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

4.8.3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4. 3. 3. 3. 4. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.2. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton. 2.1.2. 3.4.1. 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. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 3.2.4. 3.1. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3.2. 3. 3. 4. 4. 4. 2. 4. 3.2. 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. 4.4. 2.3.1. 3.1. 3.

5. 5.1. 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 4.2. 5.2. 5.Contents 4. 5. 5.3. 5.2. 5. 4.2.2. 5. 4.3.4. 4.4. 5.4. 4. Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. 5. 5. 5.2. Gulliver. 5. 5. 5.3.4. 5.2.1. 4. 4. 4.1. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. 4. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 6. 6. 6. 6.4.2. 6.1. 6.4.3. 6.1. The Seasons William Cowper.3.1.4. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3.3.4. 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. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.2.2. 6. 6. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.4.6. 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 6.4. Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6. 6.1. 6. 6.1.4. 6.4.2.

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

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

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

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

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

or one word may be given an explanation/translation different from the one you might be familiar with. 5. In any case. 5.5. This is why the same word may appear with different explanations/translations in several glossaries. in which the words and phrases supposed to be unknown. If you should find these lexical notes insufficient for your understanding of a particular text. the number of tasks. As the texts are not very long. The cumulated weight of these SAAs in your final grade is 40%. A send-away assignment (SAA) is signalled in the text by the icon accompanying this textbox. and make sure you understand its general meaning or basic ideas. Assessment and evaluation Besides the self-assessment questions included in each unit. The Reader The course is accompanied by a Reader. while SAA no.lIntroduction 4. The three SAAs are placed at the end of units 3. which will enable your tutor to assess your performance in the course work. The Reader provides you with little glossaries for each text. As we are dealing with 17th and 18th century literature. These first two SAAs will therefore consist in more than one task. 1 will assess your knowledge of units 2 and 3. this should not take you too much time. the course contains three send-away assignments (SAAs). don’t hesitate to use a good dictionary. try to read each fragment more than once. which contains the selection of texts you need in order to accomplish some of the course tasks. some of these texts might seem difficult to you. difficult. The given explanation or translation into Romanian applies only to the respective context. before you start solving the task. The written test that you will sit at the end of the semester will add the other 60%. and the weight of each assignment: 6 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . especially the poetry texts.2 will cover units 4 and 5. SAA no. The table below represents the place. and 6. or misleadingly familiar to you are explained either in English or in Romanian.

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

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

1. 1. 1. 1. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 . 1.1. 1.4.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1. 1.5. 1.1. 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

together with their most outstanding representatives. 16 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 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). the verse satires of Dryden and Pope (Unit 4). some of them of popular origin (the song. revise subchapter 1. It was the only form of literature which. through its representation on stage. SAQ 3 Which are the most popular kinds of poems in the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least six of them. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 1. enjoyed a widely popular appeal. comparable perhaps only with the rise of the novel in the next century. If there should be major differences between them. In the following units of this course. Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries The Renaissance was the Golden Age of English drama. In little more than half a century (1580-1642). in the space left below. a new appreciation of older poetic forms. at the end of the unit. 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. a brilliant constellation of playwrights founded a dramatic tradition which represents the best and most original expression of the nation’s creative genius.4.3. and the “poetry of sensibility” which announced the coming of the Romantic Age (Unit 6). The flourishing of English drama during the Renaissance is a unique phenomenon.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Towards the end of the century.

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

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

1722). but serious drama declined during the 18th century. The Conquest of Granada. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama.3. who demanded models of virtue and decency. 1769). In The Rehearsal (1671). satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. 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. She Stoops to Conquer.4. or The Mistakes of a Night. 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. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. 1665. 1669-70). Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. Heroic plays. Henry Fielding). Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. a stylish and sophisticated world. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers.g.4. 1777). too. and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. George Villiers. John Gay. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. The School for Scandal. Duke of Buckingham. were a passing extravagance. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728).g. for instance. mocks at certain theatrical conventions. It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. 1773). This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain. Restoration comedy presented an elegant society. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. 1775. Under the influence of French tragedies. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. 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. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty.4. There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy. but it appealed to a wide middle class public. 1768.

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

This allegorical expression of Puritan faith. wealth and freshness greatly influenced the language of prose. another Latin influence began to mould English prose style: that of Seneca and Tacitus*. More and more. Sermons were a widely popular form of prose-writing. Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Of the literary forms that contributed significantly to the development of English prose. Gradually.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. displaying a variety of styles. Francis Bacon was the first notable writer to plead for – and to illustrate – a prose style more suited for intellectual argument. he describes the Christian soul’s search for salvation in the form of an allegorical journey along the path of life. The language of prose tended to become plain and transparent. 1625) are prose classics in English literature. Francis Bacon’s Essays (1597. The evolution of prose style At the beginning of the 17th century. The Pilgrim’s Progress Among the prose forms widely used for intellectual argument.1. accomplished under the patronage of James I – established a model of English whose beauty. religious writings are particularly important. on clarity and rationality. The development of an aphoristic style*. Later in the century. gave way to an ideal of prose style more suited to the Age of Common Man. deliberately artificial and intricate. in which rhetorical figures were subordinated to rational lucidity. struggles and William Blake: aspirations. a precious and highly ornate language. The English translation of the Bible – the “Authorised Version” of 1611.5. influenced immensely Bunyan’s the language of prose. blending concision with wit. weaknesses. in political tracts and pamphlets. the essay* proved the most flexible. with its illustration to simplicity and natural flow of common speech. as the growing complexity of life increased the need for social and intellectual communication. 1612. with its trials. Under the influence of Latin – especially of Cicero* –.5. 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. contributing essentially to the forging of a more straightforward and simple style. The rhetorical extravagance and ingenuity which had still dominated the early 17th century (not only in prose). Here. the virtues of common speech permeated the language of all kinds of writings. A different vein in religious writing is illustrated by the Puritan John Bunyan (1628-1688) and his extremely popular book The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678). the universal language of the Renaissance. Thomas Hobbes* and John Locke also insisted on the necessity of a language at once flexible and precise. prepared the English language for a variety of uses: in scientific. Journalism as a form of prose writing emerged during the Civil War and flourished during the 18th century. prose works written in English displayed a highly rhetorical style. temptations. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 21 . philosophical and theological writings. Influence of Latin on prose style The prose of intellectual argument 1.

