenge tragedy often destroys himself in his desire to right a wrong done to him or to another. Volpone (1606). dealing with middle or lower class life and concentrating on personal and domestic maters – unlike “grand” tragedy. Epicoene. The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) are social comedies of city life. in Paradise Lost. a genre which will survive into the 18th century. his comedies become darker. T F 2. The Jacobean and Caroline authors of revenge tragedies had Seneca as their model. with its noble characters.4. reminds of the fascinating villain-heroes of the Renaissance revenge tragedies by his extraordinary ambition and boldness. the hierarchy of English society. centred on the theme of love. as in All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-3) or Measure for Measure (1604-5).

There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. The School for Scandal. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. Heroic plays. but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728). but it appealed to a wide middle class public.g. 1769). Duke of Buckingham. It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. In The Rehearsal (1671). or The Mistakes of a Night. Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1.4. 1773). George Villiers. Henry Fielding). Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . The Conquest of Granada. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. 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. John Gay. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. 1768. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. for instance. 1777). and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. were a passing extravagance. 1669-70). 1722). who demanded models of virtue and decency. 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. mocks at certain theatrical conventions. This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals.4.4. 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. 1775. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. a stylish and sophisticated world. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. too. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism.3. 1665. She Stoops to Conquer.g. Under the influence of French tragedies. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste.

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

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

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

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

part of the process of modernisation that the Age of Reason came to acknowledge its own limits. Ovid. Virgil – were revered models for the English Augustan writers.” The short review of the dominant forms of poetry. The Great Latin writers of that age – Horace. and the emergence of the Age of Feeling prepared the way to the Romantic sensibility.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background modernity. of the time of emperor Caesar Augustus (27 B. From a literary point of view. The birth of the novel is the most significant literary development of this “Age of Common Man.C. in a caricatural spirit. predominantly middle-class. which are reduced to the comically trivial. Augustan Age: a phrase designating the period of English Neoclassicism (extending from the Restoration to the latter half of the 18th century) by analogy with the golden age of Latin literature. from a system of genres and styles dominated by classical influences to a more “democratic” tendency. noble and heroic characters.D. 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. blank verse: unrhymed verse. and a major influence on their aesthetic ideal. however. of serious action. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 24 .-14 A. used to express observations of general truth. a slow transition took place. elevated style. with new genres accessible to a more inclusive reading public.). 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. burlesque: the exaggerated imitation. It is.

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

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

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

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

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

115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 1983 (pp. Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson. Goldsmith. Marvell satire: Dryden. Goldsmith. b. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson.F. John Vanbrugh). William Wycherley.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1. Macsiniuc.).T. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. there was a tendency towards simplicity. Blake the ode: Marvell. Cornelia. 6.3. John Gay Further reading 1. 9-32) 2. 4. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate. 8. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Herrick.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare. Sir George Sedley. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech. Pope.F. 4. Ioan-Aurel (ed.T. Donne. Luminiţa Elena.T.F. Milton. artificial. Collins. c. English Literature and Civilisation. Thomson. Cowley. Dryden. 5. 2003 (pp. Pope. 7. 7-49) 3. 3.T. The Novel in Its Beginnings. . The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne.T. d. Turcu. the sonnet: Shakespeare.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general.T. Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers.F. Duke of Buckingham.4.T SAQ 2 a. 6. The Literature of the Beginnings. 2. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Marvell. Sir George Etherege. 2.T. 5. The English Eighteenth Century. Carew. Preda.2. Fielding. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style. Dryden. precision. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. Milton the pastoral: Milton. 2003 (pp. 3.T. Herbert.

5. 2.2.2. 2.2. 2. 2. 2.3. 2.3. 2.1. 2.2.3. 2. 2. 2.3. 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. 2.2.9. 2.3.7. 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 . 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.2.10.4.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.6. 2. 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The whole play insists on the idea of spectacle. music suggests harmony and the power of the spirit to purify human nature. Prospero also needs “some heavenly music” to accomplish the final act of his plan. a profound spiritual transformation and growth.12.2. The sea-journey and shipwreck are the symbols of a “sea change”*. but an important symbolic ingredient in its major events. then at least man should strive to discern in it. of performance. is frequent in Shakespeare’s plays. The play-metaphor The action in The Tempest is practically managed by Prospero.2. which “delight and hurt not. The playmetaphor. Symbols in The Tempest Several symbolic elements contribute to the treatment of the themes in The Tempest. Ariel – illustration to the 1873 edition of The Works of Shakespeare 46 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In opposition with the convulsions and dangers of the tempest. It is through music that he calms down the fury of the waters. suggests the victory of life over death and of spirit over the elemental power of nature.” The sea-journey Music 2. The title itself points to the importance of the symbolism of the sea-journey.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. Another pervading symbol is that of music. This emphasis on spectacle and its power to reveal truths by its illusion constitutes a baroque element in The Tempest. It is through the perfection of Ariel’s art that Prospero re-establishes the moral law in the world to which he can now return. comforts Ferdinand’s despair when he thinks his father dead. sublimating its primitive energies. Even Caliban seems to be responsive to the “sounds and sweet airs” of the island. Shakespeare’s last masterpiece seems to suggest that if life is transient like a theatre performance. the same features as those of the Renaissance aesthetic ideal: beauty. Music is not only a necessary element in the spectacular quality of The Tempest.11. and it is constantly associated with the magic actions of Ariel. and prevents the wicked plots of both the courtiers and the drunken servants. order and harmony. or to impose upon it. and it even contains (like Hamlet) a play within the play: a masque* performed as a celebration of Ferdinand and Miranda’s engagement. manipulates the characters and prescribes the ending. whose magic art controls every incident. The miraculous survival of the ship’s passengers. the association of life with the insubstantiality and briefness of a theatre show.

” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. 2. T F 6. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. T F 4.12. T F 2. Prospero had lost his power as the duke of Milan because his studies distanced him from the immediate world which he was supposed to rule. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action. was first intended to bring discredit on them. T F 3.2. but each of them. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. revise subchapters2. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan. of which three are false.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music. at the end of the unit. Their styles are different. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 . The power of music has no effect on Caliban. You must find them among the following statements. 1. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. except that of terrifying him. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. T F 7.9 to 2. T F 5. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If any of your choices should be wrong. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world.3.2. in his own way. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century.

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

the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. revise subchapters 2.2. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. pastoral* conventions. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech.1. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words. and allegory. and the same realistic force. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. If they should differ considerably. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Use the space left below.3. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . and which confers dramatic realism to his poems.3. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. In the following subchapters. at the end of the unit. 2.3. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. and a highly original one. its decorative use of classical mythology. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits.3. and 2. In the treatment of both themes.

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

in no more than 18 lines / 180 words. he develops one of his most famous conceits. as well. paying special attention to the last three stanzas.2.6. at the end of the unit. Read the poem again. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. you need to revise subchapter 2. If they should differ significantly. which explains what a metaphysical conceit is.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 9 Read Donne’s poem (Text 2. Explain the surprising analogy that he makes in order to speak about mutual love. Formulate your answer in the space left below. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 51 .. Here.3. in the Reader).

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

the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). Donne suggests his contradictory. As a Puritan* patriot. from the Reader. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone.5. If there should be significant differences. 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. In the last six lines. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. Marvell left. according to some critics. nature.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. revise subchapter 2.6. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape.3. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*.3. and read the poem again. and love of country. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets.7. 2. at the end of the unit.

but Marvell’s poem extends it into a meditation on time. to change the form of ruling power). On the other hand. anticipating the early Romantic attitude to nature. for fear that it might grow] impure. lest it grow [i.” so the Christian Soul denies the earth and its “impure” pleasures.” whose visible beauties are the key to spiritual truths. and thus he can find reason to praise both of them. Victorious Cromwell is admirable for his fiery spirit and the courage with which he assumed the task to “cast the kingdoms old / Into another mould” (i. a masterpiece of metaphysical wit. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Carpe diem 54 . He showed a deep love for the countryside.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. reveals thus its symbolic dimension to the poet’s contemplative mind. What begins as a nature poem is extended into a religious poem by means of a metaphysical conceit. behaving with royal grace in his last minute. on the scaffold. Marvell does not portray Oliver Cromwell and his opponent.e. however. aspiring to union with almighty God.3. Although loyal to the Puritan cause. and many of his poems reveal his delight in the contemplation of rural nature. pictured with remarkable precision. developed then into a complex analogy with the pure Christian soul and its relation with earth and with heaven. The carpe diem* motif was popular in Renaissance poetry. A natural detail. in this respect. The theme of love in Marvell’s poetry Of Marvell’s love poems. which begins with a most accurate description of a dew-drop on a rose petal. Gifted with a sharp sense of observation of natural detail. Just as the dew-drop is “trembling.” and finally dissolves itself “into the glories of the almighty Sun. 2. shyness] and accept his passionate love. The most illustrative poem.8.7. The speaker’s argument opposes the “deserts of vast eternity. these details as emblems of a transcendent reality. the most accomplished is To His Coy Mistress.” associated with his mistress’s preference for a prolonged courtship.3.e. in which both of them act according to a divine order. It is a seduction poem. King Charles I Stuart. is On a Drop of Dew. as if Nature itself were a “mystic book.e. His nature poems have usually a mystical tendency. in contrasting colours. which illustrates the poet’s skill in combining the playful and the serious. On a Drop of Dew 2. Marvell emphasises the dignity with which the defeated king met his fate. Nature as “mystic book” Another side of Marvell’s poetic personality is illustrated by his nature poetry. Marvell often sees. He rather sees the events and the fate of the two rulers in the context of a providential history. in which the speaker develops an ingenious argument in order to persuade his mistress to give up her coyness [i.

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

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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


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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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

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

4.2. 3.4. 3. 3.5. 3. 3.1. 3. 3.6.2. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3. 3.2. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.1.2. 3. 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. 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3.5. 3.4. 3.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3.1.

the Christian humanist Milton is one of the most prominent figures of the 17th century. He devoted himself heart and soul to the cause defended by the Puritans*. etc. motifs and concerns in Milton’s earlier poems ♦ describe the kind of sonnet structure used by Milton ♦ analyse the way in which Milton develops imaginatively and interprets biblical events in Paradise Lost ♦ state and explain the theme of Paradise Lost ♦ summarise the argument that enables Milton to “justify the ways of God to men” in his epic poem ♦ define the main features of the character of Milton’s Satan ♦ describe Milton’s treatment of the characters of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost Unit objectives 3. and he made up his mind about his own position in the conflicts that agitated his country. the freedom of the press. he continued to read intensively. and the course of his literary career was consistently marked by his involvement in the political. music. and he dedicated long years of study and preparation to his accomplishment as a creator. recommended him for the office of Latin Secretary to the Council of State. which exerted a huge influence on many generations of poets. Milton had from an early age the conviction of his poetic vocation.The works of John Milton By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ situate Milton’s literary activity in the historical context ♦ explain what features of Milton’s work define him as a Christian humanist ♦ identify themes. he approached a diversity of subjects. and his acquaintance with the great artistic achievements of that country and with prominent personalities enriched his education and contributed to his erudition. Milton. accumulating an impressive knowledge in a diversity of fields (e. 63 John Milton (1608-1674) A man of impressive learning The Puritan patriot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . theology. and for almost twenty years he served their ideal of a truly reformed England. as a publicist. religious and civil debates of his age. His enormous learning. mathematics. In 1638. the author of a work which represents a highly original synthesis of Renaissance humanism*. In his prose essays and pamphlets*. such as education. Milton’s enduring reputation is ensured by his masterpiece. family. Christian faith and classical formal perfection. the greatest epic poem in English literature. Paradise Lost.). politics. baroque* vision. He lived and created in an age of historical turbulence and profound change. Greek and Hebrew. etc. he went on a trip to Italy. After that. religion. geography.g. as well as his moral inflexibility. rhetoric and the great works of the classics.1. At Cambridge (1625-1629). His education was eminently that of a Christian humanist. he studied Latin. written in English and in Latin. He returned to England when the troubles which were to lead to the Civil War* started.

