Program postuniversitar de conversie profesională pentru cadrele didactice din mediul rural

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

SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE

Cornelia MACSINIUC

2006

Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

LIMBA ŞI LITERATURA ENGLEZĂ

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature

Cornelia MACSINIUC

2006

© 2006

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

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

Contents

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

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

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

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

1. 4. 3.2. 3.2.2. 3.2. 2. 3.4. 3.3.4. 3.3.5.3.6. 2.1. 2.4. 3.2.1. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton.3. 4.2. 4.3.5. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan.5.3.Contents 2.3. 3.4. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3. 2.1.2. 4. 3.5.2. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.4.4. 3.2.2.7.1.1.4.4.5. 3. 2.1. 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.2.5.3. 4.1.3. 4. 3. 3. 3. 4. 4. 3.3.5.1.4.1. The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 62 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 3 3.1.2.3.6.1. 2.3.4.8.3.2.3. 3.1.

6. 5.4.2.4. 5.4.3. 4.2.2.1.8.4.4. 5.4. 5. 5.4.3. 5. 5.5. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. Gulliver.3. 5. 4.2. 5. 5. 5. 5.1.1.6. 4.3.3. “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.1.5. 5.1.3. 5.4. 4.4.4.4.2.2. 4. 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5.2.1.4.4. 4.2.3.7. 5. 5. 4. 4.5. 4.Contents 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.3. 5.5.7.2.3.2.2. 5.1. 5.1.1. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 5.2. 4. 5.3.4. 5.3.2.2.4.2.4.2.6.5.4.3.2. 5.3.4.4.4.1. 4. 5. 5.3.

2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 6.3.1.1. The Seasons William Cowper. 6. 6.1.2. 6.4.1.5.1.6. 6. 6. 6.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No.4. 6. 6.3. 6.3.2.2.4. 6.3.1.4.2.1. 6.4. 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1. 6.4. 6.4.3.4. 6. 6.4.2.2.2.7.3. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6. 6.2.4.2.

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

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

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

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. with the typological definition of a work. You are given detailed instructions about what is expected from you. 4.3. Try to analyse your errors and to become aware of everything you have missed in the instructions of the SAQ. fragment) • complete sentences. • A self-assessed question (SAQ) is signalled in the course text by this icon accompanying a textbox. Remember that what counts most is the process of thinking that leads you to a particular answer. Do not get discouraged if some of your answers should not come near the suggestions offered at the end. etc. of a certain work or a provided fragment • explain the relevance or significance of a certain item (phrase. line. 4 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .. stylistic features. A line in your textboxes is estimated to contain ten words on the average. the title of a work. state its theme • comment on / interpret a given fragment. narrative technique.lIntroduction answer questions about the theme. You are required to solve these SAQs in the blank spaces provided for each of them in textboxes. an author’s work. summarise its argument. the independent intellectual effort that you are encouraged to put into your learning. after you have identified them in/after a provided short description • match a given literary fragment with a given paraphrase. and you are advised to read those instructions carefully and to follow them. 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). You are strongly advised to resist the temptation of consulting this section before you have actually tried to do the exercises yourself. at the end of the unit. match incomplete statements so as to reconstruct an idea or a description • identify true/false sentences. • paraphrase a given fragment from a studied literary work. etc. so as to obtain synthetic reformulations or rephrasings of relevant details about a literary period. and. The estimated length of your answers will be indicated as number of words / number of lines. symbolic elements. if the case may be. characterisation. in the literary text you were asked to work on. Solutions and suggestions for SAQs You can check your answers to each SAQ by going to this section.

if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . if necessary or desired. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge. Sometimes. with the pages where you may find relevant information. You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. Most of the books included there are available in any University library. for the Great Chain of Being*. in Unit 1. will also appear in Units 5 and 6.Introduction 4. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. The materials indicated in the Further reading section and in the Selective bibliography (see below) offer you supplementary information. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order).1. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained. For instance.3.1.3. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. Thus. Some terms may recur in several units. at the end. the term Enlightenment. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to. • Further reading. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit.4. other instruments meant to assist your study. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. but the phrase of which that word is part. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities. For example. • the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names). which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries. not just Being. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course. you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them.

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

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

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

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 . 1.4.4.5.4. 1.1.2. 1.3.3. 1. 1.1. 1.2.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1. 1.1. 1.1.1.2.4.4.5.3. 1.4.1.4.1.1.

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

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

the Enlightenment. to superstition and obscurantism. the central concern of the Enlightenment. The growing spirit of individualism.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. T F 5. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. SAQ 1 The following exercise will help you revise some of the more important aspects concerning the intellectual and cultural background of the 17th and 18th centuries. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. T F 2. The Enlightenment continued the Renaissance faith in man’s perfectibility and sought for man’s emancipation both as an individual and as a social being.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature.1. continued the project of the Renaissance. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. The development of modern science and the rise of philosophical empiricism are major aspects of the process of intellectual modernisation in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. but also affective and instinctual. 1.1.4. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Read the statements below and identify the true ones. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. for each sentence. 1. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling This infusion of emotionalism in spiritual life may be seen as the sign of a certain evolution in the temper of the 18th century. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. Circle T (true) or F (false). appropriately. T F 3. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733).3. 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. T F 4.

It was the main focus of literary attention. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. and both writers and audiences were. to 1. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. 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. for instance. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. at the end of the unit. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion.4. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life.1. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. regularity. in the orbit of the crown. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. The division into Elizabethan. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. After 1688. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste.2. including readers of more modest education. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. T F 8.1. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned. T F 7.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. read again subchapters. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. with little or no classical knowledge. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 . Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality. 1.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life.1. for proportion. in one way or another. symmetry. that the notion of reading public emerges now. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. It is significant. the decrease in the power of the Crown.

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

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

some of them of popular origin (the song. It was the only form of literature which.4. SAQ 3 Which are the most popular kinds of poems in the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least six of them. In the following units of this course. The flourishing of English drama during the Renaissance is a unique phenomenon. Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries The Renaissance was the Golden Age of English drama. 16 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . together with their most outstanding representatives. at the end of the unit. revise subchapter 1. comparable perhaps only with the rise of the novel in the next century. a brilliant constellation of playwrights founded a dramatic tradition which represents the best and most original expression of the nation’s creative genius. a new appreciation of older poetic forms. in the space left below.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Towards the end of the century. enjoyed a widely popular appeal. through its representation on stage. we shall look more closely at some of the most representative poetic works of these two centuries: the metaphysical poetry of Donne and Marvell (Unit 2). In little more than half a century (1580-1642).3. the verse satires of Dryden and Pope (Unit 4). If there should be major differences between them. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and the “poetry of sensibility” which announced the coming of the Romantic Age (Unit 6). 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. 1.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1601) is the finest illustration of this kind of tragedy. 1612) and especially John Webster (The Duchess of Malfi. Jacobean and Caroline plays usually represented atrocities on stage. murder. built around the theme of revenge. was a miniature of the English society. 1633). but destroys himself along with his enemies. with his exploration of the darkness of strange passions. They saw the theatre as a source of moral corruption through the “idle” pleasure that it offered. Jacobean tragedy One of the most widespread forms of tragedy was the revenge tragedy. inspired by the plays of the Roman Stoic Seneca*. They were generally. The dramatic genres popular during the Renaissance were extremely diverse: tragedy and comedy with their varieties. Shakespeare’s protagonist in Richard III (1592-3) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth. On the whole. treachery. Renaissance playwrights borrowed the five-act structure. who usually appears as a ghost on the stage. play-houses were reopened. and in the 18th century it was replaced by the novel in popularity. sensational and macabre. A particular type of protagonist became fashionable in revenge tragedies: the villain. where bloody deeds were only evoked through an efficient rhetoric of the dramatic discourse. and the rhetorical manner. exploiting excessively morbid ingredients like incest. while others changed. Some dramatic forms went out of fashion. the sensational plot. 1605-6). or Vittoria Corombona (1612) are among the most accomplished portrayals of the villain in drama. insanity. tragi-comedy. drama witnessed a decline. when the Puritans* closed the theatres. 1607). Thomas Middleton (Women Beware Women. 17 Revenge tragedy The villain in revenge tragedy Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Milton’s Satan. pastoral drama. the fundamentally evil hero/heroine. and this “unholy alliance” between crown and stage increased the intransigence of the Puritans. In such plays.1. to accommodate the tastes of a new public. Unlike Senecan plays. in Paradise Lost. historical drama. with the restoration of monarchy. masque*. In 1660.4. with its audience arranged according to rank. John Ford (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. the wronged hero plans revenge. Masters of this genre were the Jacobean dramatists Cyril Tourneur (The Revenger’s Tragedy. fascinating through unbounded ambition. each variety of spectator responding to the performance according to his/her education and imagination. daring and wit.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Contemporary reconstruction of a Jacobean playhouse The play-house. Of the Caroline playwrights. The great acting companies were under the patronage of the king. The great age of English drama ended abruptly in 1642. but the spirit of the great tradition was never recaptured. 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. rape. sometimes he rights the wrong done to another. 1. is the most gifted. From Senecan tragedy. as well as John Webster’s heroine in The White Devil. 1614). etc.