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

modern science was born. obscurantism and intolerance. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. you will learn more about the periodical essay. more carefully. Summary This unit has offered you a brief introduction to the intellectual and literary developments of the 17th and 18th centuries. intellectual habits and preoccupations changed radically: philosophic thought became secular. If there should be major differences between them. the progress from the old order of the feudal world to the modern age was completed. as well as the faith in progress. while Unit 5 will deal entirely with the novel in the 18th century. marked the entrance into Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 23 . This was a period of great changes at all levels of life in England. since both place Man and the improvement of his condition at the centre of their concerns. in a paragraph of no more than 7 lines / 70 words..1.5. these two centuries correspond. and 1. Within these two centuries.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background SAQ 6 In what direction did English prose style tend to develop along the 17th and 18th centuries? Answer in the space below. A steady process of economic development and imperial expansion made England the world’s greatest power. the image of the universe was changed. The victory of Reason over dogmatism. Within these two centuries. between which there is continuity. Culturally. the growing scepticism and critical spirit enthroned a rationalistic attitude in all spheres of culture. The following units will detail some aspects concerning the development of prose in the two centuries: in Unit 4. to the great movements of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. roughly. read again subchapters 1. at the end of the unit.5.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Macsiniuc. Ioan-Aurel (ed.T. 2003 (pp. 8. Carew. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. 2. 7. Dryden.T. 2.T. d. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .T. 3. Editura Universităţii Suceava.F. Milton. precision. Editura Universităţii Suceava. John Vanbrugh). English Literature and Civilisation. John Gay Further reading 1. Herrick.T. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne.T SAQ 2 a. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. Dryden. The Literature of the Beginnings. 4. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson.F.F. William Wycherley. . there was a tendency towards simplicity. Duke of Buckingham. Pope. The Novel in Its Beginnings. Goldsmith. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech. 7-49) 3.2. 6.). Thomson. artificial. Herbert. Fielding. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. Cornelia. Marvell. 6.T. 5.4. Goldsmith. Preda. 5. Turcu.T.3.T. 3. Donne. Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers. Sir George Sedley. c. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style. Blake the ode: Marvell. The English Eighteenth Century. Marvell satire: Dryden. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. b.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1.F. Collins. 1983 (pp. the sonnet: Shakespeare. 9-32) 2. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. Pope. Luminiţa Elena. Cowley.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. Sir George Etherege. 2003 (pp. 4.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general. Milton the pastoral: Milton. Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson.

2.3. 2. 2. 2.6. 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.3.4. 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. 2.1. 2. 2.2. late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.3. 2.8. 2. 2. 2. 2. 2.2. 2. 2.

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

Paul’s Cathedral in London (16751708): an example of baroque architecture 2. Even the Elizabethan dramatists cultivated elements which announced the Baroque. The baroque vision of experience of the Metaphysical Poets required a new kind of poetic language. to the macabre. with the tendency of breaking proportions. for excess. the extensive use of paradox. sensualism and mysticism. of confusing or transgressing limits. Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry The essence of the baroque sensibility is conflict and tension. refinement and cruelty. both in its themes and motifs. ornamental rhetoric and preference for convention and artifice. irony and ambiguity. of man’s limitations and the inevitability of death. Characteristic baroque themes were those of life as dream and life as theatre. proportion and symmetry.1. In lyric poetry.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. and. contrasts with the baroque taste for the extravagant. wisdom and madness. 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. Shakespeare’s early comedies and history plays* are Elizabethan in spirit. Although very diverse. in literature. they are the supreme dramatic achievement of late Renaissance. striking imagery. but his great tragedies belong not only chronologically to the Jacobean age: as embodiments of the baroque spirit. Characteristic of the baroque spirit are the sense of ethical relativism and the exploration of the borderline between truth and illusion. but also to pomp. on which the “show” of life must end. destroyed by the monstrous excess of their ambition. The Jacobean and Caroline drama* is essentially baroque. a tendency commonly associated with the baroque is represented by the Metaphysical Poets of the 17th century.2. capable of rendering its 33 Revenge tragedy Metaphysical poetry Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the difficult – often irregular – rhythms. the paradoxes and contrasts which make up man’s mixed nature. The Renaissance celebrated Nature and life with its joys. the concentration of expression in their poems stand in contrast with the Elizabethan smooth and orderly patterns of versification. with its abundance of bloody deaths. reason and superstition. the Baroque displayed a sharp consciousness of life’s ephemerality. the spectacular and the sumptuous. The Renaissance cult of rational order. and not properly forming a “school. and in its dramatic conception. grandeur. St. splendour. life and death. or the world as stage. The unexpected. the tragic divisions in man’s soul.1.1. The best examples are Thomas Kyd’s revenge tragedy. and Christopher Marlowe’s characters. nothing reflects better its emergence than drama. its sense of form.” these poets distinguish themselves by the ingenuity with which they force the limits of language. The Baroque displays attraction to obscurity and melancholy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. and unmotivated violence and cruelty. one of Duncan’s sons. at the instigation of his wife.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience.2. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland.6. it bleeds. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. illusion and truth. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. but. Macbeth. who has a trusting nature. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. ____________________ 3. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood.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.2.7.2. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . he multiples his crimes. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power.2. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. The protagonist. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. disorder. 2. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. paradoxically. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. 1. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. innocence and corruption. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. you need to revise subchapters 2. at the end of the unit. to 2. ____________________ 5. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. The baroque motif of madness is. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. / It weeps. If any of your solutions should not correspond. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. underlining the theme of knowledge. ____________________ 4. kinsman and guest. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. ____________________ 2.