approaching the great religious themes that enabled him to assert his genius. which are in fact complementary: L’Allegro [“the cheerful man”] and Il Penseroso [“the pensive/melancholy man”].). and he was perfect master of a variety of styles. They deal with contrasting moods of poetic inspiration. or the two sides of the poet’s soul. like a priest. Milton’s early poems Milton started writing poetry very early. Virgil*. these two sides are usually kept apart in these poems. As in other poems. However. is in touch with divine secrets. Ovid*. he started to move away from themes and concerns which were defining for the classicist spirit of the Renaissance. in the perfect integration of classical allusion and pagan mythology with Christian spirituality. His models were the great Greek and Latin poets (Homer*. As his poetic personality gained in self-confidence. This poem was intended as the first in a series about the significant moments of the Christian year. etc. the Nativity Ode* is a landmark in his creation. On the other hand. Milton’s first important poem in English on a religious theme was written in 1629: On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity. 3. Milton’s Christian humanism consists in this fusion of classical form and Christian themes. As a poet. In some of them. However. in the treatment of the theme of love and the use of Greek mythology. in the optimism and exuberance accompanying the contemplation of reviving nature. and his first notable poems were seven Latin elegies*.” The Latin elegies The Nativity Ode 3. but his maturity and experience enabled him to bring to fulfilment the most important part of his poetic work. Milton places emphasis on the dignity of agricultural labour and the 64 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . who. in these poems Milton appears highly preoccupied by his poetic vocation. He sought inspiration in biblical mythology. to whose excellence he aspired to rise. with its pastoral delights. for instance.2.2. 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. his political hopes ended. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso To Milton’s long years of preparation for the fulfilment of his vocation belong also two poems. With the Restoration*. In the Sixth elegy. celebrating the birth (the “nativity”) of Christ and its inauguration of a new order for humanity. by his aspiration to be a Christian epic* poet. which already displayed the ambivalence in Milton’s poetic identity as both Christian poet and classicist humanist. but Milton did not complete his plan. Milton follows Ovid in the emphasis on sensuous enjoyment. the pastoral* image of the shepherd becomes a metaphor for the poet-priest engaged in the exploration of high Christian themes.The works of John Milton The Christian humanist poet a position that he occupied from 1649 until 1660. L’Allegro describes a day – from morning till sunset – in the life of the cheerful man.1.

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

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

he had asserted himself as a successful publicist. Milton laments the passing of his youth without any sign of poetic ripeness. When he wrote Sonet XVII. He has reached the age of twenty four. Since for God time is in fact eternity (“All is…as ever” in God’s eye). Patient and dignified waiting for God’s will to be fulfilled is also a way of serving Him. 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. and that the passing of the time will eventually confirm if he is destined for glory. God: the poet’s “great taskmaster” 3. foolishly: how can God expect him to fulfill his task if He has decided to make him blind? (“Doth God exact daylabour. by the acceptance of one’s fortune – of God’s “mild yoke. In the first part of the sonnet.” with no “bud or blossom” to promise ripe fruit. in which the accumulation of knowledge was meant to create a solid foundation for his future great work.The works of John Milton 3. angels). with a certain sadness. they have been fortunately able to prove their maturity at the right time. and the theme of blindness was to accompany the great themes of his coming masterpieces.” that they are “timely happy spirits”. he must admit.3. that. but finds consolation in his faith in Providence. Milton was still invoking Patience to avoid the anxiety caused by his feeling of “unripeness. In Sonnet XVII. that the unfolding of his poetic destiny is not only a matter of time. A sad biographical circumstance increased Milton’s anxiety in this respect: he was going blind. as King of Heaven. To prevent such a complaint. The life of study and leisure that the poet had been leading was a period of prolonged apprenticeship*. in 1652. confessing his temptation to ask.” It would be arrogance to think that God needs “either man’s Milton dictating work or gift” to assert His greatness.3. Milton’s eye-sight was definitively compromised.2.1. written in 1631. but also by Christian humility. he Paradise Lost to commands “thousands” (of spirits.” By this time. and confronts the evidence of a “late spring. at his age. Sonnet XVII After almost twenty years. Sonnet VII In Sonnet VII (“How soon hath time”). but of God’s eternal will. Lamenting the loss making his political and religious views known in a series of influential of his eyesight essays. light denied?”). since. Patience – a Christian virtue – teaches him that God is served not only by actions. it does not matter if this task is fulfilled soon or late.e. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 67 . The only thing that matters is that he should have “grace to use it so. If he is to transcend time by literary fame. other young men have demonstrated “inward ripeness. Milton has the strong sense that his poetic accomplishment is a task imposed by God (his “great task-master”).” to carry out the task in such a way as to make his achievement count in eternity. As a Christian poet.” “mean or high” as it may be. but he had not fulfilled his great poetic promise. who carry out the divine his daughters will. Milton meditates on his loss of sight. patiently. he admits. i. in another poem of this kind (Sonnet XVII).

