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

3. 3. 2. 4. 3.1. 2.4.5.6.1.4.2. 3.1.3.3.2. 3.5.4.1.1. 4.6. 2. 3.4. 4.2.7.5.2. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3.2.1.2.2. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton.3.3.5. 4.3.1.3. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1.2. 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 3.4.3. 4.3. 3. 3.1. 3.4. 3.1. 4.4.4. 3.2.5.2.4.8.2.2.5.4. 4.2.3. 3.1.3. 2. 2. 2. 3. 3.1.1. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.Contents 2.5. 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. 3.3.3. 4.3.

4.2. 5. 5. 5. 5.2. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 117 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 iii 5 5. 5.7.2.2.4.3.1. 5. 4. Gulliver.2. 4.2. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. 4.3. 5.2.2.2.1. 5.1. 4.1. 5.5.5. 5. 5.3. 5.1.3.4.2. 5.3. 4. 4. 5. or Virtue Rewarded Social hierarchy and the individual self Psychological realism and the epistolary technique Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The novel as comic romance The character of parson Adams Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews Fielding’s Augustanism Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Sentimentalism and tragi-comic vision The “Shandean” view of writing The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions Tristram Shandy as metafiction Summary Key words Glossary Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3.2. 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.Contents 4.5. 5. 4. 5. 5.2.6. 5. 4.4.7. 5.3.3. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.4.1.2. 5.2.5.1. 5. 5.4.4. 4.2. 5.3. 4.4.3.3.4.6.4.1. 5.4.1.4.1. 4.4.4.4.3.4.4.3.2.4.8. 4. 5.5.4.2.6.4.3.

1. 6.4. 6.2.2. 6.2. 6.4.4. 6.3.4. 6.3. 6.4.2. 6.3. 6.1.2. 6.4. 6.3. 6.3. 6. 6.4.2. The Seasons William Cowper.6.2.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No.1.5. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 6.7. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 144 145 146 148 149 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 177 216 6 6. 6. 6.1.4. 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.1.1. 6.3.4.1. 6.2.4.1.2. 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.

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

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

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

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

will also appear in Units 5 and 6. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words. Sometimes. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. Thus. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order). with the pages where you may find relevant information. at the end. For example. which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit. which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . • Further reading. you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. The materials indicated in the Further reading section and in the Selective bibliography (see below) offer you supplementary information. which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6. Most of the books included there are available in any University library. • the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names). for the Great Chain of Being*. For instance. but the phrase of which that word is part. You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained.3. the Glossaries will send you back to 1.Introduction 4. in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to.4. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities.1. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. in Unit 1. Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. if necessary or desired. not just Being. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1. Some terms may recur in several units. other instruments meant to assist your study.1.3. the term Enlightenment.

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. in which the words and phrases supposed to be unknown. If you should find these lexical notes insufficient for your understanding of a particular text. The table below represents the place. and the weight of each assignment: 6 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The written test that you will sit at the end of the semester will add the other 60%. As we are dealing with 17th and 18th century literature. The Reader The course is accompanied by a Reader. and make sure you understand its general meaning or basic ideas. and 6.2 will cover units 4 and 5. These first two SAAs will therefore consist in more than one task. the course contains three send-away assignments (SAAs). SAA no. while SAA no. 5. The cumulated weight of these SAAs in your final grade is 40%.5. which will enable your tutor to assess your performance in the course work. In any case. some of these texts might seem difficult to you. Assessment and evaluation Besides the self-assessment questions included in each unit. don’t hesitate to use a good dictionary. The given explanation or translation into Romanian applies only to the respective context. This is why the same word may appear with different explanations/translations in several glossaries. or misleadingly familiar to you are explained either in English or in Romanian. The three SAAs are placed at the end of units 3. or one word may be given an explanation/translation different from the one you might be familiar with. try to read each fragment more than once. As the texts are not very long. difficult. this should not take you too much time. before you start solving the task.lIntroduction 4. especially the poetry texts. 1 will assess your knowledge of units 2 and 3. A send-away assignment (SAA) is signalled in the text by the icon accompanying this textbox. 5. the number of tasks.

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

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

5. 1.1. 1.1. 1. 1. 1. 1.1. 1. 1.2.1.1.4.2.5. 1.3.1.2. 1.4.4. 1.4.4.3.1. 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 . 1.4.1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1.4. 1.3.

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

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

Circle T (true) or F (false). the central concern of the Enlightenment.4. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress. 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. The growing spirit of individualism. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. for each sentence. SAQ 1 The following exercise will help you revise some of the more important aspects concerning the intellectual and cultural background of the 17th and 18th centuries. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. T F 3. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. T F 5. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. 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. 1.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. The poet Alexander Pope indicated. 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. T F 2. appropriately. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . to superstition and obscurantism. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. the Enlightenment.1. but also affective and instinctual. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. 1. T F 4.3. continued the project of the Renaissance. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility. The Enlightenment continued the Renaissance faith in man’s perfectibility and sought for man’s emancipation both as an individual and as a social being.1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1.

to 1.1. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. for proportion. the decrease in the power of the Crown. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. The Evangelical Revival shared with Deism the attempt to give a rational foundation to religious faith. The Age of the Enlightenment excluded completely the interest in human feeling and emotion. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. symmetry. and both writers and audiences were. It is significant. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. including readers of more modest education. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*.4. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste. that the notion of reading public emerges now. with little or no classical knowledge. read again subchapters. T F 8. It was the main focus of literary attention. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. regularity. in one way or another. T F 7. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 . for instance. After 1688. 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. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary.1. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. at the end of the unit. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria.2.1. The division into Elizabethan. 1. in the orbit of the crown. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition.

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

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

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

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

as in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) or The Winter’s Tale (1610-11). the satirical comedy.4. Shakespeare’s Elizabethan phase included a number of exquisite romantic comedies. and 1. The Jacobean and Caroline authors of revenge tragedies had Seneca as their model. in miniature. read again subchapters 1. T F 5. a genre which will survive into the 18th century. Comedy in the early 17th century In the field of comedy. intended to correct vices and follies by denouncing them. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a classic example of domestic tragedy. Volpone (1606). Seneca’s tragedies inspired Jacobean and Caroline authors in the representation of atrocities on stage. The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) are social comedies of city life. 1. SAQ 4 For a revision of some important features of Renaissance English drama. Epicoene. or at least tinged with bitterness. dealing with middle or lower class life and concentrating on personal and domestic maters – unlike “grand” tragedy.4. or The Silent Woman (1609). reflecting. in the last period of creation. If you have failed to identify the true statements. though each in a different way. or in Philaster (1609) by John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont. the hierarchy of English society. Ben Jonson* illustrates another form. read the following statements. T F Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background A distinct type in late Renaissance drama is domestic tragedy. The hero of revenge tragedy often destroys himself in his desire to right a wrong done to him or to another. but. Milton’s Satan. centred on the theme of love. T F 6. 1. T F 4.1. Renaissance tragedy had four acts – a structure borrowed from Seneca. his comedies become darker. T F 7. The English play-house during the Renaissance accommodated a diverse audience. 18 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in Paradise Lost. The mixture of serious and comic elements results in tragicomedy. His best plays. as in All’s Well That Ends Well (1602-3) or Measure for Measure (1604-5). T F 3. circle the appropriate letter: T (true) or F (false). identifying the four true ones. reminds of the fascinating villain-heroes of the Renaissance revenge tragedies by his extraordinary ambition and boldness. T F 2. For each sentence. at the end of the unit. whose fall from eminence marks the destruction of an order.4.2. Shakespeare and Ben Jonson are the great masters. with its noble characters.