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

these plays offer patterns of reconciliation and positive solutions to life’s contradictions. Shakespeare’s last plays Shakespeare’s four plays belonging to his last period of creation (1608-1611) – Pericles. The Tempest (1611). separated from each other in various parts of the island and all believing the others dead. but his plan is prevented by Ariel’s music. 43 John William Waterhouse: Miranda –The Tempest (1916) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the choice of a remote setting. is considered the finest. They may also be described as romance plays. while for physical labour he uses Caliban. who. a creature whose beastly nature is beyond Prospero’s attempt of educating him. and The Tempest – are described either as tragi-comedies or as romance plays. who instantly fall in love with each other. and certain themes and motifs (e. One of these sub-plots involves the courtiers: Antonio persuades Sebastian to kill his sleeping brother. a storm wrecks the ship carrying Antonio.g. their plots contain characteristic ingredients like dangers which are finally avoided. king of Naples. magic. In its opening scene. Sebastian and Ferdinand – Alonzo’s brother and son. Three lines of action develop. After the tragedies. involving the shipwrecked characters. owing to the improbability of the action. respectively –. and Sebastian.2. Alonzo. the last expression of Shakespeare’s mature genius. are encouraged by Caliban to kill Prospero and take over the rule of the island. the sense of a benevolent providential design. the master of an island. His acts of magic are fulfilled through Ariel. Alonzo. He had long studied the arts of magic. or tension and suspense followed by happy reversals – features that make them tragi-comedies. by his powers. We soon find out that the storm and shipwreck have been magically provoked by Prospero. on which he lives alone with his daughter. his faithful spiritservant. Prospero is the former and legitimate duke of Milan. Trinculo. usurped by his brother Antonio and forced into exile twelve years before. Miranda. the fairy-tale atmosphere. It is also in these last plays that Shakespeare’s dramatic imagination relies to a greater extent on symbolism.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. the pronounced elements of the supernatural.2. Another sub-plot brings together Ferdinand and Miranda. the long journey. the jester. the shipwreck. The plot of The Tempest Of these four plays. 2.9.8. of exile and return). and his supernatural powers have given him control over both the natural elements and the spirits. has turned him into a slave. The Winter’s Tale. In a plot-line that parallels and parodies the latter. They mix serious and comic action. a drunken servant. Cymbeline. myth. as well as other passengers. duke of Milan. the theme of loss and recovery. to take his throne. Caliban hates and fears Prospero. marvelous.

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

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

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

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

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

In the treatment of both themes. and 2. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words. In the following subchapters. and allegory.3. revise subchapters 2. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. and a highly original one. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. and the same realistic force. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry .3.3. at the end of the unit. Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. If they should differ considerably.1. pastoral* conventions. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. 2. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . Use the space left below. its decorative use of classical mythology.

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

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

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

Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets.5. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes.6. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love.3. nature. and read the poem again. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. and love of country. from the Reader. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . revise subchapter 2. according to some critics. 2. at the end of the unit.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. As a Puritan* patriot. Marvell left. 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. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.3. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. If there should be significant differences. In the last six lines. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650).7. Donne suggests his contradictory.

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

in its sexual fulfillment. which has the structure If…. after revising subchapter 2. What are the main ideas corresponding to these three steps? Formulate them succinctly in the space left below.8. read the poem again. SAQ 11 Read Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress (Text 2.3.The late Renaissance and the Baroque to the imperative of conquering time by the intensity of sensual enjoyment.8. Love. is presented as the only way of transcending our mortality. at the end of the unit. it can arrest the inevitable course towards physical extinction by a moment of ecstatic pleasure. in the Reader). more carefully. paying attention to the logic of the argument. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 55 . If the difference is considerable. Do not exceed 12 lines / 120 words in all. Love can suspend the inexorable laws of nature. If… But… Therefore… Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. but…. then (therefore)….

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

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

3. 3.3. 3.1. 3.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. 3. 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 .4.1.1. 3.2. 3. 3.4. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton.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. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.5. 3.5.2. 3. 3. 3.

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

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

polyphonic sounds of the organ. 2. but the “natural” music of L’Allegro (the song of the lark. c. to become a great epic poet of the Christian age. b. If your choices should be wrong. Milton’s literary ambition was a. appropriate mythological allusions contribute to the creation of the atmosphere. his constant preoccupation with his own poetic becoming.1. In each poem. Are Milton’s first poems in English which deal with a Christian theme. in his poetic work. In the latter. to master a variety of styles. the integration. there is a strong emphasis on music. c. In Il Penseroso. at the end of the unit. The final part of Il Penseroso expresses the poet’s aspiration of attaining visionary power.e. to rival the classics in his perfect mastery of Latin. c. 1.2. revise subchapters 3.” in which the studious poet finds the gratification of intellectual experience. the crowing of the cock. the song of the milkmaid) contrasts with the deep. the diversity of subjects in his prose essays and pamphlets. are complementary poems about poetic inspiration and creative moods. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso a. The diurnal activities and the cheerfulness of L’Allegro are replaced here by the nocturnal peace and quiet of the “lonely tower. b. Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Milton’s Christian humanism is reflected in a. of classical erudition with biblical themes. and on the happiness of rural life. in L’Allegro. and 3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 65 .The works of John Milton satisfactions that it offers. the poet emphasises the blessings of the “pensive. he expects to discern in the heavenly notes a spiritual truth. The secular* pleasures of common life. In both poems. SAQ 1 Make the right choice to continue each of the three beginning statements. celebrate the diurnal pleasures of pastoral life and its activities.” contemplative mood. in Il Penseroso. There is both parallelism and contrast between the two poems. with its simple pleasures. gives way to the mystic exaltation of the poet-student listening to religious music. b. you will thus review some aspects of Milton’s literary personality. 3. the poet hopes to hear “more than is meant to meet the ear” – i.