This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667.4.3. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. Virgil.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. and the two sonnets. at the end of the unit. 3. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. and 3.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. respectively. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. and of leaving to posterity an undying work. and he worked at it over several years. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest.2. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. when he was already blind. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation.2.1. If there should be significant differences. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). Dante* –. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. in the Reader). Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. read again subchapter 3. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and he finds inner strength only in the intensity of his hatred. in whom they saw an embodiment of the spirit of freedom and of resistance to tyrannical oppression. made happy in their innocent love. 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. Satan appears indeed as a champion of freedom. since it is accompanied by suffering and torment.1. where there is “neither joy nor love.The works of John Milton 3.5.” He instigates the other angels to rebellion in the name of freedom from servitude. “Imparadised in one another’s arms” – i. This sight is for him “hateful” and “tormenting. In moments when the fallen angels feel despair at having lost Heaven. but he also knows that this freedom is a form of punishment. “great in power / In favour and pre-eminence. and his great ambition is “to reign. but for him freedom does not mean equality: among the rebel angels. Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell The most fascinating of Milton’s heroes is undoubtedly Satan.e. In Hell. he had been the first Archangel. the Romantic poets were to establish the view that Satan is actually the main hero. William Blake remarked that Satan is Milton’s most accomplished creation. This is why he is in a continual state of frustration and anger. Pride is one of Satan’s most prominent features in Pride and ambition Paradise Lost. From the beginning of the poem. Over a century after the poem’s publication. he naturally assumes the role of a leader. and his longing for the delights of his former existence torments him like an inner hell.” Envy accompanies Satan’s thirst for power.” as he cannot help comparing their bliss with his own condition in Hell. which is itself a paradise. Satan knows how to inflame again their ambition of re-ascending and their thirst for revenge. 78 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Before his fall. and his extraordinary courage “never to submit or yield” inspires his followers.” only the pain of longing and unfulfilled desire. and that Milton gave the full measure of his literary genius in the character of Satan because he instinctively supported the idea of freedom. He displays majesty and grandeur even in his fallen condition. unwilling to serve a power that he considered tyrannical. He is envious Envy and hate of God’s Son and His title as King of Heaven. Satan seems to comfort himself with the thought that at least he is free. he is envious of God’s omnipotence.

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

in Hell.5. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A. “and “The mind is its own place. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero. revise subchapters 3. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell.3.2. and read the indicated fragment again. at the end of the unit.1.5. If there are significant differences. “A mind not to be changed by time or place.) B. Read the whole fragment carefully. and 3. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3.

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

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

” and its great Christian theme is that of felix culpa. In Milton’s vision of the original sin. Milton emphasises his fortitude and strength of will. in which divine grace will eventually turn all evil into good. however. Subchapter 3. Adam and Eve are treated both with the typical Renaissance admiration for man’s potential and virtues. The central events in Milton’s epic are the fall of Lucifer and of the rebel angels. which interprets poetically key moments in biblical history and elements of biblical mythology.The works of John Milton in two of his sonnets. Milton justifies the fall of man and his exile from Paradise in the context of a providential history. Undoubtedly. at any time. the fall of man and the loss of Paradise.5.3. and the promise of man’s reconciliation with God through the sacrifice of Christ. the most fascinating and complex creation is Satan – Lucifer in his fallen condition. Subchapter 3. Milton’s impressive epic poem Paradise Lost (1667) is the fruit of his mature vision. presented in subchapter 3.4. His destructive energy represents a negation of the creative power of the divine word. his love of freedom. The declared aim of Milton’s epic is “to justify the ways of God to men. apprenticeship: the training for a trade or for any kind of activity. 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. the creation of the world and of man. but also in which man may. and the culmination of his poetic achievement as a Christian humanist. Satan is dominated by powerful negative passions which keep him the prisoner of an inner hell. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 83 . offers a brief presentation of the subject and structure of the poem. which are. be tested for the responsibility which must accompany the exercise of his free will. and with the Christian compassion for their unhappy choice. as a sign of consecration or sanctification. Baroque: see the Glossary in Unit 2. his courage and majesty. put in the service of evil. concerns itself with Milton’s heroes in Paradise Lost. Civil War: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.

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

Send-away assignment no. 2.2. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. 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. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan.. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition.). the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. with special attention to the indicated subchapters.C.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. in which he explores his inner hell. 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. At the beginning of Book IV. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve.. one of the greatest Roman poets.1. 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 .6. and the last paragraph of 2.2. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2.3. In both of them. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. and 2. • Read attentively this fragment. A revision of subchapter 3. 1. before the final battle.5. at the end of the play. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. Text 3.1. and thus of destroying man. God’s creation.2.4. Texts 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. romantic in The Tempest –. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero.

is that one may choose right or wrong. The poet places his trust in Providence. respectively) and with the anxiety that poetic fulfilment is late to come. 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.” In the case of man. SAQ 3 God’s whole argument is based on the idea of freedom.c.a. The implication is that God gave man conscience. clarity. or reason. comforting himself with the faith that his poetic destiny is in God’s hands. however. 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.. The latter part of both sonnets (the sestet) changes the mood to one of patient confidence. as man’s wrong choice was not the pure result of his free will. SAA no.. • the coherence.b. 2. Remember that. and reason makes man.” 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. Both man and the rebel angels are “authors to themselves in all. The paradox of freedom.The works of John Milton • • himself before God his determination to turn his suffering into satisfaction his impressive self-knowledge The weight of this task in this SAA is 50%. not God. like that of the angels. both sonnets deal with the theme of loss (the poet’s sense of the passing of time. responsible for his choices. Milton emphasises the geometrical. 3. his blindness. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. in grading your paper. the “instrument” by which to exercise his free will. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%).e. since that would mean the “revocation” of His own “high decree” by which man was made free. 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 . but the consequence of evil influence. is thus not attributable to God. Created “just and right. 1 will count as 10% in your final assessment. the divine punishment is compensated by mercy (the sending of Jesus as mankind’s saviour). The fall of man. i.