This parodic spirit was not confined to drama: the mockheroic style* was also used in poetry (e. which ridiculed them through exaggerated imitation. 1669-70). who demanded models of virtue and decency. It lacked the latter’s liveliness and brilliance.4. Richard Cumberland (The Brothers. Under the influence of French tragedies. or The Mistakes of a Night. and Richard Brinsely Sheridan (The Rivals. with idealised heroes and heroines divided between love and honour or duty. The best achievement in this genre belongs to John Dryden (The Indian Emperor. She Stoops to Conquer. John Gay. in his satirical play The Beggar’s Opera (1728).The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1. for instance. these plays built a world of high passion and incredible bravery. with their grandiose declamations and artificial conception of heroism. 1777). The main representatives – the Restoration Wits* – were courtiers and aristocrats who assumed the role of leaders of fashion and taste. In The Rehearsal (1671). but whose aim was not so much to correct manners as to entertain.g. Heroic drama The comedy of manners 1. 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. too. Tragedy was replaced in popular taste by a form that stood in sharp contrast with the unheroic spirit of the age: heroic drama. but also of French and Spanish romantic novels of adventure. There were a few attempts to revive classical tragedy or domestic tragedy.g. George Villiers. Duke of Buckingham. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 19 . which continued the realistic spirit of the earlier satirical plays. but serious drama declined during the 18th century. 1769). or The Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731). Oliver Goldsmith (The GoodNatured Man. 1773). 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. 1722). The most representative works of this kind belong to Richard Steele (The Conscious Lovers. mocks at certain theatrical conventions. Heroic plays.3. Alexander Pope) and in the novel (e. and it denounced puritanical virtue as hypocrisy. A more representative achievement of the Restoration is the comedy of manners. The Conquest of Granada. but it appealed to a wide middle class public. were a passing extravagance. Drama during the Restoration period Restoration drama developed in an age of scepticism and cynicism. a stylish and sophisticated world.4. 1665. The School for Scandal. of pleasure-seeking and relaxation after the strict moral code imposed to the nation by the Puritans. satirises heroic tragedy and so does Henry Fielding in his successful parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. 1768.4. 1775. 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. Henry Fielding). Restoration comedy presented an elegant society.

to 1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background SAQ 5 What are the main varieties of comedy during the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least five of them in the space below. together with their most outstanding representatives. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays. at the end of the unit. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2.4.2. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4. revise subchapters 1. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.4. If there should be major differences between them.

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

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

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

burlesque: the exaggerated imitation. 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. used to express observations of general truth. The birth of the novel is the most significant literary development of this “Age of Common Man. blank verse: unrhymed verse. often by means of paradox. from a system of genres and styles dominated by classical influences to a more “democratic” tendency. It is. which are reduced to the comically trivial. noble and heroic characters. From a literary point of view.D. The Great Latin writers of that age – Horace. and the emergence of the Age of Feeling prepared the way to the Romantic sensibility.). drama and prose in the 17th and 18th centuries has been meant to offer you a general idea of the literary background of this extremely diverse and dynamic period.-14 A. of serious action. part of the process of modernisation that the Age of Reason came to acknowledge its own limits. Augustan Age: a phrase designating the period of English Neoclassicism (extending from the Restoration to the latter half of the 18th century) by analogy with the golden age of Latin literature. and a major influence on their aesthetic ideal.” The short review of the dominant forms of poetry.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background modernity. elevated style. of the time of emperor Caesar Augustus (27 B. with new genres accessible to a more inclusive reading public.C. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural • • 24 . a slow transition took place. Virgil – were revered models for the English Augustan writers. Ovid. predominantly middle-class. however. in a caricatural spirit.

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

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

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

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

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

7. Cumberland burlesque comedy: George Villiers. John Vanbrugh).F. English Literature and Civilisation.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background Solutions and suggestions for SAQs SAQ 1 1. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. 6.T.1 SAQ 3 • • • • • • • • • SAQ 4 1. 2003 (pp. 1983 (pp. Goldsmith comedy of manners: the “Restoration Wits” (George Villiers.T. 115-141) 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . even extravagant style of the Renaissance to the simple elegance. Pope.2. 9-32) 2.F.T. the sonnet: Shakespeare. Blake the ode: Marvell.).F SAQ 5 • • • • • • • SAQ 6 In general.T SAQ 2 a. Milton. Collins. Fielding. 8. Marvell satire: Dryden. Luminiţa Elena. 4. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. Ioan-Aurel (ed.F. Milton the pastoral: Milton. Cowper romantic comedy: Shakespeare dark comedy: Shakespeare tragi-comedy: Shakespeare. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Thomson. William Wycherley. John Gay Further reading 1. 2003 (pp. Fletcher and Beaumont satirical comedy: Ben Jonson. Goldsmith. Cornelia. d. precision. concision and plainness: from the highly ornate. Donne. there was a tendency towards simplicity. 5. The English Eighteenth Century. 6. Herbert. 4. . Goldsmith. Cowley. Sheridan sentimental comedy: Steele. Carew. Dryden.T. Editura Universităţii Suceava. Dryden. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică.T. artificial.T. Sir George Sedley. Duke of Buckingham.T.T. Marvell. Turcu. The Literature of the Beginnings. Preda. 2. Pope. b. Herrick. c. 2. Macsiniuc. clarity and straightforwardness of the Augustan style. 5. Sir George Etherege.4. 3.3. 7-49) 3. The Novel in Its Beginnings. Gray the epic: Milton metaphysical poetry: Donne. Pope didactic poems: Pope philosophical poems: Pope descriptive-meditative poems: Thomson. from a highly rhetorical style to forms of expression which aspired to the plainness of common speech.F. 3.

10. 2.7. 2.1.3.3. 2.6.3.1. 2.3. 2.2.2.6.2. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius.2. 2. 2. 2.12.1. 2.3.3.2.8.1.8.3.2.1.2. 2.2.5. 2.2.2.2.3.2. 2.1.2.5. 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.11. 2. 2. 2.3. 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 . 2.4.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.3. 2. 2.4.7. 2. 2.2.2.2. 2.9. 2. 2.3.