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

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

respectively. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). Virgil. Dante* –. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 3.2. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with.4. read again subchapter 3. and 3. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. and he worked at it over several years.2. and the two sonnets. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657.1. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. when he was already blind.3.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. If there should be significant differences. and of leaving to posterity an undying work. in the Reader). Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. at the end of the unit.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation.

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

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

What is God’s argument. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 71 . in the Reader. read again the text.The works of John Milton SAQ 3 Read Text 3.4. at the end of the unit. which contains God’s justification for allowing man to fall. If there should be major differences. more carefully. and what are its implications? Answer in no more than 15 lines/150 words. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.

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

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

5. Satan gives voice again to his torments and to his ambition of destroying God’s creation. Credulous Eve tastes from the forbidden fruit and tries to convince Adam that its effect is not to open the way to “evil unknown. discord” – which make reason and will helpless. Book IX: Eve and the Serpent (illustration by John Martin. the “subtlest [i. and all harmony between them is destroyed by bitter reciprocal accusations. is now troubled by the “higher winds” of negative passions – “anger.The works of John Milton 3.” Back to guarded Paradise in this disguise. hate / Mistrust. The disaster of the original sin shakes the foundations of the natural order: Earth trembles. but he regains the strength of his hate and appears to Eve (1808) her in the splendid shape of the Serpent. certain that the proud tempter will not be successful. the thundering skies weep. most subtle*] beast of all the field. and all The effects of Nature is in pain. Their former innocent sensuality is now replaced by guilty lust and the feeling of shame. W. suspicion. At last.4. 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. Eve is amazed at the miracle of a beast capable of speech and. while Adam tries to convince her that together they would be more safe from harm. 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. flattered by his praise of her “celestial beauty. and. Meanwhile.e. her argument wins: she is willing to put her innocence to trial. their inward the fall on Nature peace. 1827) 74 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Adam is chilled with horror at Eve’s irresponsible mistake but decides to share her fate. for a moment. he is disarmed by her Satan with Adam and angelic grace.” she is finally seduced by his promise of higher knowledge and by his assurance that there is no sin in such aspiration. The “calm region” of their state of mind. Blake: Satan finds Eve alone.” but to “open eyes” and bring those who taste closer to the condition of a god.

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole fragment carefully. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero. at the end of the unit.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there are significant differences. and 3. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. “and “The mind is its own place. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell. “A mind not to be changed by time or place.3. and read the indicated fragment again. in Hell. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A..5. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. revise subchapters 3.) B.5.2.

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

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

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

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

romantic in The Tempest –.2. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. • Read attentively this fragment.6. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. before the final battle. A revision of subchapter 3. 1. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul.1. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3.2. 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.1. one of the greatest Roman poets.2.. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. in which he explores his inner hell. at the end of the play. and the last paragraph of 2. in Heaven • his oscillation between remorse and pride • his oscillation between self-justification and self-blame for his rebellion against God • his consideration and rejection of the possibility of rehabilitating Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 85 . • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda.5. with special attention to the indicated subchapters. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. and thus of destroying man.3. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration).4. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. 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. Send-away assignment no. Texts 2. In both of them. God’s creation. and 2. Text 3. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words.). At the beginning of Book IV.. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. 2.C.

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

unless he exercises his will and reason. 153-163) 3. 2.e. SAQ 8 God cannot be pleased with blind submission.). Editura Universităţii Suceava. Their hesitant steps suggest their awareness of the difficulty of all choice. faith and love untested. Man is not a free creature. The same rational spirit separates what is vital from what is “adverse to life” (the “infernal dregs”). unless he is put in the situation of making choices. 2. 2. He wants man’s obedience to be the result of an act of free choice. of the responsibility that accompanies freedom. These lines suggest Satan’s formidable strength of will and the independence of his indestructible spirit. His gift of Reason to man has no justification (it is “useless and vain”). b. A Critical History of English Literature. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. d. then it is like Heaven for a spirit that cannot accept constraints. 1. vol. 2. Incapable of obedience to God. 1983 (pp.. 435-449) 2. 141-152) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 87 . guarded by fear-inspiring armed angels. SAQ 7 1. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. If Hell is a space of freedom. It is his will and desire that give value to things around. Turcu. of human solidarity. and the image of the terrible gates. e. under the guidance of Providence. 4 SAQ 6 For Adam and Eve. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). Forced to look ahead. If God leaves man’s loyalty. Satan feels God’s absolute power as a limitation to his enormous ambition. 2003 (pp. f. g. 3. English Literature and Civilisation. The Literature of the Beginnings. c. the intelligible and the unintelligible (the dark void).e. SAQ 5 a. with passive virtue. Luminiţa Elena. is meant to keep alive the memory of their transgression.4. Daiches. Paradise is now a forbidden place. i. and for him servitude in Heaven is the real hell. 1969 (pp. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. but at least they have the mutual comfort of their love. Satan is willing to exchange the happiness of Heaven for the torments in Hell. This line illustrates both his aspiration to complete independence and his ambition. Further reading 1. to be dictated by Reason. i. Preda. as God has made him. 1.4.3.The works of John Milton Architect”). The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. Ioan-Aurel (coord. 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. who draws a firm line between the formed and the formless (chaos). comforting himself that he exchanged submission for sovereignty. David.

1. Gulliver.4. 4. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve.2. 4.3. 4. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.4. 4. 4. 4.7. 4.4.2. 4.1. 4.2 4.4.2. 4.4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.3.3. 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. 4.5. 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 .3.2. 4.