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

7. 4.1. 4. 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 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.3.3.4. 4. 4.5. 4. 4. 4. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 4. 4.2. 4.2. 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. Gulliver. 4.1.4. 4.1. 4.

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

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

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

If any of them should turn out to be wrong. T F 4. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. simple action. by doing the exercise that follows.1.1.3. refinement and sophistication. T F 6. frivolity. T F 5. to 4. It displays typical Restoration characters. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. such as the impoverished gallant. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. 4. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age.1. read again subchapters 4. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. Restoration comedy praised wit. at the end of the unit. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. William Congreve. hedonism and amorality at Court. T F 3. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity.1. T F 8. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). elegance. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. 1. T F 7.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama.4. T F 2. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . T F 9. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration.

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

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

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

The concept of Human Nature referred to those features of human character and experience. The quest for patterns of general significance through the study of particulars was not only a literary precept. To follow / copy Nature was the writer’s main endeavour. humble style. The belief in order and correctness was reflected in the neoclassic principle of decorum [from Latin: propriety]. would lead to the revelation of the typical and universal features. that it was an inborn gift that made a poet. but a general intellectual tendency in the age. required an elevated style. for instance. and to those patterns of behaviour. on the other hand. Following Nature presupposed first of all its understanding. i. the main source of inspiration for the writer was Nature*. which referred to the writer’s obligation to use those elements of diction* and composition which were considered proper for each genre. since it dealt with noble characters and actions.2.. and whose creative power was a matter of intuitive genius and not of acquired art. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Human Nature 96 . and he could master the secrets of poetic art by the study and imitation of the works of ancient authors.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. who respected no particular rules and followed no particular models. Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics One of the most important features of literary Neoclassicism was the concern with rules and norms. comedy. The study of human nature in its individual aspects. It was the existence of this rule of decorum that enabled Neoclassic authors to derive great effects from its deliberate. Epic and tragedy. and in order to do that accurately he was supposed to follow Reason as the main guide. by which the Augustans meant most frequently Human Nature. and the poet might disregard them. the emphasis on discipline in art. 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.3. to make form and substance adequate to each other. This was the case of the genius. The most eloquent example. i. skilful transgression. A poet’s innate talent needed training. which usually presented ordinary people and actions. in satirical or burlesque* works. was expected to use a common. for the Augustans. which were seen as common to all humanity and as permanent and unchanging. The Augustans were aware that the heights of literary achievement couldn’t be reached by simply learning the trade.2. lacking ornament. Sometimes rules might be too constraining for this natural gift. a dignified diction. of infinite variety. yet achieve great beauty. skill. the most valuable store of literary experience. was Shakespeare.2.e. Nature and Reason According to the Neoclassic doctrine. which in turn required good judgment and common sense. The rule of decorum 4.e.

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

and of the increase and diversification of the reading public. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature. and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace. where nothing seems to be studied. refinement with wisdom. its effects were considerable on prose. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity. 4. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower. unnecessary ornament. It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour.5. but to be a functional part of the community. of critical debate in every field.3. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure. affectation were rejected. In the context of general progress. The writer's art was a form of social communication. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit. 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. as Oliver Goldsmith defined it. “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. eloquence with restraint. Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. or. It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*. precision and clarity. “grace and strength united. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason.2. manners and taste. of quick accumulation of information.2. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style.” Augustan wit 4.4. too. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama. Ostentation.

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

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

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

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

in which Dryden’s praise and criticism. the instigator of the opposition to Catholic James Stuart. John Dryden A remarkable example of political satire is John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel (1681-1682). Augustan satire The refinement and elegant surface of the Augustan Age. appears also as a stormy spirit. from political and social life. the Duke of Monmouth. intrigues. 1743). disloyal and excessively ambitious. The perfection of Dryden’s diction and his masterful use of the sketches heroic couplet* combine with his brilliant of character. folly. 4. The best achieved portrait is that of Achitophel / the Earl of Shaftesbury. and Achitophel is the first Earl of Shaftesbury. The biblical characters represent English political figures: King David is Charles II.4. whose claim to the throne was justified by his Protestant religion. Perhaps the greatest Augustan satire on the world of letters is Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad* (1728. 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 . its cult of reason and common sense. to religious debates and literary practices. and its most outstanding representatives – Dryden. Samuel.2. king David. The Augustan Age is the great age of satire in English literature. and satire became their formidable weapon. It tells the biblical story of Absalom’s rebellion against his father. admiration and condemnation. at the advice of Achitophel* (cf. a passionate. Pope. urbanity and refinement made it a sophisticated instrument of correction. brave and fearless man. The writers’ sense of mission turned them into guardians of the enlightened values of their time. 15-18). Augustan satire defended the values of civilisation in a civilised way: elegance. Political and religious dissensions. could not entirely remove or hide its tensions. a merciless attack on literary pedantry and dulness.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.4. The hero of this mock-heroic epic* is Mr. turning it into an allegory of contemporary political struggles. Alexander Pope Satirical attacks on literary mediocrity and incompetence were frequent in an age so preoccupied with standards of correctness and excellence. selfishness. are mingled: the evil conspirator. 4. stability and order of a remarkable civilisation. Absalom is the latter’s illegitimate son. contradictions and dark aspects. struggle for power and profit. Charles’s brother and heir to the throne. Bayes*. and affectation were felt as diseases which threatened to weaken the force. hypocrisy. greed.1.4. genuinely gifted for leadership. often touched by ironic humour. with implications concerning the whole of Augustan civilisation. Swift – aimed it at a variety of targets.