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

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

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

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

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

the first in this series of masterpieces. absorbed more and more by his consciousness of the paradoxes of his difficult task of exposing the truth. Sent on a diplomatic mission to England. takes over the rule of Denmark.2. sensitive and idealistic. in the confusions of the final scene. Hamlet feels all his certainties destroyed. Claudius. Confronted with the moral corruption around him. all the main protagonists find their death. which represents a similar scene of murder. who was now the new king and who had married Gertrude. that he had actually been poisoned by his brother. with a poisoned sword. bringing in the prospect of renewal and of the restoration of order. required by his dead father. young prince Hamlet learns from the ghost of his recently dead father. Polonius is the father of beautiful Ophelia. and with the immense burden of revenge. Sir Laurence Olivier in Hamlet (1948) 2. rejected by Hamlet in spite of their mutual affection. Shakespeare deals with his great tragic themes in the frame of a revenge tragedy. who had really gone mad. Hamlet: a revenge play In Hamlet. the widow queen. who suspects him of aspiring to take his throne. but refrains from doing it as the latter was in prayer. has drowned herself. the masterful treatment of highly complex characters. During the play. In order to find confirmation for the ghost’s story. Young Hamlet is thus confronted with the horrors of fratricide and incest. Hamlet escapes a criminal plot set up by Claudius. Her brother. Hamlet arranges a play to be performed at court. old king Hamlet. Hamlet learns that Ophelia. as he now sees in her only another embodiment of woman’s frailty. At one point.3.2. generous and brilliantly intelligent. His Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 37 . Claudius’s guilty conscience betrays him. accepts Claudius’s treacherous plan of killing Hamlet during a duel. mistaking him for Claudius. In another scene. brave. the intensity of poetic expression – especially in the soliloquies – are features that rank these plays highest in the whole history of the genre. the play ends on a note of hope.The late Renaissance and the Baroque natural order of things or if it betrays the indifference of Nature – or God – towards man. Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility Hamlet has been seen as the embodiment of the ideal Renaissance prince – refined and cultivated. Upon his return to Denmark from his university studies. It is in these four great tragedies that Shakespeare gives the full proof of his artistic genius. Laertes. 2. the Norwegian prince and glorious military hero. Hamlet hides his terrible grief behind the mask of madness. Back to the castle. he kills Polonius. In spite of this bloody outcome. but the plot escapes their control and. and continually delays the act of revenge. he has the occasion to kill Claudius. The enlargement of meaning through consistent patterns of imagery running throughout each play.2. when Fortinbras. a courtier.

38 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4. the balance and confidence of the Renaissance man have been replaced by scepticism and mistrust. Hamlet: the philosopher vs. Madness becomes the refuge of the sensitive conscience from moral chaos. SAQ 3 Text 2.1. revealing Hamlet’s dualistic vision. and this may explain his indefinite postponing of the revenge. The sign of this confusion is the typically baroque motif of Hamlet’s madness.The late Renaissance and the Baroque new consciousness that “something’s rotten in Denmark” plunges him into a nightmare. as well as the indicated fragment. from the Reader contains a short meditation on man and the universe. It allows the hero to take distance from the corrupt order of the “prison” that Denmark has become for him. in which all the values on which he had relied have lost their meaning. and this makes him now aware of the ironies and ambiguities inherent in the discrepancy between what is and what seems. Compare your answer with the suggestions offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. is eminently a philosopher’s effort. His effort to see beyond the veil of illusion.2. In Hamlet’s tormented soul. If they should differ significantly. read again the preceding subchapter. at the end of the unit. 2. which is only partly dissimulated. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. his obsessive quest for truth and certainty. the man of action Hamlet’s penetrating spirit has discerned a reality of human nature that he had not suspected. What is the essence of this divided view? Formulate your answer in the space left below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 .2. was first intended to bring discredit on them. You must find them among the following statements.2. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. T F 6. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan.9 to 2. Their styles are different. T F 5. but each of them. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. of which three are false. A baroque feature of The Tempest is the emphasis on the theatrical quality of the action.” and many disliked its cultivated difficulty. 2.12.3. revise subchapters2. If any of your choices should be wrong. T F 3. 1. T F 4. Prospero had lost his power as the duke of Milan because his studies distanced him from the immediate world which he was supposed to rule. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world. The power of music has no effect on Caliban. at the end of the unit. The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. T F 2. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. T F 7. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. in his own way. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. except that of terrifying him.

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

Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. 2.3. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. If they should differ considerably. revise subchapters 2. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion. its decorative use of classical mythology.3.3. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. and a highly original one. and the same realistic force. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith.1.3. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . In the following subchapters. and 2. Use the space left below. and allegory. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. In the treatment of both themes.2. pastoral* conventions.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 8 Order the main aspects describing metaphysical poetry into four essential features. and which confers dramatic realism to his poems. at the end of the unit. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits.

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

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

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

6. and read the poem again. nature.3.3. revise subchapter 2. 2. from the Reader. Three major themes can be detached from his poetry: love. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Andrew Marvell: the patriotic theme in the Horatian Ode The last of the metaphysical poets. Marvell left. representing Donne’s sonnet Batter My Heart. the greatest of political poems in English literature: An Horatian Ode* upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (written in 1650). Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 53 . at the end of the unit. living through the turbulent years of the Civil War*. paradoxical feelings by means of a conceit which exploits metaphorically the contrast between marriage and rape. In the last six lines.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 10 Read Text 2. As a Puritan* patriot. This meditation on political conflict and national history is impressive by its clarity and controlled variations of tone.7. Donne suggests his contradictory.5. Andrew Marvell combines in his poetic work the sophistication of metaphysical wit with the elegance and grace of classical forms and attitudes. and love of country. 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. If there should be significant differences. according to some critics.

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

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

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.4.5.2. 3. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton. 3.5. 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. 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.1.4.3. 3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.3. 3. 3. 3. 3. 3.2.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3.2. 3. 3.5.4.3.2.6. 3. 3.2. 3.4.4. 3.1.1. 3.4.4. 3.3.1. 3.5.5.2.1.3.2.

the Christian humanist Milton is one of the most prominent figures of the 17th century. At Cambridge (1625-1629). and his acquaintance with the great artistic achievements of that country and with prominent personalities enriched his education and contributed to his erudition. He devoted himself heart and soul to the cause defended by the Puritans*. rhetoric and the great works of the classics. music. He returned to England when the troubles which were to lead to the Civil War* started. which exerted a huge influence on many generations of poets. and he made up his mind about his own position in the conflicts that agitated his country. religious and civil debates of his age. 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. geography. politics. Christian faith and classical formal perfection. accumulating an impressive knowledge in a diversity of fields (e. etc. the greatest epic poem in English literature. His education was eminently that of a Christian humanist. 63 John Milton (1608-1674) A man of impressive learning The Puritan patriot Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . family. and for almost twenty years he served their ideal of a truly reformed England. theology. the author of a work which represents a highly original synthesis of Renaissance humanism*. religion. He lived and created in an age of historical turbulence and profound change. mathematics. Milton.). as a publicist. recommended him for the office of Latin Secretary to the Council of State. such as education. he studied Latin. he went on a trip to Italy. he approached a diversity of subjects. the freedom of the press. Greek and Hebrew. In his prose essays and pamphlets*. etc.g. he continued to read intensively. and he dedicated long years of study and preparation to his accomplishment as a creator. Milton had from an early age the conviction of his poetic vocation. as well as his moral inflexibility. In 1638.1.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. and the course of his literary career was consistently marked by his involvement in the political. Paradise Lost. After that. written in English and in Latin. baroque* vision. His enormous learning. Milton’s enduring reputation is ensured by his masterpiece.