Human nature. the scenery became more elaborate – more “realistic” in comedies. was interrupted: Restoration theatre became almost exclusively a form of Court entertainment.1. Charles II Stuart (reign: 1660-1685) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 89 . the age in which the ideological premises of the Enlightenment were constituted. Restoration drama marked a clear split between popular and aristocratic standards of taste. 4. and of considerable diversity. under the influence of French theatres. The Renaissance tradition of the theatre as popular entertainment. ♦ 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. clarity and elegant restraint. ♦ explain the relevance of concepts like Art. addressing itself to an inclusive public. Nature. ♦ identify the main concerns of literary Neoclassicism. and Jonathan Swift. Restoration drama The Restoration* was a period of significant social and institutional change.1. Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment In the heterogeneous literary picture of the Restoration. with spectators no longer allowed to sit on it. it was a period of transition as well. was attended by a strong anti-Puritan reaction.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. grandiose and extravagant in tragedies –. Alexander Pope. ♦ specify the main targets of satire in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. and. Unit objectives 4. the cast of actors included women. 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. Significant changes took place in the theatre: the stage became closed on three sides. The Puritans had closed theatres in 1642.1. central to the Neoclassic poetics of the Augustan Age. From a literary point of view. of increasing rationalism and secularisation. its audience being restricted to the fashionable circles gravitating around the Crown. drama holds a place apart. ♦ establish a relation between the spirit of Restoration comedy and the cultural-historical circumstances in which it emerged. and their re-opening in 1660. ♦ describe satirical devices used by John Dryden. under the patronage of king Charles II.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

but also to imported French ideas – e.3. and the indicated fragment. in the Reader represents a fragment from Samuel Johnson’s Preface to his 1765 edition of Shakespeare’s works. in a paragraph of no more than 4 complex sentences (80-100 words / 8-10 lines). and what Neoclassic conviction do they imply? Answer in the space below. at the end of the unit.3.2. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 97 . or art*. If there should be significant differences. What are the main ideas in this fragment. The rationalist poetics* of Neoclassicism owed greatly to Horace*.g. and beauty was the result of the balanced combination of talent and inspiration with skill. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Emotion was supposed to be filtered and controlled by reason. to those of Nicolas Boileau*. a combination achieved through reason. read again subchapter 4. SAQ 3 Text 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age A rationalist poetics All the faculties involved in the process of creation were seen as subordinated to Reason.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

illustration from a 1947 edition of Gulliver’s Travels 108 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . the Yahoos embodied Swift’s own vision of mankind as hopelessly degraded. For many readers. and he ultimately becomes the target of Swift’s irony. In a “theological” perspective. Houyhnhnm and Yahoo .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. the Yahoos would stand for the essentially corrupt nature of man. unteachable and ungovernable. an image which earned Swift the reputation of a misanthrope. filthy. The last book of Gulliver’s Travels has been given a multitude of interpretations. The Houyhnhms and the Yahoos have also been seen as allegorical representations of Reason and Instinct. makes him a frustrated idealist. while the Houyhnhms would represent man who has escaped the consequences of the original sin.

and to revise subchapter 4. however. the Houyhnhnms’ society is perfect – a true utopia.4. more carefully. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 109 . Utopian aspects: Anti-utopian aspects Compare your answer with the one provided at the end of the unit. The careful reader will. and by mixing the desirable with the unacceptable. find anti-utopian elements in it.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. For Gulliver. you need to read the fragment again. in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be major differences. from the Reader.6.6. Formulate your answer in no more than 10 lines / 100 words for each aspect. Point out both kinds of aspects in the description contained in Text 4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. 5.2.3. 5.1.2. 5.2. 5.8. 5.2. 5.2.2. 5. 5. Unit objectives The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 118 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 144 145 146 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 117 . 5. 5.3.2. 5. 5. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 5. Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5.3. 5. 5.5. 5. 5.2.5. 5.4. 5. 5. 5.1.6.

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

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

Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . If there should be major differences.1. and 5.2. on the other. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. on the one hand. 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. 1.1. 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. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. read again subchapters 5. Women were … 3. at the end of the unit. … 4.1. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. The rise of the middle classes … 2. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment.

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

after each sentence. usually with supernatural ingredients. Two of these descriptions do not match any of the types of novels described in the subchapter above. 122 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . ________________________ 4. trivial subjects. at the end of a process in which he/she learns to accord private impulse with social expectation. in their confrontation with moral choice. and his/her experiences provide a satirical survey of the contemporary society. It explores the labyrinth of emotion and feeling. 3. in an atmosphere of gloom. ________________________ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. mocking their elevated style by applying it to common. deliberately reducing the importance of plot or emotional conflict. ________________________ 5. It offers more delight in ________________________ action than in character. ________________________ 8. 1. read again subchapter 5.. The achievement of maturity leads to the hero’s satisfactory social integration. • SAQ 2 What kinds of novels do the following sentences describe? Write the answer in the space indicated by the continuous line. It presents a tale of mystery and horror. If you have failed to match any of the descriptions with the right type of novel. ________________________ 2. It defines itself in contrast with the “serious” narrative genres.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. at the end of the unit. It is concerned with the individual’s full assertion as a social being. Its hero is a marginal figure who aspires to social success. It centres on intellectual debate and confrontation of ideas. It explores the diversity of social manners and their articulation with moral values. ________________________ 6.3. ________________________ 7. this illustrates the concern of the Enlightenment with the development of the individual as a social being.1.

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

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

It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition.” 5.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. as a political or economic utopia. In his initial struggle with despair. read again subchapters 5. In this light. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases.2. to the awakening of religious conscience. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 . and 5.2. If it should differ considerably.1.2. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness.. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions.3. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. 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.2. Gradually. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. at the end of the unit. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). Isolation is no longer a misfortune. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design.

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

the most common objects and actions in their particularity. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. 3. His linear. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. containing.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. 4. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. at the same time. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. he paid little attention to matters of form. with unmatched vividness. which. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5. at the end of the unit. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. of familiar detail.2. 2. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. on a separate sheet. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2.4. rendered in a simple. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. 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. clear language. whose reality is difficult to doubt.2. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories. the promise of symbolic meanings. read the fragment and subchapter 5. The richness of concrete detail. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable.4 once more and do the exercise again. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 1. the frequent enumerations and inventories. concreteness. solid world. His simple. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking. clarity. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience.