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

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

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

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

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

If there should be major differences. The careful reader will. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . more carefully. however. and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 8 Swift’s ironic method is to mislead the reader by giving the appearance of rationality to the absurd. find anti-utopian elements in it. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia. you need to read the fragment again. For Gulliver. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4.6. and to revise subchapter 4. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect.4. Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit. from the Reader.6.

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

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

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

author of poems. Marriage à la Mode (1672) distinguishes itself by its brilliant wit combats and effective social satire. He was equally successful as an author of heroic dramas (see again subchapter 1. He established the periodical essay as a literary genre. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. sprout up: to begin to grow or develop. elegant. this phrase suggests the lack of inspiration. Tatler: a “tattler” is a person who gossips.4. essays and dramatic works. uncreated word: with reference to the literary world. John (1637-1700): one of the most outstanding figures of the Restoration and the Augustan Age. making literature “dull. Restoration Wits: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. the conception about literature and the creative act of a certain literary school or writer.4 in Unit 1. Boileau. Dryden. He excelled in all literary genres of his time. and topos = place). perfect society (literally: “no place. for the notion of sentimentalism. and sentimental novel in subchapter 5.3 in Unit 1) and of comedies of manners. founder of literary journalism. i.” from Greek u = not. or literature in general. Nicolas (1636-1711): outstanding French poet and critic. Joseph (1672-1719): representative of English literary Neoclassicisn. of taste or skill. Neoclassicism: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. he translated from ancient authors. Gallery of personalities • • • Addison. and he contributed significantly to the dissemination of the values of the Enlightenment in England.4. in which he outlines the features of an ideal. Among the latter.” utopia: a genre in fiction whose name comes from Sir Thomas More’s work Utopia (1516).3 in Unit 5. sentimental comedy see again subchapter 1. and he was the pioneer of modern English literary criticism. poetics: the system of principles and conventions which govern a certain literary form. Pope’s satire warns thus about the dangers of lowering literary standards. squire: a country gentleman. of imagination and originality.1.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • cosmic harmony and order manifested in the appearances of this world. whose poem L’art poétique (1674) established the canons of taste and the standards of literary judgement for European Neoclassicism. wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. 113 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . polished). especially the main landowner in a village. polite learning: the knowledge acquired through classical education (polite: refined. or who chats or talks idly.e.

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

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

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

2.4.3. 5.8.1. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.1.1. 5. 5.7.6. 5. 5.2. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5.4.4. 5. 5.2. 5.3.4. 5. 5.1. 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 .4. 5. Unit objectives The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.2. 5. 5.2.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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” desires and “delights. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise.. you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5. describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot.. which will serve his instinct for independence. as a self-reliant individual. SAQ 4 Read Text 5. He takes pleasure in his work). morally autonomous. 2. g. or by a sentence (e. It has its spiritual rewards.2. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction. if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience. inventiveness. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God.g. 3. Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism.” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour. ingenuity). Like Adam. In this connection.2. perspicacity.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The celebration of homo faber characteristic Puritan tendency to self-scrutiny and introspection. 1. or the felix culpa*. at the end of the unit. perseverance.2. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work. at least four features of the hero’s character as they are illustrated by this description. Robinson is cast out from the “edenic” safety and happiness of his father’s home into an uncertain world of toil. If you should fail to find any of the features mentioned there. with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall. its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress. in the space below. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion. as well as the fragment in the Reader. 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value. 4.3. You may render these features either by a single noun (e. subchapter 5. Enumerate. Changed in his “notion of things.. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter.” However.

2. which. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories. concreteness. His simple. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience. the promise of symbolic meanings. at the end of the unit. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. His linear. rendered in a simple.4 once more and do the exercise again. whose reality is difficult to doubt. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality.4. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. 2. on a separate sheet. he paid little attention to matters of form. 1. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. with unmatched vividness. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. at the same time. the frequent enumerations and inventories. clear language. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5. read the fragment and subchapter 5. clarity. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. The richness of concrete detail.2. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. solid world. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.2. 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. of familiar detail. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. 3. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. 4. containing. the most common objects and actions in their particularity.

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

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

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

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

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

which closes the plot. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. in the spirit of comedy. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. T F 3. T F 8. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. Fielding likes to play with genres. Wilson. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 .5. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. T F 5. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles.2. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. 5. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. 1. at the end of the unit. for true or false) for each of them. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). T F 6. alluding thus to the older genre. T F 4. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. T F 7.3.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel disclosures bring about the final clarification and the great reversal of the plot: Joseph turns out to be the son of a gentleman. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. is an ingredient of romantic plots. which turns out to be gentle*. T F 2. Mr. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. Cervantes. For instance. Read Text 5. carefully. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. read the text once more. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. whom they had met during their journey.

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

His commentaries and reflections on his own art. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. at the end of the unit. unaffected.3. At the same time.4. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined.3. Fielding is the most “Augustan.8. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. and 5.. read again subchapters 5.5.2.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. If they should differ substantially. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. He is a moralist. and he believes.. 1. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. 5. 5. incorporated in the substance of his works. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . Explain them. preoccupied with the reformation of manners... provide the first theory of the novel. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists.4. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony.2. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each.2. drawing short comparisons. 3. like many Augustan writers. through its moral and temperamental types. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.3. 2. 5. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices.