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

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

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

Patient and dignified waiting for God’s will to be fulfilled is also a way of serving Him. Milton laments the passing of his youth without any sign of poetic ripeness. but finds consolation in his faith in Providence. who carry out the divine his daughters will. and the theme of blindness was to accompany the great themes of his coming masterpieces. light denied?”).3. A sad biographical circumstance increased Milton’s anxiety in this respect: he was going blind. If he is to transcend time by literary fame. Sonnet XVII After almost twenty years. they have been fortunately able to prove their maturity at the right time.e. with a certain sadness. he admits. but also by Christian humility. angels). When he wrote Sonet XVII. but of God’s eternal will. i.” to carry out the task in such a way as to make his achievement count in eternity.3. Milton was still invoking Patience to avoid the anxiety caused by his feeling of “unripeness. he had asserted himself as a successful publicist. The only thing that matters is that he should have “grace to use it so. Milton’s eye-sight was definitively compromised. and confronts the evidence of a “late spring. since. that the unfolding of his poetic destiny is not only a matter of time. and that the passing of the time will eventually confirm if he is destined for glory. it does not matter if this task is fulfilled soon or late. by the acceptance of one’s fortune – of God’s “mild yoke.1. He has reached the age of twenty four. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 67 . confessing his temptation to ask. The life of study and leisure that the poet had been leading was a period of prolonged apprenticeship*. Lamenting the loss making his political and religious views known in a series of influential of his eyesight essays. Milton has the strong sense that his poetic accomplishment is a task imposed by God (his “great task-master”). that. in another poem of this kind (Sonnet XVII). patiently. but he had not fulfilled his great poetic promise. In Sonnet XVII.The works of John Milton 3. foolishly: how can God expect him to fulfill his task if He has decided to make him blind? (“Doth God exact daylabour. As a Christian poet. God: the poet’s “great taskmaster” 3.2. Milton meditates on his loss of sight. In the first part of the sonnet.” By this time. as King of Heaven. he Paradise Lost to commands “thousands” (of spirits. at his age. he must admit. other young men have demonstrated “inward ripeness. To prevent such a complaint. written in 1631. 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. Sonnet VII In Sonnet VII (“How soon hath time”). Since for God time is in fact eternity (“All is…as ever” in God’s eye). Patience – a Christian virtue – teaches him that God is served not only by actions. in which the accumulation of knowledge was meant to create a solid foundation for his future great work.” that they are “timely happy spirits”. in 1652.” with no “bud or blossom” to promise ripe fruit.” It would be arrogance to think that God needs “either man’s Milton dictating work or gift” to assert His greatness.” “mean or high” as it may be.

Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Dante* –. and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. and of leaving to posterity an undying work. and 3. If there should be significant differences. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. read again subchapter 3.3. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. Virgil. at the end of the unit.The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. and the two sonnets. respectively. Read these sonnets (Texts 3. 3.2.1. when he was already blind. he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in the Reader). which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. and he worked at it over several years.4. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza).2.

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

He contemplates with envy the beauty and the innocent happiness of Adam and Eve. The accepted solution is to reach the new world created by God.e.” He thus anticipates the moment of the Temptation. the ascension from darkness to the light of his “native seat” – now forbidden to him –. whose setting is in Heaven. to find the weakness of man and to seduce him to join their party. the “wild abyss” governed by Night. God’s Son offers to pay this price for the reconciliation of man to his heavenly Father. in which his success was due to deceit and dissimulation. Man’s sin of disobedience must be punished justly. whose splendour is described more effectively through Satan’s jealous eyes. Chaos and Chance. The corruption of God’s creation was thought better than any kind of revenge.e. and He commands His angels to adore and celebrate man’s Saviour and “universal king. 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. i.” God anticipates the event of His Son’s incarnation. the overwhelming discord of the elements of a yet uncreated world. and their discussions are rendered in Book II. is rendered in one of the most highly poetic passages in the poem. surpass] hellish hate. by virtue of his leading position. assumes the danger of trying to break free from the formidable prison of Hell. 3. to seek the newly created Earth.The works of John Milton The council of the fallen angels “fraud or guile [i. Pandemonium*. God.” Meanwhile. His voyage through the great gulf separating Hell from Heaven.” and to make them transgress God’s interdiction of tasting the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. and so “Heavenly love shall outdo [i. The fallen angels are all called to a council in Satan’s infernal palace. and plans to “excite their minds / With more desire to know.2.4. Satan. cunning]. concentrates the doctrinal argument of the poem.e. and he flies away. Satan has reached the Garden of Eden. Satan is prevented from carrying out his design by the angels guarding Paradise. knowing in advance that Satan will be successful in his attempt to “pervert” man. The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Book III. Divine justice and mercy Book IV: Satan’s arrival in the Garden of Eden 70 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Milton displays here at his best his gift of evoking vast spaces and general chaos. explains to His Son the reason for his allowing this to happen. death and resurrection. set him free from sin. and the only way to satisfy divine justice is a sacrificial death that would redeem man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and “out of good still to find means of evil. Satan represents the negation of the creative power of the divine Word: his revenge is accomplished not by force.” and the “Enemy of Mankind. Satan.The works of John Milton 3.2. 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. He is determined “to do ill” – which is “the contrary to his high will” – or to pervert the good done by God. Awakening in man the impulse to question. Satan’s speeches have an impressive convincing force. but the epic poet insistently underlines their manipulative intentions. As God’s absolute antagonist. 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. and he invests all his titanic energies in his destructive plan. It is with “high words. His “immortal hate” makes revenge his only aim.” seeming reasonable and true. The temptation of Eve is in fact the repetition of the earlier act of persuading the angels to join him in his rebellion. Satan can assert his freedom of action only in the sphere of evil. that he determines Eve to break the divine interdiction. he is the promoter of suspicion and doubt.” in whose destruction he finds complete satisfaction for his hurt pride. the destroyer of faith.” which actually lacked substance that he manages to revive the courage of the depressed fallen angels.” He is “the author of all ill. The negative power of rhetoric: Satan the Tempter Gustave Doré: Satan (1870) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 79 .5. but by the evil subtlety of his mind and the corrupting power of his word. the “author of all ill” The only way in which Satan can define himself as an equal to the power that he refuses to serve is to become its irreconcilable opponent. Satan is The Tempter.

” (6 lines /60 words) Compare your answers with those offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. “and “The mind is its own place.The works of John Milton SAQ 7 Text 3.5.5. a Hell of Heaven”? (Answer in no more than 4 lines/40 words. at the end of the unit. in the Reader contains a part of Satan’s speech before his followers. If there are significant differences.2. Read the whole fragment carefully. “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. “A mind not to be changed by time or place. and read the indicated fragment again..) B. and 3.1. His words reveal some of the defining features of Milton’s hero. in Hell. and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell. revise subchapters 3. and point out what features of Satan’s nature are illustrated by the following lines: A. 80 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .3.

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

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

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

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

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 . and 2. You may also consider it useful to pay attention to the following aspects when reading the text: • Satan’s present misery set in opposition with the memories of his former condition. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. and the last paragraph of 2.5. God’s creation.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. one of the greatest Roman poets. 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. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan.3. Send-away assignment no. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. 2. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition..2.6.). at the end of the play. • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. Text 3. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve. Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience.2. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. in Milton’s Paradise Lost. In both of them. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda. At the beginning of Book IV. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). Texts 2. romantic in The Tempest –. with special attention to the indicated subchapters.4. A revision of subchapter 3. before the final battle.1. and thus of destroying man. in which he explores his inner hell. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2.1.2. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. • Read attentively this fragment.C. 1..

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

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

1. 4. 4. 4.2 4. 4.1. 4.4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2.2. Gulliver. 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. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. 4.5.1. 4.3.4. 4. 4.3.2.3. 4.4.4. 4.1.1.2.4. 4.6.4.2. 4.7.5.4.1.4.1.1. 4. 4. 4.2. 4. 4.4.3.2.1.5.3. 4.1. 4.4.2. 4.4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator.