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

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

Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit. revise subchapters 1. 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. together with their most outstanding representatives. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy.4. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2. If there should be major differences between them.4. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . to 1.4.2.

with its trials. blending concision with wit. struggles and William Blake: aspirations. prepared the English language for a variety of uses: in scientific. influenced immensely Bunyan’s the language of prose. in political tracts and pamphlets. prose works written in English displayed a highly rhetorical style. Thomas Hobbes* and John Locke also insisted on the necessity of a language at once flexible and precise. The English translation of the Bible – the “Authorised Version” of 1611.1. as the growing complexity of life increased the need for social and intellectual communication. English as an instrument of literary and intellectual communication still competed with classical Latin. in which rhetorical figures were subordinated to rational lucidity. More and more. accomplished under the patronage of James I – established a model of English whose beauty. on clarity and rationality. Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Of the literary forms that contributed significantly to the development of English prose. Journalism as a form of prose writing emerged during the Civil War and flourished during the 18th century. suitable for conveying “the knowledge of things” and intelligible to the average Englishman. he describes the Christian soul’s search for salvation in the form of an allegorical journey along the path of life. Influence of Latin on prose style The prose of intellectual argument 1. The Pilgrim’s Progress Among the prose forms widely used for intellectual argument. 1625) are prose classics in English literature. Francis Bacon’s Essays (1597. the essay* proved the most flexible.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. weaknesses. a precious and highly ornate language. philosophical and theological writings. 1612. with its illustration to simplicity and natural flow of common speech. contributing essentially to the forging of a more straightforward and simple style.5. A different vein in religious writing is illustrated by the Puritan John Bunyan (1628-1688) and his extremely popular book The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678). another Latin influence began to mould English prose style: that of Seneca and Tacitus*. wealth and freshness greatly influenced the language of prose. Here. gave way to an ideal of prose style more suited to the Age of Common Man.5. Francis Bacon was the first notable writer to plead for – and to illustrate – a prose style more suited for intellectual argument. the universal language of the Renaissance. Gradually. Under the influence of Latin – especially of Cicero* –. deliberately artificial and intricate. The evolution of prose style At the beginning of the 17th century. This allegorical expression of Puritan faith. displaying a variety of styles. temptations. John Locke Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 21 . Later in the century. the virtues of common speech permeated the language of all kinds of writings. The rhetorical extravagance and ingenuity which had still dominated the early 17th century (not only in prose). The language of prose tended to become plain and transparent. The development of an aphoristic style*. religious writings are particularly important. Sermons were a widely popular form of prose-writing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cowley. 6. the sonnet: Shakespeare. Goldsmith. Blake the ode: Marvell. 3. 4.). 3. 2.T. John Gay Further reading 1. 4. 2. Marvell satire: Dryden.F. Herbert. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. The Literature of the Beginnings. 8.T. d.T. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The Novel in Its Beginnings. Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson. 7. 2003 (pp. 9-32) 2.3. 7-49) 3. Thomson.F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general.2. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. Milton. Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers. Dryden. b. 5. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate. even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. Goldsmith. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare. Collins. English Literature and Civilisation. Duke of Buckingham. Fielding. 2003 (pp.T.T. Ioan-Aurel (ed.T. Preda. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech. Sir George Etherege. Editura Universităţii Suceava. John Vanbrugh). Sir George Sedley. Dryden. Donne.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. 6. 1983 (pp.F.4. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne. precision. Cornelia. The English Eighteenth Century. Milton the pastoral: Milton.T.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1. Herrick. Carew. artificial.T. .F. Pope. Marvell. 5.T SAQ 2 a. Pope. Macsiniuc. Luminiţa Elena. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers. Turcu. Editura Universităţii Suceava.F. there was a tendency towards simplicity. c. William Wycherley. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson.

2. 2. 2. 2.11. 2. the man of action King Lear: the madness of tragic grief To be or to seem: Othello Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience Shakespeare’s last plays The plot of The Tempest Major themes Symbols in The Tempest The play-metaphor The metaphysical poets Characteristics of metaphysical poetry The metaphysical conceit Themes in John Donne’s poetry Donne’s love poems Donne’s religious poems Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode Nature as “mystic book” in Marvell’s poetry The theme of love in Marvell’s poems Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 32 32 32 33 33 35 36 37 37 38 39 40 40 43 43 44 46 46 47 48 48 49 50 52 53 54 54 56 56 57 58 59 61 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 31 .10.3.6.3. 2.12. 2.7.9.2. 2.3.1.8. 2.3.2.3. 2.4. 2.2.3.2.5. 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.1.3. 2.3.2. 2.2. 2. 2. 2.2. 2.2.2.2.4.1.3.2.2. 2. 2.3.1. 2.5.7. 2. 2.1.6.2. 2.2. 2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius.3.2.1.8. 2.

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

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

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

Shakespeare’s whole work is a synthesis of the concerns and convictions of the Renaissance. They are always credible. sublime or burlesque. struggle for power. Othello (1604). In Shakespeare’s whole work. which brought him enormous success during his lifetime. His later plays Shakespeare’s greatness as a dramatist comes. The richness and profundity of his comprehensive creation establish him as a universal genius. King Lear and Macbeth (1605). His characters emerge from the dramatic situation with an unsurpassed force of conviction. friendship. He was not original in the use of his subjects: with a few exceptions. romantic or trivial. but his enduring preeminence has been insured by his extraordinary insight into human nature. there is an astonishing variety of styles and registers. envy. Italian. all mastered with supreme art. devotion. language. It ranges from the sublime accents of pure poetry. or periods of creation. transcending the artistic hierarchy of his age and consecrating him as always “our contemporary. Shakespeare had a natural instinct for the stage. among other features. A whole human universe inhabits Shakespeare’s plays. Shakespeare modulates the language in each play. In his last period of creation (1608-1611). states of mind. conflicts. hate.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. from the variety of his work. A wide range of feelings. in the great blank verse* soliloquies*. medieval and contemporary sources – English. moral attitudes. and the range of his subjects is extremely diverse. his deep understanding of humanity. The beginning of the 17th century is also the beginning of his second phase (1600-1608). in plain. craftsmen or servants. and a perfect adequacy of the language to the character’s moral nature and to the dramatised experience or emotion. etc. search for truth. His inventiveness and imagination were invested not in the intrigues. but in the creation of characters and the exploration of their mind and heart. in which every character – major or minor – has a consistent individuality and is animated by passions. loyalty and betrayal. gratitude and ingratitude. jealousy. so that it displays a similar variety. as well as in the tragic grandeur of the inner conflicts that they portray. Shakespeare’s genius. According to the dramatic necessity. all of them are re-workings and adaptations of subjects taken from a variety of ancient. and experiences are given dramatic shape in his plays: love. to the prose speech of simple folk. sometimes even trivial. motifs and imagery. and French. Shakespeare seems to propose an alternative to the stormy and bloody worlds of his great 35 William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Language in Shakespeare’s plays The second period of creation: the great tragedies Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . where the lyrical and dramatic elements are in perfect fusion. rendered accurately in their poetic truth.2. He was a master of every contemporary dramatic form.” Shakespeare’s work is conventionally divided into several phases. and a culmination of its literary art. irrespective of the register in which they are conceived – tragic or comic. These plays may be seen as strongly influenced by the emerging baroque sensibility in their themes. when his artistic maturity and depth of vision produced his four monumental tragedies: Hamlet (1601). aspirations and interests.