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

This ambiguity in her condition makes her remarkably class-conscious. as a traditionally dominant class.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.7. the freedoms that he takes with her. The cover engraving and title page of the 1741 edition Mr. Social hierarchy and the individual self Pamela’s problem is not only the defense of her chastity. F. The moral conflict in the novel is accompanied by social issues. Through its subject and theme. the rights of the individual. a complete novelty in fiction.2. Gravelot to the 1742 edition) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 129 . is consistent with the spirit of individual freedom which defines the Enlightenment. Richardson’s novel participates in the larger illuminist debate on the issue of authority and absolute power vs. Richardson’s creation of Pamela is revolutionary. He thus questions the exclusive right of aristocracy. Richardson’s implicit radical message. but the education she received in Lady B_’s house is far above that of a servant. Pamela is brought up by her modest parents in the spirit of the strictest religious principles.” but she defends her dignity as an individual. his violation of her privacy (including the private space of her correspondence) as abusive attempts to reduce her to the condition of an object. B_. as he embodies perfect virtue in a lower middle-class girl. She sees social hierarchy as “natural. B_ intercepting Pamela’s first letter to her parents (Engraving by H. that no one has the right to control the ideas and feelings of another. She perceives her imprisonment by Mr. to set moral standards to the nation. Pamela’s position of moral superiority reflects Richardson’s confidence that the values of the middle class entitled them to claim moral leadership.

though in quality [i.2. to obey Mr.e.7. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. If there should be significant differences. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. between hate and admiration. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. 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. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .”? Answer in the space left below. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable.2.6. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger.8. 5. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave. as a servant.2. at the end of the unit. read again attentively subchapters 5. and 5.

as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader.. on the one hand. on the other. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. B_ follows a similar evolution. 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 5.3. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. excerpted from Pamela. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. read again subchapter 5. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . In Pamela’s letters and diary. in the Reader). is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is.2.. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. 1. at the end of the unit. however. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling.4. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. 2. What counts.9. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. which are captured in the process of their emergence. and his developing love. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. her sentimental response to them.

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

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

as for Richardson. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Character as type The principle of contrast in characterisation 134 . hypocrisy and intolerance he is confronted with. but manners. In the combination of foolishness and idealism that characterises the parson. Fielding makes a synthesis between the comic and the morally serious. Fielding’s panoramic approach led him to find uniform patterns in human behaviour. he describes “not men. there are both good and bad innkeepers. Parson Adams’s character remains the moral center of the novel. Fielding’s fiction displays an immense gallery of characters. and he never seems to learn from disappointing experiences. as he himself says. masters. etc. lawyers. which often create comic effects. Adams’s unsuspecting nature often gets him in trouble.3. the essence of Christian morality is not prudence. cruelty. Defoe and Richardson were also concerned with the relation individual-society. At the same time. which must give substance to faith. In order to make the extraordinary variety of human types easier to deal with. in spite of the many instances of greed. often making him appear ridiculous. Fielding involves him in a multitude of comic situations. The character of Parson Adams The influence of Cervantes is clear in Fielding’s delineation of Parson* Adams. above all. in various nuances of behaviour and in its moral diversity. profession and temperament is represented in his novels. one of the most successfully accomplished quixotic* characters. but also moral instruction. both loyal and treacherous servants or friends. Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews The way in which Fielding conceives his characters in his novels is of great importance for his didactic purpose. In other words.3. His fund of Christian idealism is inexhaustible. Virtue and vice are not the “privilege” of a certain class or profession.4. doctors. quickly assimilating his mentor’s lesson and convinced that true Christianity means.3. but they placed their main interest in the individual. in Fielding. both honest and hypocrite priests.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. He represents what Fielding considers the highest Christian value: goodness. Joseph appears to follow his sister in his restriction of virtue to the question of chastity. In the beginning. but a species” (Joseph Andrews). etc. Every social class. and the reader is invited to judge all the other characters against the moral standard that he embodies. fulfilling thus the novel’s double aim of entertaining and instructing. not an individual. because “beauty and excellence” are always best demonstrated by their reverse. Along the novel. Fielding offers aesthetic delight. For the author. his virtues always outshine his occasional foolishness. but good deeds and charity. Joseph emerges as morally mature. active goodness. By means of techniques of contrast. the parson combines innocence and simplicity with dignity and learning. Like his literary ancestor. Fielding resorts to the principle of contrast in characterisation. The presence of Parson Adams is essential for the evolution of the main character. Parson Adams as a quixotic character 5. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. preoccupied with the reformation of manners. unaffected. and 5.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. like many Augustan writers. 5. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each.3.. Explain them. read again subchapters 5. He is a moralist. drawing short comparisons.3. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. 2. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . 3. 5. and he believes. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. at the end of the unit. If they should differ substantially. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. 5.2..5. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. At the same time. through its moral and temperamental types. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation.. provide the first theory of the novel.4. Fielding is the most “Augustan. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. 1. incorporated in the substance of his works.8.

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

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

Read this short chapter (Text 5.6.3. see again the fall of princes.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel take a lightly ironic distance from suffering. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If the difference is considerable. I. 138 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . V.. SAQ 10 In Vol. Write the answer in the space left below. which enables man to keep a healthy spirit and to get around the evils of life by joking about them. as well as the fragment from the Reader. Sterne introduces the theme of Fortune – a theme which he will develop with a characteristic mixture of sentimental pathos and comic wit. It is a combination of wisdom and mirth*. Ch. restricting it to 12 lines / 120 words. at the end of the unit. in the Glossary to Unit 2. To remember the features of the tragic hero. 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.