Human nature. ♦ specify the main targets of satire in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. and their re-opening in 1660. Nature. Unit objectives 4. ♦ describe satirical devices used by John Dryden. with spectators no longer allowed to sit on it. and Jonathan Swift. central to the Neoclassic poetics of the Augustan Age.The Restoration and the Augustan Age By the end of this unit you should be able to: ♦ identify the favourite themes and the typical characters of Restoration drama. Alexander Pope.1.1. Restoration drama The Restoration* was a period of significant social and institutional change. Significant changes took place in the theatre: the stage became closed on three sides. From a literary point of view. the age in which the ideological premises of the Enlightenment were constituted. drama holds a place apart. Restoration drama marked a clear split between popular and aristocratic standards of taste. of increasing rationalism and secularisation. under the patronage of king Charles II. and. 4. under the influence of French theatres. ♦ define the purposes and literary strategies of the periodical essay as an instrument of cultural enlightenment ♦ explain the remarkable development of satire in the Augustan Age. clarity and elegant restraint. ♦ explain the relevance of concepts like Art. The Renaissance tradition of the theatre as popular entertainment. 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. Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment In the heterogeneous literary picture of the Restoration. grandiose and extravagant in tragedies –. ♦ identify the main concerns of literary Neoclassicism. The Puritans had closed theatres in 1642. Charles II Stuart (reign: 1660-1685) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 89 .1. it was a period of transition as well. was interrupted: Restoration theatre became almost exclusively a form of Court entertainment. the scenery became more elaborate – more “realistic” in comedies. the cast of actors included women. was attended by a strong anti-Puritan reaction. and of considerable diversity. addressing itself to an inclusive public. ♦ 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.

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

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

1. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. Restoration comedy praised wit. elegance. T F 7. at the end of the unit. to 4. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. T F 6. by doing the exercise that follows. hedonism and amorality at Court. Read the statements below and identify five true ones.1. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. 4. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. T F 2. frivolity. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It displays typical Restoration characters. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.4. T F 4. T F 8. a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*.3. read again subchapters 4. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. T F 3.1. 1. such as the impoverished gallant. refinement and sophistication. T F 9. If any of them should turn out to be wrong. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. simple action.1. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. T F 5. William Congreve.

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

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

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

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

at the end of the unit. and beauty was the result of the balanced combination of talent and inspiration with skill. and the indicated fragment. read again subchapter 4.3. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and what Neoclassic conviction do they imply? Answer in the space below.3.g. but also to imported French ideas – e. SAQ 3 Text 4. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 97 . Emotion was supposed to be filtered and controlled by reason.2.The Restoration and the Augustan Age A rationalist poetics All the faculties involved in the process of creation were seen as subordinated to Reason. What are the main ideas in this fragment. If there should be significant differences. to those of Nicolas Boileau*. in the Reader represents a fragment from Samuel Johnson’s Preface to his 1765 edition of Shakespeare’s works. in a paragraph of no more than 4 complex sentences (80-100 words / 8-10 lines). The rationalist poetics* of Neoclassicism owed greatly to Horace*. or art*. a combination achieved through reason.

of the belief in progress an in man’s perfectibility.” Augustan wit 4. with the cultivation of men’s best virtues through polite learning*.3. Ostentation. In the context of general progress. A more straightforward style in prose was an imperative in an age so much concerned with education of mentalities. This ideal of style is best summed up by the Augustan notion of wit. 98 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It displayed flexibility skilfully controlled. Neoclassicism cultivated an ideal of style characterised in the first place by intellectual clarity and expressive restraint. It must not be forgotten that this was the age of the Enlightenment*. eloquence with restraint. as Oliver Goldsmith defined it. manners and taste. The periodical essay is the Augustan prose genre which contributed immensely to the forging of a modern prose style.4. and which illustrated most eloquently the didactic impulse of all Augustan literature. “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. refinement with wisdom. 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. Wit described a style which combined elegance with profundity. but also moral edification and standards of good judgment and behaviour. 4.5. and he was not supposed to withdraw in an ivory tower. and of the increase and diversification of the reading public. of critical debate in every field. affectation were rejected. The Augustan ideal of style The suitable doctrine for the Age of Reason. too. but to be a functional part of the community. or. of quick accumulation of information. and the measure of the writer’s skill was his ability to convey an impression of “natural easiness and unaffected grace.2.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. The periodical essay Although the normative poetics of Neoclassicism had in view mainly poetry and drama. The writer's art was a form of social communication. Literature was supposed to delight but also to instruct – to offer not only aesthetic pleasure. yet everything is extraordinary” (Thomas Sprat*). where nothing seems to be studied.2. unnecessary ornament. precision and clarity. the language of prose aimed more and more at simplicity. “grace and strength united. its effects were considerable on prose.

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

they tried to make their essays not only instructive but also attractive and amusing. Steele and Addison assumed the mission of public educators and proceeded to rescue their audience from what they perceived as “that desperate state of vice and folly into which the age is fallen” (Steele). Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Think of present relevance of this remark. 100 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . The Tatler and The Spectator. in no more than 12 lines / 120 words. think again and try to do the exercise once more. collected in book form. “The Spectator’s Club” Among the most important periodical essayists. To increase the efficiency of their undertaking. Like other writers.1. whose essays were published several times in the century. Joseph Addison wrote: The mind that lies fallow* but [i. and by far the most popular ones.e. at the end of the unit. Explain the analogy that his observation invites us to develop. were Richard Steele*’s The Tatler* (1709-1711). on a separate sheet. If they are significantly different. 4.3. only] a single day sprouts up* in follies that are only to be killed by an assiduous culture. and Joseph Addison’s The Spectator (1711-1714).The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 4 In one of his periodical essays.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

acquiring quickly the status of real “institutions” of opinion. 111 • • • • • • • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . in the 2nd Book of Kings (verses 15-18). baroque: see again subchapter 2. or human skill (as contrasted to the work of Nature). coffee houses: since the 1650s. admirer. beaux: plural of beau (“handsome” in French). achieved by training and practice.1. art: in the Neoclassic doctrine. profession or interest. affectation: a manner of speech. They were usually frequented by people of the same social rank. the acquired competence of the writer. all the acquisitions of the human spirit become meaningless. Dulness as “Great Anarch” is the ruler of spiritual chaos. or escort. but is intended to impress others. In Pope’s satire. it may also refer to a woman’s lover. they were convenient places for socialising and for the dissemination of news. burlesque: see the Glossary in Unit 1. which designated a fashionable. well-dressed man. Augustan: see Augustan Age in the Glossary in Unit 1.” where Dryden would come regularly. and the Glossary in Unit 2.1. gathered people of the literary profession or interested in literary matters. blank verse: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.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. dress or behaviour which is not natural. Art may generally refer to the work of man. Anarch: a personification of anarchy. “Will’s Coffee House. political or religious orientation. his craftsmanship. For instance. greatly concerned with appearances. In her empire of darkness and confusion.