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

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

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

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

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

7. he multiples his crimes. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. to 2.2. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. and unmotivated violence and cruelty. who has a trusting nature.2. at the end of the unit. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. disorder.2. ____________________ 2.6. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. ____________________ 4. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. innocence and corruption. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. ____________________ 3. ____________________ 5. The baroque motif of madness is. illusion and truth. at the instigation of his wife.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 4 Each of the following sentences refers to one or several of the three tragedies mentioned so far. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. Macbeth. If any of your solutions should not correspond.2. you need to revise subchapters 2.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The protagonist. paradoxically. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. 1. 2. one of Duncan’s sons. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . underlining the theme of knowledge. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order. it bleeds. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. but. kinsman and guest. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. / It weeps.

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

his faithful spiritservant. the theme of loss and recovery. are encouraged by Caliban to kill Prospero and take over the rule of the island. who. The Winter’s Tale. They mix serious and comic action. marvelous. the shipwreck. a storm wrecks the ship carrying Antonio. respectively –. Another sub-plot brings together Ferdinand and Miranda. the fairy-tale atmosphere. the long journey. 2.2. magic. In a plot-line that parallels and parodies the latter. and The Tempest – are described either as tragi-comedies or as romance plays. One of these sub-plots involves the courtiers: Antonio persuades Sebastian to kill his sleeping brother. Trinculo. Three lines of action develop. and Sebastian. The Tempest (1611).The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. usurped by his brother Antonio and forced into exile twelve years before. and his supernatural powers have given him control over both the natural elements and the spirits. separated from each other in various parts of the island and all believing the others dead. the master of an island. They may also be described as romance plays.g. to take his throne. Caliban hates and fears Prospero. or tension and suspense followed by happy reversals – features that make them tragi-comedies. but his plan is prevented by Ariel’s music. king of Naples. has turned him into a slave. It is also in these last plays that Shakespeare’s dramatic imagination relies to a greater extent on symbolism. the choice of a remote setting. Cymbeline. We soon find out that the storm and shipwreck have been magically provoked by Prospero. these plays offer patterns of reconciliation and positive solutions to life’s contradictions. a creature whose beastly nature is beyond Prospero’s attempt of educating him. He had long studied the arts of magic.9. and certain themes and motifs (e. the sense of a benevolent providential design. Alonzo. their plots contain characteristic ingredients like dangers which are finally avoided. myth. Shakespeare’s last plays Shakespeare’s four plays belonging to his last period of creation (1608-1611) – Pericles.2. 43 John William Waterhouse: Miranda –The Tempest (1916) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Alonzo. of exile and return). After the tragedies. the last expression of Shakespeare’s mature genius. Sebastian and Ferdinand – Alonzo’s brother and son. the jester. His acts of magic are fulfilled through Ariel. The plot of The Tempest Of these four plays. is considered the finest. by his powers. the pronounced elements of the supernatural. a drunken servant. on which he lives alone with his daughter. who instantly fall in love with each other. duke of Milan. Miranda. involving the shipwrecked characters. In its opening scene. owing to the improbability of the action. while for physical labour he uses Caliban.8. as well as other passengers. Prospero is the former and legitimate duke of Milan.

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

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

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

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

By means of conceits. meant to surprise and delight the reader by their wit*. but metaphysical conceits were far-fetched* comparisons. from a most ordinary circumstance. conceits were abundant in Elizabethan dramatic and lyrical poetry. all metaphysical poets are self-conscious and analytic. but also his reason. which is developed through the exploitation of an image in all its possible implications.3. and to unify diverse and even discordant aspects of inner and outer reality into a single experience.” A new kind of poetry emerged.2. secret] resemblances in things apparently unlike. In spite of its logical. as well as in ordering and mastering intense emotion.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. Irrespective of the kind of experience they endeavour to render. which was in fact the expression of a new spiritual context. often extended by the use of hyperbole* or oxymoron*. The thought goes hand in hand with the feeling. “More matter and less words” 2.1. by the ingenuity with which they forced the perception of similarity in the most unexpected elements. the poet was able to reconcile contradictory states of mind and feeling. The metaphysical conceit The poetic device by which such opposites are brought together and reconciled is the conceit. and the emotions involved. argumentative quality. The impression is that this experience. to bring not only his imagination and emotion into play. The main features of metaphysical poetry are concentration and logical coherence. and which blended expressive conciseness with density of meaning. hidden. Characteristics of metaphysical poetry Metaphysical poetry displayed a new quality of writing. a cold intellectual exercise. Starting with the last decade of the 16th century. As extended comparisons. and almost always such a poem starts from a very personal situation. that the poet detaches himself from his own feelings in order to better understand and analyse them.” as “the most heterogeneous ideas yoked [i.e. with patterns of rhythms closer to those of spoken language than to the requirements of literary tradition. regardless of the subject of the poem. which helps the poet to develop his subject. linked. Samuel Johnson* was to describe (in 1779) the kind of wit which characterised a metaphysical conceit as discordia concors*. a metaphysical poem is not a piece of abstract thinking. Dr.3. writers had to face a new exigency. The reader is expected to approach such a poem with an active mind. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Discordia concors 48 . A poem in this tradition is usually focused on an idea or line of argument. This is an elaborate figurative device. which starts from a comparison. and a blend of the commonplace and the sublime. is contemplated from a certain distance.e.” Conceits were effective instruments in developing an argument and in rendering complication and subtlety of thought. as “a combination of dissimilar images. or discovery of occult [i. a metaphor or an analogy. There is always a connection between the abstract and the concrete. united] by violence together. a demand for “more matter and less words.

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

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

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

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

5. revise subchapter 2. from the Reader.3. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. Marvell left.6. and read the poem again. In the last six lines. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone. If there should be significant differences. As a Puritan* patriot. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. 2. Donne suggests his contradictory. according to some critics. and love of country. nature. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. at the end of the unit. How does he use this contrast in order to speak about his religious experience? Analyse this conceit in no more than 12 lines / 120 words. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets.3. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650).7. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love.

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

Love. Love can suspend the inexorable laws of nature. but….The late Renaissance and the Baroque to the imperative of conquering time by the intensity of sensual enjoyment.8.3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 55 . read the poem again. If… But… Therefore… Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. more carefully. it can arrest the inevitable course towards physical extinction by a moment of ecstatic pleasure. in the Reader). in its sexual fulfillment. then (therefore)…. paying attention to the logic of the argument. at the end of the unit. SAQ 11 Read Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress (Text 2. Do not exceed 12 lines / 120 words in all. after revising subchapter 2. is presented as the only way of transcending our mortality. What are the main ideas corresponding to these three steps? Formulate them succinctly in the space left below. If the difference is considerable.8. which has the structure If….