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

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

In this way. 3. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. which he discusses in the very text of the work.4. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. Write them in the spaces indicated below.6. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. 1. go again through subchapters 5. at the end of the unit. Instead of continuing the story.4. and read the fragment attentively once more. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If they differ significantly. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them.. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. and 5. 2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5.5.7. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6.2. 6.3. 6. 6.2.4. 6.3. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 150 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 149 .1. 6.1.5. 6.3.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. The Seasons William Cowper. 6.7. 6. 6. Unit objectives English pre-Romantic poetry Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.2. 6. 6. 6.1. 6.

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

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

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

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

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

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

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

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

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


English pre-Romantic poetry

Illustration to (1905 edition)

The Village

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state.1. at the end of the unit. except as an act of remembering. If there should be major differences between them. to 6. and read the poem again more carefully. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast.4.4. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words.7. to regain the vision of Innocence. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 .English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience. but he is no longer able to do that.. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. revise subchapters 6. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted.

and of Thomas Chatterton with the Middle Ages anticipates the Romantic spirit. The other feature is primitivism. deals with the way in which poets like James Thomson. The same theme and situation acquires contrary implications. Another feature of 18th century pre-Romantic poetry is the perception of rural life in its close connection with Nature. 170 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . nature-civilisation. Oliver Goldsmith emphasises the idyllic happiness of the traditional rural civilisation. the vision of Innocence and the vision of Experience completing each other. He condemns the literary habit of idealising the countryside. in whose work pre-Romantic and Romantic elements meet. imagination and feelings. In subchapter 6. and seeks to arouse compassion for the life of labour and poverty of the English peasant.2.3. The theme of childhood is examined in several Songs. now threatened by the march of Progress. The fascination of James Macpherson with Britain’s Celtic past. The transition from the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling in the 18th century was accompanied by changes in literary taste. the interest in early poetry. George Crabbe adopts a more realistic and critical view. who sees the opposition nature-civilisation in the light of the myth of Paradise and of the Fall.. The last subchapter. as Blake’s “double” poems suggest. The first subchapter of this unit deals with two prominent features announcing the Romantic sensibility. g. you have been acquainted with two poets who turned their attention to the rural universe. and they acknowledge Nature’s subtle influence on man’s thoughts. Subchapter 6. presents the outstanding figure of William Blake. Their poetry displays an unprecedented attention to natural detail. The latter may be also seen as complementary aspects of poetic imagination. in its relation with “the two contrary states of the human soul”: Innocence and Experience.English pre-Romantic poetry Summary This unit aims at enlarging your picture of the literary diversity of the 18th century. by focusing on those tendencies in poetry which prefigure the Romantic Age. His Songs of Innocence and of Experience are the testimony of the visionary artist. 6.. The theme of Nature in pre-Romantic poetry is sometimes closely associated with the opposition country-town.4. Edward Young and Thomas Gray) illustrate this new trend. William Collins and William Cowper approach the theme of Nature. One of them is the emergence of a kind of meditative poetry fond of melancholy themes and gloomy settings. The “Graveyard” poets (e.

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

Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors. Milton. belonging to the beginnings.. to attend the religious service. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. in Unit 3.1.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. with His laws formulated as interdictions. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 .2. in Unit 1. as well as against the sophistication. Jerusalem. See also subchapter 4. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. Among the most important of them are America. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. on which the Ten Commandments were written. philosophical and political convictions. The Book of Los. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. or of gold or silver paint.3. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. Pity. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. the 39th day after Easter. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. The Four Zoas. orphaned children from the charity schools to St. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. A Prophecy. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. 2 in Unit 4. primitive: original. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. wild landscapes.3. in Unit 5. The custom in London was to bring the poor. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3.1. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law. etc. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. etc. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. The Book of Urizen. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5. Paul’s Cathedral. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics. the Passions. used to secure the hands of a prisoner.

your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%).8.. 6. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. 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). • the coherence. gardens or estates. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. in grading your paper. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . 6. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau.11.12. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger. SAA no. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate..9. meant to win a patron’s favour. 6.13.. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. • 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.” usurous: from usury. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song..). Send-away assignment no. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance. The Chimney Sweeper. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. with his law of love. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. Remember that. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. 6. clarity.10. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. and 6.

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

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

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

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

strălucitor overhanging hanging over firmament (archaic. m-am lăsat de toate obişnuitele exerciţii. the air. această boltă falnică împodobită cu scântei de aur. this brave* overhanging* firmament*. foregone* all custom of exercises. vedeţi.g. this most excellent canopy*. for what reason mirth happiness and laughter foregone to forego. şi totuşi. to me. nu ştiu – mi-am pierdut toată voioşia. acest mândru firmament ce senalţă deasupra noastră. ce înseamnă această chintesenţă a ţărânii? Omul nu mă desfată (…). încât acest frumos tărâm. cum să spun. in moving. – lost all my mirth*. şi. ability to understand paragon a model of excellence Romanian translation (by Leon Leviţchi and Dan Duţescu) Hamlet: În ultima vreme – de ce. sufletul îmi este atât de apăsat. what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights me not (…). how express and admirable! In action how like an angel. the earth. in apprehension* how like a god!! The beauty of the world! The paragon* of animals! And yet. acest preaminunat baldachin. cât de chibzuit şi de admirabil e în faptele sale. ce fără de număr îi sunt facultăţile. pământul. Ce minunată lucrare e omul. Scene II) Hamlet: (…) I have of late*. cât de asemenea unui zeu: frumuseţea lumii. îmi pare un promontoriu sterp.Reader UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE TEXT 2.1. shape canopy a large or wide covering (e. forewent. this majestical roof fretted* with golden fire. pildă a vieţuitoarelor.excelent. What a piece of work is man! How noble in Reason! How infinite in faculty! In form. alcătuirile şi mişcările. the sky) brave minunat. cât de asemenea unui înger în puterea sa de înţelegere. it appears no other thing to me but a foul* and pestilent congregation of vapours. cât de nobilă îi este inteligenţa. într-adevăr. and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly* frame*. of late recently wherefore why. nu-mi pare alta decât un vălmăşag odios şi infect de miasme. – but wherefore* I know not. William Shakespeare. 178 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Hamlet (Act II. look you. seems to me a sterile promontory. pentru mine. literary) the sky fretted decorated foul very bad or unpleasant apprehension understanding. foregone: to give up goodly pleasant or satisfying in appearance frame form. văzduhul.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