” a “force inertly strong” which corrupts understanding and confuses the mind. from dunce. “Mr. referring not only to external nature.” which means easy to fool or persuade to believe something (from “to gull”: to cheat. shortness of sight or imperfect sense of things. Enlightenment: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. the bay-leaf crown was the ancient emblem of fame. who in 1730 had become Poet Laureate. in which the destruction of one “link” would bring chaos. fallow: (about land) left unplanted or unseeded. Pope replaced Theobald by Colley Cibber. which conceived of every being in nature as having its well-established place in an uninterrupted chain of increasing degrees of complexity. slowness in thinking and learning. trait . In the 1743 version of The Dunciad. Great Chain of Being: an ancient world-picture.e. licentiousness: uncontrolled sexual behaviour. Bayes” refers to Lewis Theobald. and distinction. boring. a strictly ordered hierarchical system. who had criticised Pope for his edition of Shakespeare (1725). surviving through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the 18th century. inclination. Dryden himself had been attacked several times as “Mr. hedonism: a lifestyle devoted to the seeking of sensual pleasure. Bayes. In this kind of comedy. justice of the peace: a person appointed by the crown to judge less serious cases in small courts of law. a word designating a person who is stupid or slow to learn. unexciting. or “humour. figuratively: undeveloped or inactive.4. to deceive).3 in Unit 1 (heroic drama). heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1.3 in Unit 1. Dunciad: the title is coined after The Iliad. landscape. characters were constructed on the basis of a particular disposition. In Pope’s satire.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • comedy of humours: see Jonson in the Glossary in Unit 1. Mr.” another word for “laurel”. industry: the quality of being hard-working or of being always employed usefully. “Dull” also means uninteresting. but to the whole of created reality. Gulliver: the name sounds very similar to the adjective “gullible. mock-heroic epic: see mock-heroic style and epic in the Glossary in Unit 1.” Nature: an inclusive concept.” diction : see poetic diction in the Glossary in Unit 1. the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 112 . heroic tragedy: see again subchapter 1. honour. It derives from “bay. fop: a man who is excessively concerned with fashion and elegance. Bayes: a name which was frequently applied satirically to a writer. i. Pope uses the word in the enlarged sense of “all slowness of apprehension. stupidity. dulness: in a strict sense.

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

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

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

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

5.1.2.3. 5. 5.4.1.4. 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.2.4.5.3. 5.3. 5. 5. 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 .1. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5.1.3. 5.2. 5. 5.4.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 5.6. 5.2. 5.1. 5.2. 5.1.4.5.3.4.3.8. 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.1.3.2. 5. 5.4.2.2. 5.4.4.2.2.3.2. 5. 5.3.3.7.2. 5.2.5.1.4.6.

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

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

and public/social norms and conventions. The rise of the middle classes … 2. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. If there should be major differences. Women were … 3.1. read again subchapters 5.1. on the other. 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. The novel’s interest in the tensions between the public and the private reflected … Compare your answers with those given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. constitute the foundation of all novelistic plots in the 18 th century. Each full statement should describe a general aspect concerning the rise of the novel as a genre in the 18th century.1. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . … 4. 1.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies. SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion.2. on the one hand. at the end of the unit.

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

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

in circumstantial details. in actions. on his fiction. their social insertion. They differ in the objects of their “realistic” approach: whereas Defoe’s interest is invested in the external world of fact. Features of Defoe’s heroes Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 123 . on the individual’s striving towards some form of personal achievement. His heroes are remarkable in their vitality. Richardson focuses on the inner world of thought and feeling. when the writer was almost sixty. Its tremendous success encouraged Defoe to produce. The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York. published in 1719.1. is invariably accompanied by moral reformation. Their rise to social respectability and wealth. dynamic and versatile. the constant striving towards accuracy of description. of such non-fictional kinds of writing as the spiritual autobiography or didactic religious treatises. Both Defoe and Richardson display in their narratives a remarkable faithfulness to detail. resourcefulness and capacity for adjustment and survival. Mariner. They are pragmatic. to the influence. establishing it as the most popular literary genre in the 18th century. They share a middle class. This confers vividness to their narratives. This aspect in Defoe’s novels points to his Puritan background. Defoe and Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Each of these two novelists had an essential contribution to the rise of the novel. 5. Both of them enjoyed enormous popularity not only in England. but also on the Continent. in the next years.2. and tracing the protagonists’ struggles to achieve material prosperity as a condition of a stable social position. and their adventures show the individual victorious over circumstances and environment (physical or social). They were all stories of success. Puritan* background. on the movements of consciousness and the emotional response to moral problems. the power to hold attention and keep curiosity awake.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. cast in a picaresque form. Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Defoe’s career as a novelist started with his masterpiece. Their novels are the literary reflection of the spirit of individualism that characterised the age.2.

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

at the end of the unit. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s novel lends itself to a variety of interpretations: as an allegory of man’s evolution from the state of nature to civilisation and its institutions. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat. as a political or economic utopia.” 5. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. to the awakening of religious conscience.3. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance. In this light. Gradually. as an allegory of the ecological development of history. If it should differ considerably.2. Isolation is no longer a misfortune.1.2. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. read again subchapters 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 3 How does the description “honest cheat” apply to Robinson Crusoe? Answer in no more than 8 lines / 80 words.2.. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. and 5. It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 . In his initial struggle with despair.2. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness.

with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God. g. or by a sentence (e.g. 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . SAQ 4 Read Text 5. It has its spiritual rewards. Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism.. perseverance.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The celebration of homo faber characteristic Puritan tendency to self-scrutiny and introspection.. 1. which will serve his instinct for independence. Like Adam. 2. as a self-reliant individual.2. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work. subchapter 5. Enumerate. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour.. its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress. 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. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction.2.2.3. 3. Changed in his “notion of things. In this connection. ingenuity). in the space below. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion. morally autonomous. at the end of the unit.” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise. You may render these features either by a single noun (e. inventiveness. the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall. you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5.” desires and “delights. if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience. 4. or the felix culpa*. Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value. If you should fail to find any of the features mentioned there. He takes pleasure in his work). as well as the fragment in the Reader. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise. describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter. perspicacity.” However.

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

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

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

to obey Mr.2. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 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.e. read again attentively subchapters 5.7. at the end of the unit. between hate and admiration. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable.”? Answer in the space left below. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 5. though in quality [i.2. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. and 5. as a servant. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave.6. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. If there should be significant differences. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. it is easier for her to stand his abuses. what are the implications of her exclamation: “My soul is of equal importance with the soul of a princess. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel.2.8.

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

Omniscient narration afforded a comic vision of life. Cervantes. as well as their inclusiveness. relationships and actions. performed by means of comic satiric devices. Parodic accents are revived: Pamela is not Richardson’s humble. they mirror a wide range of human types. Mr. started as a parody. whose servant he was.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. The hero’s companions are Parson Abraham Adams and Fanny Goodwill. Comedy and parody in Joseph Andrews The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend. emulating his sister in the exemplarity of his virtue. His rejection of both leads to his dismissal. At this point. controlling the narrative and imposing his own values explicitly. priggish* upstart. Fielding abandons parody. irony. Joseph’s sweetheart. who opposes her brother’s marriage to a simple country-girl. 1790) 132 . Abraham Adams. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) 5.1.3. to his native village. His works are panoramic reflections of the age. Fielding’s combination of realism and comedy inaugurated a lasting tradition of realistic fiction as an instrument of criticism of manners. but also by the maid. “written in imitation of the manner of Cervantes*. The result was the first comic novel of manners in England. The careful narrative architecture of his novels. Lady Booby’s estate in Somersetshire is the scene for the novel’s last series of adventures. Slipslop. Treating seriously of male virtue results in comic effect. burlesque and comic satire. but a voice external to the story. and the first comprehensive literary picture of the manners and mentalities of the age. A somber discovery marks the climax of confusion: it appears that Joseph and Fanny are brother and sister. modest and gentle creature. More unexpected Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Lady Booby and Joseph Andrews (engraving by James Heath. including Pamela and her husband. B_’s aunt. in London. He is the object of seduction of “Lady Booby*. Joseph Andrews is presented as Pamela’s brother.3. Pope. Fielding uses the technique of reversal as a parodic device. the author asserts himself. which is doubled by the fact that Joseph is pursued not only by the mistress. and the long central section of the novel – its picaresque part – describes Joseph’s adventures on the road. All important characters meet here. He is also the first novelist who displayed a remarkable sense of form. Mr. Booby. Mrs. required a narrator who should be no longer a character. above all. and. Fielding was a master of parody. and he thought to propose his own version of morality. but a snobbish. so that he sets out for home. The multitude of incidents during their journey acquaints the reader with the most diverse aspects of English countryside life and with an impressive variety of human types.” Mr. His acknowledged literary models were Swift. Henry Fielding and the novel of manners Fielding is the creator of the novels of manners. Through the omniscient* narrator. Fielding considered the Puritan morality preached by Rhichardson’s Pamela as narrow and ungenerous. author of Don Quixote” (1742).

Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). Cervantes. which turns out to be gentle*. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F.5. Fielding likes to play with genres. For instance. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic.3. while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. whom they had met during their journey. T F 4. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. T F 5. Wilson. T F 7. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false.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. alluding thus to the older genre. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. T F 3. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. for true or false) for each of them. 1. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. T F 2. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. which closes the plot. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. T F 8. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . in the spirit of comedy. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. T F 6. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. Mr. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. read the text once more. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. Read Text 5.2. is an ingredient of romantic plots. 5. carefully. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. at the end of the unit.

but a species” (Joseph Andrews). Fielding’s fiction displays an immense gallery of characters. Every social class. Fielding involves him in a multitude of comic situations. At the same time. Adams’s unsuspecting nature often gets him in trouble. Parson Adams’s character remains the moral center of the novel. but good deeds and charity. Parson Adams as a quixotic character 5. in Fielding. Like his literary ancestor. hypocrisy and intolerance he is confronted with. Fielding offers aesthetic delight. Joseph emerges as morally mature. Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews The way in which Fielding conceives his characters in his novels is of great importance for his didactic purpose. etc. The character of Parson Adams The influence of Cervantes is clear in Fielding’s delineation of Parson* Adams. Fielding’s panoramic approach led him to find uniform patterns in human behaviour. By means of techniques of contrast. the essence of Christian morality is not prudence. Along the novel. doctors. etc. lawyers. In order to make the extraordinary variety of human types easier to deal with. In other words. Fielding resorts to the principle of contrast in characterisation. there are both good and bad innkeepers. In the combination of foolishness and idealism that characterises the parson. in spite of the many instances of greed. Defoe and Richardson were also concerned with the relation individual-society. quickly assimilating his mentor’s lesson and convinced that true Christianity means. the parson combines innocence and simplicity with dignity and learning. both honest and hypocrite priests. because “beauty and excellence” are always best demonstrated by their reverse. masters. as he himself says. fulfilling thus the novel’s double aim of entertaining and instructing. as for Richardson. which must give substance to faith. one of the most successfully accomplished quixotic* characters. and the reader is invited to judge all the other characters against the moral standard that he embodies.4.3. in various nuances of behaviour and in its moral diversity. and he never seems to learn from disappointing experiences. he describes “not men. cruelty. His fund of Christian idealism is inexhaustible.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Character as type The principle of contrast in characterisation 134 .3. which often create comic effects. his virtues always outshine his occasional foolishness. but manners. profession and temperament is represented in his novels. Joseph appears to follow his sister in his restriction of virtue to the question of chastity. Fielding makes a synthesis between the comic and the morally serious. not an individual. He represents what Fielding considers the highest Christian value: goodness. active goodness. Virtue and vice are not the “privilege” of a certain class or profession. The presence of Parson Adams is essential for the evolution of the main character. but also moral instruction. often making him appear ridiculous. but they placed their main interest in the individual. In the beginning. above all. For the author.3. both loyal and treacherous servants or friends.

Explain them. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices.3. At the same time. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. drawing short comparisons. unaffected. 1. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each.2.4. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. preoccupied with the reformation of manners. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists. like many Augustan writers.2.. Fielding is the most “Augustan. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. If they should differ substantially. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. read again subchapters 5.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5..3.8. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony.. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. He is a moralist.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. and he believes. 5. of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson.4. 3. through its moral and temperamental types. His commentaries and reflections on his own art.2. at the end of the unit.5. 5. 5. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. 2.3. provide the first theory of the novel. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation.. and 5. incorporated in the substance of his works.

1. we are drawn into an extremely irregular. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . at the age of five. is an erudite philosopher. as well as of Parson Yorick.4. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5. moulds reality into a literary pattern. the narrator. Tristram. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him. who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking.4. that.4. a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel. and his long.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction. other interesting things to relate. does not manage to give a shape to his story. in Joseph Andrews. which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son. Walter Shandy.” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness. which isolates each of them in his mental universe. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant. His father. 5. Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision. that he was. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia). that his brother Bobby died suddenly. With Sterne. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. However. In spite of his promises. instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account. of his uncle. Fielding had demonstrated. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768.2. corporal Trim. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III. He digresses continually. Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life. by accident. i. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps. at every point. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended.e. the relation between life and literature. he seems to have.” in every sense.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. the priest who baptised Tristram. the history of a private life. These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. unpredictable narrative.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Walter.

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

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

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

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

at the end of the unit..4. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . Instead of continuing the story.5. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing.6. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. and 5. which he discusses in the very text of the work. 1. Write them in the spaces indicated below.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 3. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. and read the fragment attentively once more. go again through subchapters 5. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions.7. In this way. 2.4. The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. If they differ significantly.

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

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

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

your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent. Remember that. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. the king rejects this tribute.. 3. to revise the preceding unit.4.1. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%.1. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. with special attention to subchapter 4. Horrified. In order to win the good graces of the king. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel.1. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. Text 5. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words.. 2. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. as illustrated by this fragment. and 5. SAA no. clarity. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. • the coherence. in grading your paper. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. 1.4.2. You will have. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. Text 4. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. therefore. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words.

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

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

37-42. 143-163. Allen. The English Novel. 76-80) 2.3 (“The Restoration to 1800”). A Critical History of English Literature. 217-231. 116127. 234-238) 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Cornelia. Penguin Books Limited. vol. Walter. 731-736) 3. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. Daiches.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Further reading 1. Editura Universităţii Suceava. David. 43-46. The English Eighteenth Century: The Novel in Its Beginnings. 598-602. 53-59. 701-704. Macsiniuc. 712-718. 1969 (pp. 179-195. 2003 (pp. 1991 (pp.