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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

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

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

Gallery of personalities
• • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.): Greek philosopher, author of works on logic, ethics, politics, poetics, rhetoric, metaphysics. Johnson, Samuel (1709-1784): the most influential critic of the 18th century, author of the impressive critical-biographical work Lives of the Poets (1779-1781), editor of Shakespeare’s work (1765). He compiled the first important Dictionary of the English Language (1755). Kyd, Thomas (1557-1595): one of the most popular Elizabethan dramatists, the author of The Spanish Tragedy, the prototype of the Renaissance revenge tragedy, modelled on the plays of Seneca (se again subchapter 1.3.2 in Unit 1). Marlowe, Christopher (1564-1593): Elizabethan dramatist, the
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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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Hamlet. He thus expected Caliban to overcome his primitive impulses and to develop more civilised tendencies (“purposes”). innocent conscience) is part of the natural order of man’s existence. 4. As “chief nourisher in life’s feast. F. 3. endowed with speech. T. which he resents. because the latter’s nature was hopelessly evil. of his own sense of self. King Lear. concise expression and density of meaning 2. T SAQ 8 1. analytical detachment from emotion 4. 6. however. “Sleep no more” anticipates the torments of Macbeth’s conscience. this hallucination proves Macbeth’s strong imagination. surprising associations) 3. led to his awareness of his condition as a slave. is a suitable emblem for their souls. SAQ 6 Prospero might have better controlled Caliban in his “brutish” state. to blend contraries (e. 3. which organises and “manages” intense feeling and emotion. the development of conscience. Macbeth’s feeling that he has lost this privilege of nature reflects his awareness that his “unnatural” deed is a violation of moral law (which is “natural”). Prospero seemed also to think that Caliban could be socialised through speech. T. usually between highly dissimilar elements. etc. Othello.g. F. even if physically the lovers must be apart. As a truly superior being. 2. unable to find peace once it has been corrupted by evil. use of conceits (extended comparisons. Othello. unexpected. through language (knowing his “own meaning”). King Lear.e. passion and reason. By 60 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . attempt to reconcile contradictory or discordant experiences. make his purposes known through words). F. King Lear SAQ 5 In the first place. 7. which would have enabled him to communicate (e. 4. This instrument. 5. he failed in his effort to enlighten Caliban. 5. Hamlet. made of two moving legs articulated at one end. the abstract and the concrete. Hamlet. which remain perfectly united. complicated line of argument. “The innocent sleep” is the symbol of moral integrity.” sleep (i.g. From Prospero’s point of view. He is not a cold-blooded killer. From Caliban’s point of view. by keeping one foot fixed and moving the other round this centre. T. and the horrible crime has immediate effects on his conscience. Perfect circles (symbolising perfect love) may be traced by means of the compasses.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 4 1. SAQ 7 1. of a clean mind. 2. he chose to raise Caliban to the condition of a rational creature. guided by rational will.) SAQ 9 The poet associates mutual love with the way in which a pair of compasses works.

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

5. 3.5.2.1. 3.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. 3.4.3. 3. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan. 3. 3.3.5.4.4.1.3.2.6. 3.1.4.2.5. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton.4.2.1. 3. 3.4. 3.4. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3.1.2.3.2. 3.4. 3.2. 3. 3.5. 3. 3.3.

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

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

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

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

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

” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. Dante* –. Virgil. and of leaving to posterity an undying work.3. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. and he worked at it over several years. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . respectively. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667.2. at the end of the unit. in the Reader).The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. when he was already blind. and 3.2. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.1.4. If there should be significant differences. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). read again subchapter 3. and the two sonnets. 3.

” forever deprived of the glory. the creation of the world and of man. but his erudition. Milton had thought. is presented as a necessary moment in the “Eternal Providence*”. declares his hatred against God and his intention to regain Heaven. the fault with The Felix culpa happy consequences. Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The poem begins in conventional epic manner. Paradise Lost defines Milton best as a Christian humanist. Incapable of accepting the thought of submission and of his imprisonment in Hell. an evil which is turned to good in God’s overall plan for the history of creation. enemy]” who “holds the tyranny of Heaven. accumulated throughout his life. knowledge and ignorance/innocence. which is never ornamental.” as he anticipated in Il Penseroso. burning in the “darkness visible” of those “regions of sorrow. he decided on the subject of the Fall – the theme of Paradise double fall. the greatest synthesis of the Western literary tradition. and of Adam and Eve Lost from Paradise. His work is encyclopaedic.e.” and the central theme of his poem is that of felix culpa* – the fortunate mistake. are gathered to listen to Satan. Milton approached in his grandiose epic problems which provoked heated polemics in his time. in fact. Starting from the dualism good/evil. obedience and rebellion. Then the reader is plunged into the middle of the action: the fallen angels in Hell. whose main moments are the fall of the rebel angels.4. original epic scenario. Finally. Its Christian frame absorbs and integrates Milton’s astonishing learning. These problems may be summarised by the alternative freedom vs. over the years.The works of John Milton more penetrating understanding of spiritual truths. as he stated in the opening Invocation. of many possible subjects for his capital work – subjects inspired either from British or from The subject and biblical history. The The belief in poem’s doctrinal foundation is the idea that God’s infinite knowledge free will and power do not exclude man’s freedom of action and choice. in which man’s fall. and his loss of Paradise. man’s temptation and fall into sin. to “illumine” what is “dark” in him. is subordinated to the poetic intensification or clarification of the main theme. (divine) love and (Satanic) hatred. happiness and peace they had enjoyed in Heaven.” full of the bitterness of defeat. predestination*. of Lucifer* from Heaven. with the poet’s invocation of the Muse. He interprets poetically the biblical events. but by Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 69 . The twelve books which make up Paradise Lost unfold an impressive epic action. and thus to enable him to attain indeed to a “prophetic strain. etc. Satan is determined to wage “eternal war” to his “grand Foe [i.1. “to justify the ways of God to men. 3. brought about by his disobedience. The “lost Archangel.” He suggests to his followers that their “work” should no longer be done by force – since that is the attribute of the Almighty –. in theme a daring. Milton’s ambition was. the poem develops an implicit debate on such contraries as freedom and tyranny.

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 71 . at the end of the unit. If there should be major differences. read again the text. 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. which contains God’s justification for allowing man to fall. What is God’s argument.4. in the Reader.The works of John Milton SAQ 3 Read Text 3.

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

W. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. A Prophecy. through Raphael’s words. What does Milton suggest by the image of God using his “golden compasses”? Answer in the space below. If your answer should differ significantly from the offered suggestions. 1794) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 73 . read the fragment again. the first moments in the creation of the world: the making of heavens and skies. and the “Spirit of God” infusing life into the primal ocean. Blake: Urizen as the creator of the material world (from the poem Europe. more carefully. in the Reader presents. at the end of the unit.The works of John Milton SAQ 4 Text 3.7. in no more than 10 lines/100 words.

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

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

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

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

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

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

His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero.5. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell. and 3. Read the whole fragment carefully.1.” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. revise subchapters 3. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words. in Hell.3.5. and read the indicated fragment again. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. “and “The mind is its own place.) B.. at the end of the unit. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A. If there are significant differences.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3. “A mind not to be changed by time or place.2. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.