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

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

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

This impression is increased by Tristram’s effort to be exhaustive in his presentation. which he calls “the sunshine of reading. Sterne’s rambling narrative. and gives the impression of stagnation.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. only in the middle of Volume III that we find the author’s Preface. makes the reader aware of them. so different from Fielding’s tight. with its multitude of dashes. The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions By taking extreme freedoms with narrative and compositional conventions. and to involve the reader both imaginatively and sentimentally. Tristram is earnestly trying to tell the story of his life and his opinions as accurately as possible.4. there are several dedications scattered through the book. coherent plots.” The confused chronology and the digressive excesses frustrate also our expectation of a plot. watched as if by a slow motion camera. the “imperfections of words. marking a moment of affectionate recollection.e. its unpredictable returns to various moments in the past. frustrates our expectation of chronological linearity commonly associated with an autobiographical account. etc. asterisks. Typographically. i. Sterne defamiliarises them. but also to how it is told. 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. for instance. by exploiting them in a parodic way. The zigzagging narrative. For example. points of suspension. the restriction of the hero’s “life” to a few episodes breaks the convention of autobiographical focus. The structure of the book is equally odd. He delights in minute descriptions of postures and small gestures. does not seem to move towards any climax. by drawing his attention not only to what is told. drawings and graphs. to a certain view of writing.” Not only as a man. It is. Tristram constantly oscillates between the comic despair at his incapacity to master his narrative and the delight he takes in complete narrative freedom. but also as an author. He thus exaggerates parodically the realistic pursuit of accuracy and immediacy. even a black sheet introduced at the death of Yorick. The “Shandean” view of writing This ambivalent view of life corresponds. there are numberless digressions and interpolated stories. Digressive narrative Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 139 . 5.5. Tristram resorts to other means of communication. The narrator explicitly refuses to keep the story straight. Tristram has the consciousness of his tragi-comic predicament. and he takes great delight in digressions. Faced with the problems of accurate representation through words. The difficulty he experiences as a writer is due to the limits of language. in Sterne’s novel.4. with its blank pages for the reader to fill in. the book is a comic oddity.4.

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

in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. 2.7.6. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. at the end of the unit.4.. Instead of continuing the story.4. 3. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. and read the fragment attentively once more. go again through subchapters 5. Write them in the spaces indicated below.5. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. In this way. If they differ significantly. and 5. which he discusses in the very text of the work. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. 1.

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

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

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

in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. and 5. to revise the preceding unit. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. Remember that.1. 3. Horrified. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. You will have. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. 1. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 .4. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. • the coherence. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). with special attention to subchapter 4. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. Text 5. SAA no.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. as illustrated by this fragment.. the king rejects this tribute. Text 4. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government.1.. therefore. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself.4. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. 2.1. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. in grading your paper. In order to win the good graces of the king. clarity. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent.2. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%.

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

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

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

1.3. 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. 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. The Seasons William Cowper.3. 6. 6.1. 6. pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6. 6. 6.2. 6.1. 6.2. 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.4.2. 6. 6.3. 6. 6.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 6.1. 6.

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

wild. is the most outstanding expression of this new spirit in poetry. sublime landscapes.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. His long poem in nine books. whose basic motifs were the shortness and sorrows of life and the inexorable passage of time. Night Thoughts (1742-1745).1. death and immortality. and it exerted an immense influence both in England and on the Continent. but its influence on the birth of Romanticism* in England and on the Continent was huge. which contrasts with the Augustan focus on contemporary civilisation. It consisted in long blank verse* meditations on such things as earthly vanity. Macpherson claimed to have translated these poems from “the Gaelic or Erse* language. known as the Graveyard School of poetry. Macpherson’s “Ossianic poems” are pieces of highly rhetorical poetic prose. The fascination with the Middle Ages is another feature which illustrated the rise of the Romantic sensibility. Its gloomy setting – the churchyard. The most spectacular manifestation of this interest is the volume Poems of Ossian. The perfect form of Gray’s poem shows his classical training. by Thomas Gray (1716-1771). legendary Irish bard and hero Ossian.” and to have collected them in the Ossian Highlands of Scotland*. It begins with the contemplation of the landscape. This new interest was reflected in the curiosity about “primitive* poetry” – biblical poetry. whose life had passed in complete anonymity. The interest in early poetry Another tendency which announced a change in literary sensibility was a new sense of the past.2. The poetry of melancholy meditation Edward Young is one of the most important representatives of this new kind of reflective poetry. Young and other poets formed a distinct trend in the mideighteenth century. with tombstones lit by the pale moon – contributed to the birth of the taste for Gothic.D.1. and the dominant tone is that of nostalgia and regret. Celtic* and Norse* legend and mythology. and folk literature in general. 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. In 1765. It is in this tradition that one of the most popular poems in English must be placed: Elegy written in a Country Churchyard. published in 1765 by James Macpherson (17361796). The lamentations of the blind bard evoke an ancient world of heroic virtue. imitating partly the cadence of biblical verses and of Milton’s blank verse. Edward Young (1683-1765) 6.1. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. Thomas Percy published a collection of mediaeval ballads. which awakened a steady interest in older poetic styles. 1782) What Macpherson presented as a great primitive Celtic epic turned out to be entirely his own imaginary creation. and misty. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 151 . He also claimed that their author was the (painted by Nicolai Abildgaard. but its subject and mood are preRomantic. supposed to have lived in the 3rd century A.

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

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

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

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

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

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

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


English pre-Romantic poetry

Illustration to (1905 edition)

The Village

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


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

He preferred the classical form of the ode*. with its short. religious meditations and character sketches accompany Cowper’s celebration of rural domestic happiness and communion with nature. and he displayed the Augustan taste for stylistic refinement. in which a sensitive and thoughtful Christian. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 159 . which the poet calls “Philosophic Melancholy” (remember Milton’s Il Penseroso*. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. “Autumn. The Task Much closer in time to the beginning of the Romantic Age.” Autumnal nature favours a contemplative-meditative mood. unrhymed stanzas. but his blank verse poem has a much more personal tone. The Task has actually been described as a spiritual autobiography. He was interested in the mediaeval past. at the end of the unit. He reaches perfection in his famous Ode to Evening (1746). records his observations and reflections. 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. more carefully. from the third part. and his feeling for Nature is that of a pre-Romantic. living in retirement from the city.2. which represents a fragment from Thomson’s The Seasons – more exactly. William Collins 6.3. social satire. but his subjects anticipate the Romantic sensibility. whose work brings into harmony the various tendencies in 18th century poetry. in a paragraph of no more than 6 lines / 60 words. Cowper displays an Augustan concern for elegance and refinement in expression. William Cowper. One of Thomson’s great admirers was William Collins (17211759).3.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 4 Read Text 6. How does the Philosophic Melancholy influence the poet? Answer below. Passages of moral and political commentary. Like Thomson and Collins.. in which he captures with precision and delicacy the crepuscular atmosphere. which actually inspired Thomson). read text C again. If there should be major differences.