comic romance roman comic comic epic poem poem eroicomic comprehensive cuprinzător fable subiect. smaller faults. of our pity.Reader […] Much less are natural imperfections the objects of derision. fig. cu bun simţ) outré (French) exaggerated hath has alma mater (Latin) the nourishing mother. But for not being what they would be thought*. tend* only to raise our mirth*. cu stângăcie. sferă affecting false characters pretending to be in a way that one is not. contradiction doth does deceit înşelătorie it partakes of se înrudeşte cu. it is then that these unfortunate circumstances. […] Great vices are the proper objects of our detestation. şchiopătat to display to show to tend a tinde mirth laughter thought the lines quoted by Fielding are from Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism (1711): “Nimeni nu este vinovat de a fi ceea ce e. which at first moved our compassion. The poet carries this very far: None are for being what they are in fault. 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. 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. / Ci de-a nu fi ceea ce vrea să pară. dărnicie) vain vanitos awkwardly stângaci. it sits less awkwardly on him than: îi şade mai puţin rău decât strikes the reader with surprise and pleasure îi oferă cititorului plăcerea surprizei applause when ugliness aims at the applause of beauty: când urâtul/urâţenia aspiră la aplauzele meritate de frumuseţe lameness şchiopătare. but when ugliness aims at the applause* of beauty. exact sensible endowed with common sense (cu judecată.: the primary source licence liberty province domeniu.” Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 205 . face parte din liberality generosity (mărinimie. but affectation appears to me the only true source of the Ridiculous. or lameness* endeavours to display* agility.

a izbuti. yet I constantly take care to order affairs so. which were thought to be at variance* with each other. Tristram Shandy (Vol. I fear. I wish I had been born in the Moon. Chapter V) On the fifth day of November. a asalta pitiful jalnic misadventure nenorocire cross potrivnic. and reconciled. brought forth* into this scurvy* and disastrous world of ours. răspundere publică employment slujbă sport jucărie weight greutate.6. abject vile ticălos with reverence be it spoken fie spus cu tot respectul shreds zdrenţe clippings resturi. Laurence Sterne. yet with all the good temper* in the world I affirm it of her that in every stage of my life. 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. not for want of penetration* in him. the ungracious* Duchess has pelted* me with a set of as pitiful* misadventures* and cross* accidents as ever small HERO sustained. to annoy ungracious răutăcios. with reverence be it spoken*. two contrary motions are introduced into it. and it is progressive too. been overlooked* by my reader. 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. provided a man could be born in it to a great title* or to a great estate*. […] 206 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Laurence Sterne. […] The machinery* of my work is of a species by itself. which. 1718 […] was I Tristram Shandy. lipsit de cordialitate/amabilitate to pelt a bombarda. – and at the same time. on my conscience. my work is digressive. a reuşi public charges însărcinare. the merit of which has all along. as far and as often too as any writer in Great-Britain. that my main business does not stand still in my absence. and that I fly off* from what I am about. I take to be made up of the shreds* and clippings* of the rest. but because it is an excellence seldom* looked for. dirty planet of ours. or in any of the planets […] than in this vile*. and though I will not wrong her by saying she has ever made me feel the weight* of any great or signal* evil. or could any how contrive* to be called up to public charges* and employments* of dignity or power – but that is not my case […]. and at every turn* and corner where she could get* fairly at me.Reader TEXT 5.I. or expected indeed. In a word. Gentleman. in a digression. remarcabil good temper voie bună turn cotitură to get at (somebody) to irritate. Tristram Shandy (Vol I. as in my all digressions (one only excepted) there is a master-stroke* of digressive skill. nefericit TEXT 5.7. Chapter XXII) For in this long digression which I was accidentally led into. as you observe. – and it is this: That though my digressions are all fair*. brought forth born scurvy păcătos. povară signal însemnat. – not but the planet is well enough*.

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

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

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

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

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

And the Angel told Tom. Ned and Jack.Reader TEXT 6. Your spring and your day are wasted* in play. foşnet. Tom was happy and warm.” And so he was quiet. my children. And got with our bags and our brushes to work. And my father sold* me while yet my tongue Could scarcely cry “weep*. Joe. And the dews of night arise. and sport* in the wind. You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair. if he'd be a good boy. William Blake. all their bags left behind. Then come home. And so Tom awoke. Though the morning was cold. never mind it. was shaved: so I said “Hush*. As Tom was a-sleeping. Were all of them locked up in coffins* of black. The Chimney Sweeper* (from Songs of Innocence) When my mother died I was very young. 212 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . weep!” So your chimneys I sweep. weep. And by* came an Angel who had a bright key. The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind. Nurse’s Song (from Songs of Experience) When the voices of children are heard on the green And whisperings* are in the dale*. weep. He'd have God for his father and never want* joy. And your winter and night in disguise. Then down a green plain leaping. vâlcea my face turns green as in “green with envy” to waste a pierde. And wash in a river. and in soot* I sleep. for when your head's bare. they run. And he opened the coffins and set them all free. who cried when his head That curled* like a lamb’s back. Then naked and white. he had such a sight*!– That thousands of sweepers. they need not fear harm. So if all do their duty. Tom. My face turns green* and pale. whisperings şoapte.9.10. Dick. a irosi TEXT 6. freamăt dale vale. They rise upon clouds. and shine in the Sun. laughing. William Blake. and that very night. and we rose* in the dark. the sun is gone down. There’s little Tom Dacre.

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

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

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