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

you are recommended a more careful reading of the indicated text. Some of Milton’s earlier works display this obsessive concern with his becoming a great poet. in the Reader. in which he explains to His Son why the fall of man was inevitable. 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. Subchapter 3. the pastoral elegy Lycidas. one of the greatest English poets.2. presents some of his notable early compositions – the Latin elegies. If there should be major differences. at the end of the unit. you have been acquainted with some aspects of the prominent literary personality of John Milton. and the twin poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso.The works of John Milton SAQ 8 Text 3.5. a necessary part of His design. Compare your answer with that offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Milton was deeply involved in the religious and political debates of mid-17th century. Convinced also of his poetic vocation. Devoted to the Puritan cause during the Civil War. he prepared himself for it during long years. in no more than 8 lines/80 words. contains a fragment from God’s speech in Book III. The same obsession with poetic ripeness may be found 82 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Read this fragment and summarise its argument. Summary In this unit.

apprenticeship: the training for a trade or for any kind of activity. however. 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. put in the service of evil. as a sign of consecration or sanctification. Satan is dominated by powerful negative passions which keep him the prisoner of an inner hell. In Milton’s vision of the original sin. which interprets poetically key moments in biblical history and elements of biblical mythology. at any time. be tested for the responsibility which must accompany the exercise of his free will. in which divine grace will eventually turn all evil into good. The central events in Milton’s epic are the fall of Lucifer and of the rebel angels.5. concerns itself with Milton’s heroes in Paradise Lost. Undoubtedly. His destructive energy represents a negation of the creative power of the divine word. and the culmination of his poetic achievement as a Christian humanist. his courage and majesty. The declared aim of Milton’s epic is “to justify the ways of God to men. but also in which man may. presented in subchapter 3. the most fascinating and complex creation is Satan – Lucifer in his fallen condition.The works of John Milton in two of his sonnets. Subchapter 3. Baroque: see the Glossary in Unit 2. Subchapter 3. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 83 . and the promise of man’s reconciliation with God through the sacrifice of Christ. Civil War: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.4. and with the Christian compassion for their unhappy choice. offers a brief presentation of the subject and structure of the poem. the fall of man and the loss of Paradise.3. which are. Adam and Eve are treated both with the typical Renaissance admiration for man’s potential and virtues. his love of freedom. the creation of the world and of man. Milton emphasises his fortitude and strength of will. Milton justifies the fall of man and his exile from Paradise in the context of a providential history.” and its great Christian theme is that of felix culpa. Milton’s impressive epic poem Paradise Lost (1667) is the fruit of his mature vision.

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

It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. 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. 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 . in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. one of the greatest Roman poets. 2. and the last paragraph of 2. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. Texts 2. at the end of the play. Send-away assignment no. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. with special attention to the indicated subchapters.6. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. • Read attentively this fragment. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. and 2. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul.. God’s creation.1. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. 1.3.1. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition.C. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration).2.. and thus of destroying man. romantic in The Tempest –. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. before the final battle. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience.). 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. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. At the beginning of Book IV. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth.5.2.2. A revision of subchapter 3. In both of them. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy.4. in which he explores his inner hell. Text 3.

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

and for him servitude in Heaven is the real hell. Editura Universităţii Suceava. i. If God leaves man’s loyalty. David. Man is not a free creature. 4 SAQ 6 For Adam and Eve.4. Paradise is now a forbidden place. 1. Preda. comforting himself that he exchanged submission for sovereignty. 1969 (pp.4. Daiches. the intelligible and the unintelligible (the dark void). Luminiţa Elena. 153-163) 3. as God has made him. A Critical History of English Literature. with passive virtue. and the image of the terrible gates. Forced to look ahead.).. If Hell is a space of freedom. 2003 (pp. under the guidance of Providence. unless he exercises his will and reason. 1. to be dictated by Reason. b. 435-449) 2.The works of John Milton Architect”). SAQ 8 God cannot be pleased with blind submission. of the responsibility that accompanies freedom. 2. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. faith and love untested.e. e. f. 141-152) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 87 . 2. He wants man’s obedience to be the result of an act of free choice. c. Satan is willing to exchange the happiness of Heaven for the torments in Hell. 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. 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”). 1983 (pp. SAQ 7 1. then it is like Heaven for a spirit that cannot accept constraints. Further reading 1. Turcu. is meant to keep alive the memory of their transgression. but at least they have the mutual comfort of their love. Ioan-Aurel (coord. The Literature of the Beginnings.e. Incapable of obedience to God. guarded by fear-inspiring armed angels. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. i.3. The same rational spirit separates what is vital from what is “adverse to life” (the “infernal dregs”). d. SAQ 5 a. It is his will and desire that give value to things around. 3. Satan feels God’s absolute power as a limitation to his enormous ambition. English Literature and Civilisation. 2. unless he is put in the situation of making choices. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 2. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. who draws a firm line between the formed and the formless (chaos). This line illustrates both his aspiration to complete independence and his ambition. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). g. Their hesitant steps suggest their awareness of the difficulty of all choice. of human solidarity. vol.

3.7. 4.4.4. 4.4.2.4. 4. 4.4.1.4. 4. 4.5.4.1. 4.2.2. 4. 4.1. 4.2.5. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 4. 4.1.2.1.1.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.2 4. 4.3.2. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.4.1. 4.3.2. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 4.2. 4.1. Gulliver. 4. 4.6.4. 4.4.5. 4.1. 4.4.3.1.3. “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.

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

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

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

William Congreve. frivolity.1.4. T F 8. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. T F 3. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. elegance. The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. by doing the exercise that follows.3. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. at the end of the unit. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). Restoration comedy praised wit. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. read again subchapters 4. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances.1.1. hedonism and amorality at Court. T F 5.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. T F 6. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723).1. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . such as the impoverished gallant. 1. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. T F 7. It displays typical Restoration characters. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. T F 4. 4. T F 9. refinement and sophistication. to 4. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. simple action. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. T F 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cheerful disposition. 2.3. and write them in the indicated spaces below. If there should be major discrepancies. 8. 4. 1. common sense. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration. more carefully. a cultivated mind and superior understanding. Identify at least eight such features. SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club.1. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 3. 7.The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. read again subchapter 4. 6. at the end of the unit. the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. 5. it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues.

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

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

he learns about the Struldbruggs. popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. with a sharp sense of observation. and his nostalgia for the perfect world of the 105 I. like extracting sunshine from cucumbers. absorbed in mathematical speculations and music. economic. whose admirable society is built entirely on rational principles. with elements of the marvelous or fantastic fable.A Voyage to Brodingnag III. Jonathan Swift Pope’s friend.4. and the disappointment and anger at seeing reason so often abused. building houses starting from the roof. In his third voyage he visits several strange places. philosophical. In Luggnagg. he is shown the Academy of Lagado (a burlesque of the Royal Society). Luggnagg and Japan IV. respectively.” a work which Swift published anonymously in 1726. religious. From this last country. Jonathan Swift. These satires have established his reputation as a champion of moral virtue.A Voyage to Laputa. The most powerful expression of Swift’s satirical genius is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World “by Lemuel Gulliver. the Yahoos. a hater of pedantry and pretence. Laputa. where mad scientists are engaged in phantasmagoric projects. an uncompromising defender of truth. It is an allegorical satirical travel book. Glubbdubdrib. In Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Gulliver can’t help seeing his fellow humans as disgusting Yahoos. In his last voyage. and literary.4.A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . combining the conventions of utopia* and of the imaginary voyage. a race of immortal people whose eternal life is in fact a curse of endless decay.” therefore a potential threat to that civilisation.4. intelligent speaking horses. but the significance of his work may be extended to the philosophical question of the human condition itself. social and intellectual realities. Swift was divided between the idealist confidence in man’s capacity of selfimprovement. The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Consisting of four books.A Voyage to Lilliput II. Like many of his contemporaries. Gulliver finds himself among people who are twelve times smaller and.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.3. Gulliver’s Travels pretends to be the record of the most astonishing experiences of an average man. Gulliver is finally expelled. is one of the greatest satirists in world literature. Balnibarbi. the flying island. as well as an unequalled master of satirical wit and irony. Gulliver is cast on the shore of a country inhabited by the Houyhnhnms. in his potential as a rational creature. bigger than himself. In it. because he is perceived as a Yahoo endowed with “a rudiment of reason. His hurt sensitivity and disillusionment are conveyed in a series of prose satires which cover a wide range of issues – political. whose adventures as a surgeon and then the captain of several ships take him through the most unusual places. is inhabited by impractical intellectuals. curious and resourceful. Swift alludes satirically to a multitude of aspects from the contemporary political. appear in the utmost state of degeneracy. In Balnibarbi. Back in England. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 4. and where human creatures. or softening marble to make pincushions. justice and freedom.