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

Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake is often regarded as a pre-Romantic poet. Gray. The charms of nature have also an almost magic influence on human creativity and depth of thought. Thomson.4. Blake did not publish his poems in conventional printed form. These beliefs – in Nature as a moral teacher and as a guide for imagination – were central to the creed of the first Romantics. the visionary artist William Blake holds a unique place in the history of English literature. 6.4. “unfit for human fellowship” and “dead” to “love and friendship both” (Cowper). whose attitudes and concerns define him sharply as an anti-Augustan. He was not only a poet. our sense of a common fate for all humanity. minute work of mediaeval miniaturists and their illuminated* manuscripts. and his creative personality manifested itself in combined and complementary modes of expression. He used a special method for engraving and printing the handwritten text. which was accompanied by drawings and decorations. Milton.English pre-Romantic poetry Both Thomson and Cowper see a strong connection between love of nature and a humanitarian spirit. William Blake (1757-1827) 6. and Macpherson. Each copy was then coloured by hand. and recognised as one of the most original creators. William Blake. to the special way in which he produced his work. these various dimensions of his works shed light on each other. represents symbolically the uncorrupt order of nature. and this laborious process restricted the number of copies that Blake could produce. to a large extent. It was in the latter half of the 19th century that he was rediscovered by a group of poets and painters. he turns his attention to the rural world. but also a gifted painter and engraver. and being regarded as an eccentric artist. widening the range of meanings. He was an admirer of Shakespeare. He associates nature with the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 161 . Apart from a volume of early verse. in the tone and rhythms of Biblical psalms and religious hymns. and displays the same humanitarian spirit as his contemporaries. In Blake.civilisation. all Blake’s major poems were composed in this way. and he rejected the classical standards of style.1. exerting influence only on a small circle of friends and admirers. The combination of calligraphic text. rendered in its pastoral simplicity. He was a relatively marginal figure during his lifetime. Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794). The theme of childhood in this work enables Blake to explore the opposition nature . A heart that is insensitive to nature is a hard heart. Nature “nurses” the sympathy for our fellow beings. picture and decoration reminds of the painful. finding literary inspiration in the simplicity and directness of popular poetry. Like other pre-Romantic poets. the rural setting. In his first great illuminated work. Blake’s late fame is due.

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

Poems like Infant Joy. Laughing Song.” They build a charming picture of the universe of childhood. The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence In 1789 – the year of the French Revolution –. 6. Songs of Innocence marked a new departure in English poetry. T F 7. revise the whole subchapter. at the end of the unit. innocent delights. The main influence in Blake’s work were the ancient Greek and Latin poets admired by the Augustans. Blake is a creator of myths in his Prophetic Books. Spring. or Cradle Song offer a glimpse into a world filled with simple. 163 Songs of Innocence (1789) Title page of Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . of the world seen through the eyes of the child.4. their clarity of expression and their musicality. enjoy] to hear. T F 2. by their remarkable lyrical delicacy. For Blake. T F 4.3. which echoed the rhythms of popular verse. T F 3. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. As the poet emphasises in the Introduction. The Blossom. The Echoing Green. that is.e. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). 1. echoing with laughter and sustained by love and by the belief in the goodness of nature. Blake composed his first significant work: Songs of Innocence. which are the expression of his Romantic rebellion against all forms of constraint. As a poet. and the three statements that are false.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 Read the following sentences and identify the four true statements which describe features of Blake’s work. Blake enjoyed a great popularity during his lifetime. T F 5. What chiefly impressed Blake in Milton’s Paradise Lost was its astonishing display of classical-humanistic erudition. and its origin was visionary experience. It was the year of a revolution in poetry as well. poetic creation was the spontaneous fruit of inspiration. The extreme formal simplicity and the apparent lack of sophistication of these short poems anticipated the Romantic rejection of poetic diction*. The Shepherd. these are “happy songs / Every child may joy [i. If you have made mistaken choices. T F 6. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience. with its repertoire of rhetorical conventions. The subchapter that follows will acquaint you with some of the poems illustrating Blake’s “double vision” in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. the association of childhood with edenic nature is opposed to civilisation as the fallen condition of man. Blake’s works combine the handwritten text with picture and decoration – a technique that reminds of mediaeval manuscripts.

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

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

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

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

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

4. to 6. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words.7. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 . but he is no longer able to do that.1. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. revise subchapters 6.2. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. to regain the vision of Innocence.. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be major differences between them. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. and read the poem again more carefully. at the end of the unit. except as an act of remembering. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6.4.

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

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

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

6. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger.8. 6. clarity. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau.11..10. gardens or estates. 6. • the coherence.).13.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. Send-away assignment no. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. He is the precursor of Romanticism by his belief in the primacy of feeling over reason and in the necessity of the return to nature – a principle which he defended in his treatise on education Émile (1762). 6. 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. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 .. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task.. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. in grading your paper. SAA no.12. meant to win a patron’s favour. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. and 6. with his law of love. Remember that. • 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.9. The Chimney Sweeper. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance.” usurous: from usury..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural



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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural



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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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