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). 2. The parallel results in a grotesque image of humankind. If none of the features mentioned there corresponds with your answers. and he prefers now the company of horses.The Restoration and the Augustan Age rational horses alienates him completely from his own kind. who is thus forced to examine itself in a distorting mirror. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 1. 106 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . His initial curiosity and openness to the diversity of human nature turns into madness and misanthropy. Each answer should be limited to 3 lines / 30 words. and he also re-interprets attitudes observed in the Yahoos in the light of the information received from Gulliver about human customs and institutions. 3. at the end of the unit. in Text 4. read the fragment carefully once more. Find. from the Reader. 4.5. incapable of suffering the proximity of humans. four features which humans and Yahoos are found to share.

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

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

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

He intended to “vex the world” in order to “mend” it. It was a chronicle of manners and an instrument of social and moral criticism. on Reason and common sense in aesthetic choice. Gradually. and by means of it. Congreve. Swift’s extraordinary inventiveness and narrative gift. Addison.). and. reason was not to be taken for granted: man was only a creature capable of reason. his learning and sense of literary tradition. generally. Johnson are central figures of the Augustan Age. which contributed greatly to the development of a modern prose style. While heroic drama sustained an impossible.7. dominantly middle class. Like heroic tragedy (e. caricature. including that of Reason itself. Steele). comedy was licentious and cynical. 110 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . One of the literary forms that developed during this period was the periodical essay (Addison. the writers’ sense of responsibility towards the values of their civilisation. Satire. on expressive restraint and skilfully controlled wit. was enlightened in matters of literary taste and intellectual achievements. the belief in progress and improvement in an age which was also that of the Enlightenment. It cultivated the idea of the “marriage” of Art and Nature. Pope) and in prose (Swift). and his brilliant wit make Gulliver’s Travels not only a landmark in Augustan literature. therefore also capable of error.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4.4. Swift. on the rule of decorum. Goldsmith. narrow-sightedness. The latter’s eminently rationalist poetics placed emphasis on clarity and elegance in style and composition. The period of the Restoration overlaps with the emerging Augustan Age. and recommended as a model the literary wisdom of the Ancients. The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Gulliver’s Travels is the expression of Swift’s indignation and anger at man’s foolishness. Its flourishing in the Augustan Age reflects the integration of literature with social life.g. Dryden). a wide public. For Swift. Pope. but also an enduring achievement of the enlightened spirit. accommodating a diversity of literary forms and traditions – old and new. Summary The Restoration is a historical and a literary period. Dryden. parody. when literary Neoclassicism developed. Dryden. a masterpiece of irony which places under scrutiny many of the myths of the Enlightenment. It is an age of transition. Swift’s allegorical satire Gulliver’s Travels is the most accomplished exploration of the contradictions of the Age of Reason. grotesque. Steele. was another characteristic genre. both in verse (Dryden. arrogant ignorance and unfounded pride in his reason. A representative literary genre for this age is the comedy of manners (Etherege. placing wit above virtue. the pressure of the taste of the rising middle class replaced it with sentimental comedy. inflated ideal of heroism and virtue. and he used every weapon in the satirist’s arsenal to awaken man from his selfcomplacency: biting irony. this highly artificial and conventional form was an expression of the taste of the Court aristocracy. etc.

it may also refer to a woman’s lover. art: in the Neoclassic doctrine. admirer. and the Glossary in Unit 2. 111 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . profession or interest. beaux: plural of beau (“handsome” in French).” where Dryden would come regularly. Augustan: see Augustan Age in the Glossary in Unit 1. dress or behaviour which is not natural. achieved by training and practice.1. but is intended to impress others. well-dressed man. “Will’s Coffee House. Anarch: a personification of anarchy. his craftsmanship. affectation: a manner of speech. all the acquisitions of the human spirit become meaningless. gathered people of the literary profession or interested in literary matters. coffee houses: since the 1650s. the acquired competence of the writer. or escort. greatly concerned with appearances. which designated a fashionable. acquiring quickly the status of real “institutions” of opinion. political or religious orientation. Art may generally refer to the work of man.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. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.1. they were convenient places for socialising and for the dissemination of news. baroque: see again subchapter 2. In Pope’s satire. or human skill (as contrasted to the work of Nature). In her empire of darkness and confusion. They were usually frequented by people of the same social rank. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1. in the 2nd Book of Kings (verses 15-18). For instance.

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

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

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

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

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

2.6.3.1.3.8.2.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL Unit Outline 5 5. 5.4.2. 5.1. 5. 5.1.4. 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 Gallery of personalities SAA No.3. 5.2. 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.3. 5.2.4.2.1.2.4.2.1. 5. 5. 5.3.2. 5.4.4. 5.4. 5. 5.1.5.3.3.1. 5. 5.1.5.3.2. 5. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 118 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 144 145 146 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 117 . 5.4.7. 5.2.2.5. 5.6. 5.3.2. 5. 5. 5. 5.4.4.3. 5.

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

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

The rise of the middle classes … 2. The novel’s interest in the tensions between the public and the private reflected … Compare your answers with those given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and public/social norms and conventions. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations. and 5.1. read again subchapters 5. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. Women were … 3. at the end of the unit. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below.1. 1. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. on the one hand. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. on the other.1. If there should be major differences. … 4.2.

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

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

The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. on his fiction. Its tremendous success encouraged Defoe to produce. Their novels are the literary reflection of the spirit of individualism that characterised the age. and tracing the protagonists’ struggles to achieve material prosperity as a condition of a stable social position. on the movements of consciousness and the emotional response to moral problems. cast in a picaresque form. Both of them enjoyed enormous popularity not only in England. 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 circumstantial details. on the individual’s striving towards some form of personal achievement. This confers vividness to their narratives. to the influence. the power to hold attention and keep curiosity awake. their social insertion. the constant striving towards accuracy of description. and their adventures show the individual victorious over circumstances and environment (physical or social). His heroes are remarkable in their vitality.1.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. and both of them focus on the individual in his/her struggle of securing a legitimate position in the social structure. several adventure novels. They were all stories of success. 5. Puritan* background. They differ in the objects of their “realistic” approach: whereas Defoe’s interest is invested in the external world of fact. in the next years. when the writer was almost sixty. Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Defoe’s career as a novelist started with his masterpiece. They are pragmatic. is invariably accompanied by moral reformation. Mariner. published in 1719. dynamic and versatile. establishing it as the most popular literary genre in the 18th century.2.2. Features of Defoe’s heroes Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 123 . of such non-fictional kinds of writing as the spiritual autobiography or didactic religious treatises. but also on the Continent. They share a middle class. resourcefulness and capacity for adjustment and survival. in actions. Both Defoe and Richardson display in their narratives a remarkable faithfulness to detail. This aspect in Defoe’s novels points to his Puritan background. Their rise to social respectability and wealth. Richardson focuses on the inner world of thought and feeling.

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

embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design.1. Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s novel lends itself to a variety of interpretations: as an allegory of man’s evolution from the state of nature to civilisation and its institutions. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance.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. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions.” 5. If it should differ considerably. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. as an allegory of the ecological development of history.. at the end of the unit. Isolation is no longer a misfortune. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. and 5. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 .3.2.2.2. as a political or economic utopia. read again subchapters 5. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat.2. In this light. to the awakening of religious conscience. Gradually. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. In his initial struggle with despair.

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

Robinson Crusoe is a gripping narrative. 1. rendered in a simple. 3. which.4 once more and do the exercise again.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. lack of unnecessary ornamentation. clarity. easy and eminently factual style made his writings accessible to a large audience. 4.4. Defoe’s novels imposed a model of style that contributed considerably to the “democratisation” of literature. at the end of the unit. with unmatched vividness.2. concreteness. containing. It was with Richardson that “the sense of life” conveyed by the narrative was completed by a sense of form. His fiction has the remarkable power to evoke a tangible reality. arising from the complication of a plot centering not on episodic adventure. The latter owes greatly to Defoe’s experience as a journalist. 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. The richness of concrete detail. the promise of symbolic meanings. he paid little attention to matters of form. If your list contains none of the features mentioned there. in turn benefited from his innate gift for telling stories. Defoe’s style The world of Defoe’s novels is the world of common fact and action. the frequent enumerations and inventories. whose reality is difficult to doubt. Identify in it at least four features of Defoe’s characteristic narrative style and write them in the space provided below. The “journalistic” style of Defoe’s fiction is consonant with an ideal of prose style characterised by plainness. which draws much of its force from Defoe’s peculiar narrative manner and style. the accumulation of circumstantial detail create a strong sense of a palpable. the most common objects and actions in their particularity. SAQ 5 Analyse Text 5. His linear. but on the complexity of character and human relationship. at the same time. solid world. read the fragment and subchapter 5.2. His simple. of familiar detail. 2.2. on a separate sheet. episodic plots imitate the episodic quality of life itself. clear language. in the Reader from the point of view of its style. 127 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . In his aspiration to create an effect of reality in his narrative. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. He convinced readers of the truthfulness of his narrative by evoking.

Faced with her resistance. The plot of Pamela. the death of the heroine turns her into a tragic figure. Richardson focuses on the relation between feeling and virtue. who is now convinced of the purity of her motives and of her innocence.5. B’s relatives and friends.2.2. Both novels concentrate on the microcosm of the family and develop the themes of the trial of innocence. Her diary – intended for her parents – falls into Mr. or the History of a Young Lady (1748). or Virtue Rewarded (1740) and Clarissa. the double victim of the libertine aristocrat who raped her and of her narrow-minded. unanimously loved and admired. Pamela continues a diary. 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. Mr. impressed by Pamela’s unusual beauty and grace. tries to seduce her and make her his mistress. At the same time. He acknowledges his love and proposes marriage to her. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) 5. Back to Bedfordshire as mistress of the house. cruel and greedy relatives. B_ abducts her and keeps her a prisoner for a while in his Lincolnshire house. of the struggle between virtue and vice. in Bedfordshire. Pamela has one more test to pass: winning the approval of Mr. In Pamela. which Richardson found best suited for the realistic rendering of psychological and moral complexity. B_’s hands. as well as for his didactic purpose. There. As the first great sentimental novelist. whose affection she finally gains. His influence was considerable. B_’s sister. 128 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Richardson’s prominent place in the history of the English novel is ensured by two novels: Pamela. Both are written in the epistolary manner*. or Virtue Rewarded Pamela is a simple countryside girl who works as a maidservant in the house of Lady B_. In her new state. Upon the death of her mistress. Her disarming combination of graceful modesty and pride helps her come victorious in an encounter with haughty Lady Davers. Pamela decides to thank Providence by doing as much good as she can to those around her. recording the details of her ordeal. but also the agitation of her heart and its conflicting impulses. his exploration of unconscious motivation makes him a forerunner in the great tradition of the novel of psychological analysis. Mr. the tone is rather that of a comedy of manners and the ending is in the spirit of the Cinderella* tale. not only in England but also on the Continent. Mr. sensibility and morality. Pamela differs from Clarissa in tone and ending. the latter’s son. of individual freedom threatened by arbitrary power. In Clarissa. B_.6.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. His focus on the inner life of feeling and emotion prefigures the Romantic* sensibility. hoping that she will give in.

Social hierarchy and the individual self Pamela’s problem is not only the defense of her chastity. Richardson’s novel participates in the larger illuminist debate on the issue of authority and absolute power vs. but the education she received in Lady B_’s house is far above that of a servant. She sees social hierarchy as “natural. the rights of the individual. B_ intercepting Pamela’s first letter to her parents (Engraving by H. She perceives her imprisonment by Mr. Pamela is brought up by her modest parents in the spirit of the strictest religious principles. to set moral standards to the nation. Through its subject and theme. the freedoms that he takes with her. is consistent with the spirit of individual freedom which defines the Enlightenment. his violation of her privacy (including the private space of her correspondence) as abusive attempts to reduce her to the condition of an object. that no one has the right to control the ideas and feelings of another.” but she defends her dignity as an individual. B_. Richardson’s implicit radical message. Gravelot to the 1742 edition) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 129 .7. The cover engraving and title page of the 1741 edition Mr. He thus questions the exclusive right of aristocracy. This ambiguity in her condition makes her remarkably class-conscious. F. The moral conflict in the novel is accompanied by social issues. a complete novelty in fiction.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.2. as he embodies perfect virtue in a lower middle-class girl. Richardson’s creation of Pamela is revolutionary. as a traditionally dominant class. Pamela’s position of moral superiority reflects Richardson’s confidence that the values of the middle class entitled them to claim moral leadership.

Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts.e. at the end of the unit.2. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master.2. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. as a servant. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. and 5. 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. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. If there should be significant differences. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. to obey Mr.8. it is easier for her to stand his abuses.2. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. between hate and admiration. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. read again attentively subchapters 5. though in quality [i. 5. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave.7.6. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .”? Answer in the space left below.

is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. on the other.9. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. What counts. and his developing love. however. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. on the one hand. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each.3.4. which are captured in the process of their emergence. B_ follows a similar evolution.. In Pamela’s letters and diary. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus. read again subchapter 5. 2.2. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. at the end of the unit. excerpted from Pamela. 1. There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. her sentimental response to them. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness. and considering also Text 5.. in the Reader).

required a narrator who should be no longer a character. priggish* upstart. His acknowledged literary models were Swift. Slipslop. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) 5. and he thought to propose his own version of morality. Lady Booby’s estate in Somersetshire is the scene for the novel’s last series of adventures. above all. Joseph’s sweetheart. Mr. but a voice external to the story. relationships and actions.3. to his native village. Fielding was a master of parody. “written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes*. 1790) 132 . and the first comprehensive literary picture of the manners and mentalities of the age. burlesque and comic satire. Mr. as well as their inclusiveness. modest and gentle creature. He is also the first novelist who displayed a remarkable sense of form. Fielding uses the technique of reversal as a parodic device. controlling the narrative and imposing his own values explicitly. but also by the maid. B_’s aunt. He is the object of seduction of “Lady Booby*. they mirror a wide range of human types. which is doubled by the fact that Joseph is pursued not only by the mistress. 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. Joseph Andrews is presented as Pamela’s brother. Abraham Adams. emulating his sister in the exemplarity of his virtue. but a snobbish. and the long central section of the novel – its picaresque part – describes Joseph’s adventures on the road. A somber discovery marks the climax of confusion: it appears that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. whose servant he was. The careful narrative architecture of his novels. irony. author of Don Quixote” (1742). Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend. so that he sets out for home. Fielding abandons parody. His works are panoramic reflections of the age. Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Fielding is the creator of the novels of manners. The hero’s companions are Parson Abraham Adams and Fanny Goodwill. Treating seriously of male virtue results in comic effect. the author asserts himself.1.3. More unexpected Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Lady Booby and Joseph Andrews (engraving by James Heath. who opposes her brother’s marriage to a simple country-girl. performed by means of comic satiric devices. Fielding’s combination of realism and comedy inaugurated a lasting tradition of realistic fiction as an instrument of criticism of manners. Omniscient narration afforded a comic vision of life. The result was the first comic novel of manners in England. Through the omniscient* narrator. Pope. and. His rejection of both leads to his dismissal. All important characters meet here. started as a parody. At this point. including Pamela and her husband.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Fielding considered the Puritan morality preached by Rhichardson’s Pamela as narrow and ungenerous.” Mr. Cervantes. Booby. in London. Parodic accents are revived: Pamela is not Richardson’s humble. Mrs.

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

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

reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. At the same time. and 5. incorporated in the substance of his works.. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. 5. unaffected. 5. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined.. and he believes. He is a moralist. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. 1. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . 2.2. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. 3.3. provide the first theory of the novel.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5..2. If they should differ substantially. read again subchapters 5. 5.3. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature.5. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition.8. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson.2. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation.3. through its moral and temperamental types. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. drawing short comparisons. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. Explain them.. like many Augustan writers. preoccupied with the reformation of manners. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices.4. Fielding is the most “Augustan.4. at the end of the unit.

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

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

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

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

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

and read the fragment attentively once more. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. Write them in the spaces indicated below. In this way.4. 1. 3. which he discusses in the very text of the work. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it.4. and 5. go again through subchapters 5. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. 2. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing.5. at the end of the unit.7. Instead of continuing the story.. If they differ significantly.6. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 .

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

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

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

Text 4. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. 1.1. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag.2.4. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. and 5. to revise the preceding unit. In order to win the good graces of the king. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. as illustrated by this fragment.. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. 2. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. clarity. • 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 30%. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. therefore. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. the king rejects this tribute. Horrified. Remember that. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). Text 5. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment. with special attention to subchapter 4. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. 3. You will have. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 .1.1.4.. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. in grading your paper. SAA no. • the coherence. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns.

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

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

179-195. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 116127.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). Allen. Cornelia. 53-59. 731-736) 3. Editura Universităţii Suceava. 712-718. 143-163. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. 37-42. 1991 (pp. 217-231. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Macsiniuc. 701-704. Daiches. 43-46. 2003 (pp. Penguin Books Limited. 598-602. 76-80) 2. Walter. David.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. The English Novel. vol. 1969 (pp. A Critical History of English Literature.

the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.2. 6.3.4. 6.3. 6.2.1.4.2. 6. 6.4.4. 6.3.4.2. The Seasons William Cowper. 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 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. 6.3. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 150 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 149 . 6.4.2.7.1.5.2. 6.1. 6.6. 6.2.4. 6.1. 6. 6. 6.2.1.4.4.1.4.1.3.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6. 6.3.1.

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

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

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

Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The transition from the Augustan to the Romantic age was slow and long. William Blake would call the heroic couplet* the “great cage” of Augustan poetry. Samuel Taylor Coleridge). The emphasis on sentimental response. The great novelists (e. the state of nature began to be idealised.g. valued for their simplicity and directness by the first Romantics (William Wordsworth. Henry Fielding) would often associate the turbulent. the inspiration from folk myths and legends. such as the song and the ballad. and the simplicity of country life with moral virtue. the interest in rural life and its contrast with civilisation. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 153 . the interest in the local and national past.3. an interest developed in popular forms of poetry. In the latter part of the century. Under the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau*. The pre. sometimes within the context of Augustan conventions. In the following subchapters. Towards the end of the century. Elements of a pre-Romantic sensibility can be found all along the century. characteristic of the Enlightenment. the new feeling for nature – these were features indicating that literary taste was changing. The sentimental opposition between town and country was to become a convention in 18 th century literature. patriarchal society in which men could enjoy fully their natural right to freedom.2.1. and the emergence of a distinct poetic attitude towards nature. The rural universe in 18th century poetry The emerging Age of Sensibility oriented the critical spirit. and the 18 th century abounded in optimistic utopias about an idyllic. and indeed the tendency along the century was to abandon it for poetic forms that allowed more freedom. This change in taste concerned not only themes and subjects. The return to blank verse 6. busy life of the city with moral confusion. A return to blank verse – for which Shakespeare and Milton were the great models – allowed greater flexibility of expression. 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. but also literary forms.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. There was a growing suspicion that civilisation may have a corrupting effect on man’s innate goodness. towards the highest achievement of man’s Reason: civilisation itself.

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Illustration to (1905 edition)

The Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

at the end of the unit. in Songs of Experience. Quote the respective words or line(s) and give your comment in the space below. but also if this creator is also that of the gentle lamb.4. If it should differ in major respects. Read this poem – Text 6. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Knowledge in the world of Experience The clarity and directness of Songs of Innocence is replaced.6.6. innocent question (“Little Lamb. you]?) and his own answer. the event of a child’s birth becomes the symbol of the fall into the world of Experience. 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. The implication is that knowledge in the state of Experience is always incomplete and fragmentary. in a paragraph of 10 lines / 100 words at the most. in the Reader – and find out in its lines suggestions for at least one aspect which defines this “dangerous” world. dangerous tiger. The two stanzas of The Lamb contain the child’s simple.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. while The Tyger consists only in an accumulation of questions. revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 167 . who made thee [i. SAQ 8 In Blake’s poem Infant Sorrow. with no explicit answer. The speaker in the latter poem wonders not only who created the “fearful symmetry” of the powerful. This suggests that the world of Experience is more opaque and uncertain. provoking more anxiety than certainty.e. and the rhythms of the poems are also more difficult. by ambiguity and even obscurity.

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

but he is no longer able to do that.2. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast..7. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words.4. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 .1.4. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience. to 6.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6. except as an act of remembering. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and read the poem again more carefully. at the end of the unit. The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. If there should be major differences between them. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted. revise subchapters 6. to regain the vision of Innocence.

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

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

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

in grading your paper. 6. clarity. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate. • the coherence. Send-away assignment no. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. gardens or estates... Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. 6. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance.. Remember that. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6. 6. 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). 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. and 6. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. The Chimney Sweeper.12. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher.” usurous: from usury.9. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution..10. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau.11. • 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.). and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 . SAA no.13. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. meant to win a patron’s favour. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. 6.8. with his law of love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reader

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

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UNIT 5 THE AGE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT: THE RISE OF THE NOVEL
TEXT 5.1. Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
It was now that I began sensibly* to feel how much more happy this life I now led was, with all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked*, cursed*, abominable* life I led all the past part of my days. And now I changed both my sorrows and my joys; my very desires altered*, my affections changed their gusts*, and my delights were perfectly new from what they were at my first coming, or indeed for the two years past. Before, as I walked about, either on my hunting or for viewing the country, the anguish* of my soul at my condition would break out* upon me on a sudden*, and my very heart would die within me to think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in, and how I was a prisoner locked up with the eternal bars* and bolts* of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption*. In the midst* of the greatest composures* of my mind, this would break out upon me like a storm, and make me wring* my hands like a child. (…). But now I began to exercise myself with new thoughts. I daily read the Word of God, and applied all the comforts* of it to my present state. One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words: “I will never, never leave thee*, nor forsake* thee.” Immediately it occurred* to me that these words were to me. Why else* should they be directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition as one forsaken of* God and Man? (…) From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition than it was probable I should have ever been I any other particular state in the world; and with this thought I was going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place.
sensibly în mod apreciabil, destul de mult wicked păcătos cursed nelegiuit, ticălos abominable odios to alter to change gust răbufnire, explozie, izbucnire anguish pain, misery, agony to break out a se dezlănţui, a izbucni on a sudden suddenly, abruptly bars gratii, zăbrele bolt zăvor redemption mântuire, izbăvire, salvare midst middle composure linişte, calm, cumpăt, stăpânire de sine to wring (wrung) a frânge; to wring one’s hands: a-şi frânge mâinile de durere comfort mângâiere, consolare, încurajare thee you to forsake (forsook, forsaken) to abandon to occur (to someone) a-i veni în minte, a-i trece prin gând why else? altfel de ce? forsaken of forsaken by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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