4. 6.2.1.7. 6.1. 6.4.1.3.5.1.2.2. 6.3. 6.4.2. 6. 6.1. 6.4.2.6.1. 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. 6. 6. 6.4. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake. The Seasons William Cowper.4.4.1.2. 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. 6.3.2.3. 6. 6.2.4.1. 6. 6.4.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6.4. 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 .3. 6.3.2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

which was accompanied by drawings and decorations. to a large extent. exerting influence only on a small circle of friends and admirers. 6. He used a special method for engraving and printing the handwritten text. whose attitudes and concerns define him sharply as an anti-Augustan. It was in the latter half of the 19th century that he was rediscovered by a group of poets and painters. he turns his attention to the rural world. Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794). A heart that is insensitive to nature is a hard heart. and recognised as one of the most original creators. and Macpherson. picture and decoration reminds of the painful. In his first great illuminated work. He was an admirer of Shakespeare. William Blake. these various dimensions of his works shed light on each other. Thomson. and he rejected the classical standards of style. The combination of calligraphic text. and displays the same humanitarian spirit as his contemporaries. Nature “nurses” the sympathy for our fellow beings.1. William Blake (1757-1827) 6. and this laborious process restricted the number of copies that Blake could produce. in the tone and rhythms of Biblical psalms and religious hymns. He was a relatively marginal figure during his lifetime. the visionary artist William Blake holds a unique place in the history of English literature. all Blake’s major poems were composed in this way. our sense of a common fate for all humanity. These beliefs – in Nature as a moral teacher and as a guide for imagination – were central to the creed of the first Romantics. Blake did not publish his poems in conventional printed form. “unfit for human fellowship” and “dead” to “love and friendship both” (Cowper). but also a gifted painter and engraver. the rural setting. and being regarded as an eccentric artist. finding literary inspiration in the simplicity and directness of popular poetry.4.4. The theme of childhood in this work enables Blake to explore the opposition nature . and his creative personality manifested itself in combined and complementary modes of expression. to the special way in which he produced his work. Milton. In Blake. rendered in its pastoral simplicity. Blake’s late fame is due. Gray. minute work of mediaeval miniaturists and their illuminated* manuscripts.civilisation. He was not only a poet. Like other pre-Romantic poets. He associates nature with the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 161 . The charms of nature have also an almost magic influence on human creativity and depth of thought. represents symbolically the uncorrupt order of nature. Apart from a volume of early verse. Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake is often regarded as a pre-Romantic poet. widening the range of meanings.English pre-Romantic poetry Both Thomson and Cowper see a strong connection between love of nature and a humanitarian spirit. Each copy was then coloured by hand.

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

which echoed the rhythms of popular verse. The Echoing Green. It was the year of a revolution in poetry as well. of the world seen through the eyes of the child. What chiefly impressed Blake in Milton’s Paradise Lost was its astonishing display of classical-humanistic erudition. T F 6. poetic creation was the spontaneous fruit of inspiration. T F 7.3. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. T F 3. As the poet emphasises in the Introduction. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience. their clarity of expression and their musicality. that is. by their remarkable lyrical delicacy. Blake composed his first significant work: Songs of Innocence. For Blake. T F 4. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). The Blossom. Blake enjoyed a great popularity during his lifetime.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 6 Read the following sentences and identify the four true statements which describe features of Blake’s work. and the three statements that are false. Laughing Song. the association of childhood with edenic nature is opposed to civilisation as the fallen condition of man. The extreme formal simplicity and the apparent lack of sophistication of these short poems anticipated the Romantic rejection of poetic diction*. If you have made mistaken choices. which are the expression of his Romantic rebellion against all forms of constraint. echoing with laughter and sustained by love and by the belief in the goodness of nature. at the end of the unit. with its repertoire of rhetorical conventions. Spring. As a poet.4. innocent delights.” They build a charming picture of the universe of childhood. and its origin was visionary experience. Songs of Innocence marked a new departure in English poetry. or Cradle Song offer a glimpse into a world filled with simple. Poems like Infant Joy. 6. revise the whole subchapter. Blake’s works combine the handwritten text with picture and decoration – a technique that reminds of mediaeval manuscripts.e. these are “happy songs / Every child may joy [i. The Shepherd. 163 Songs of Innocence (1789) Title page of Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Blake is a creator of myths in his Prophetic Books. The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence In 1789 – the year of the French Revolution –. T F 5. 1. 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. T F 2. The main influence in Blake’s work were the ancient Greek and Latin poets admired by the Augustans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

primitive: original. were typical settings in Gothic fiction. wild landscapes. when the ascension of Christ is celebrated. manacles: a pair of iron rings linked by a chain. The Book of Los. The Book of Urizen. and in which he gives an allegorical shape to his religious. A Prophecy. It is associated with the reaction against Neoclassicism. Jerusalem. which still preserves elements of the ancient Gaelic culture. heroic couplet: see again subchapter 1. See also subchapter 4. etc. philosophical and political convictions. Most of Collins’s odes are addressed to personified abstractions (Fear. illuminated (about a piece of writing): decorated by the application of colour. luxury and materialism of urban civilisation. on which the Ten Commandments were written. in Unit 5.1. Pity. Among the most important of them are America. Blake associated “mystery” with secrecy and deceit. and he rejected the pretense of the Church to intermediate between man and God. Norse: related to the ancient Scandinavian people. which have a complex structure of symbolism and analogies. Highlands of Scotland: the mountainous area in northern Scotland. etc. The Four Zoas. concerning the typology of the novel in the 18th century. orphaned children from the charity schools to St. who attacked and sometimes settled in parts of Britain between the 8th and 11th centuries. in Unit 3. in Unit 1. ode: see the Glossary in Unit 1. as well as against the sophistication. belonging to the beginnings. or of gold or silver paint. especially to the Vikings (or Norsemen). 2 in Unit 4.English pre-Romantic poetry • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • secret chambers and corridors. with His laws formulated as interdictions. used to secure the hands of a prisoner. Prophetic Books: the generic name for Blake’s longer (and often obscure) epics. The feeling of nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age and the praise of the “state of Nature” are also features of primitivism. Il Penseroso: see again subchapter 3. Neoclassicism: see the Glossary in Unit 1. stony laws: the figurative meaning of “stony” – heartless. The custom in London was to bring the poor. Paul’s Cathedral. the 39th day after Easter. Romanticism: see again Romantic in the Glossary in Unit 1. sentimental novel: see subchapter 5.1. to attend the religious service. Blake distinguished between the prohibitive divinity of the Old Testament. Primitivism in literature refers to the admiration for and revival of early forms.3. Los: Blake’s mythological character represents human Imagination in his epics.) poetic diction: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.3.. Milton.2. Holy Thursday: another name for Ascension Day. and Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 172 . the Passions. mysteries: the system of sacramental rites affording access to divinely revealed truths. unfeeling – is intensified by Blake’s allusion to Moses and the Tables of the Law.

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

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

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

The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Penguin Books Ltd.. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. 692-699) 2. 84-94) 3. Ford.). Further reading 1. Boris (ed. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature.. vol. David. Boris (ed. vol. 671-684.4 (“From Dryden to Johnson”). 6987) 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . and conditioning man’s access to the mystery of Divinity on the suppression of his desire. vol. Penguin Books Ltd.). 1991 (pp. A Critical History of English Literature.. 1969 (pp. Daiches. 652-658. 3 (“The Restoration to 1800”).English pre-Romantic poetry restricted area. Ford. 1991 (pp.5 (“From Blake to Byron”).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

but with what may be called instantaneous descriptions and reflections (…). I imagine. arătos a thing of so mean a nature un lucru atât de mărunt TEXT 5. scop. I had no reason to expect. it looked like love. and before I knew what was the matter. nay*. crept. in which he confesses his affection for her. în întregime at all deloc handsome frumos. I beseech* you. upon me. a ţine la to put out (the fire) a stinge (focul) earthenware vessels vase de lut tile ţiglă. unanimated style of a person relating difficulties and dangers surmounted*.4. chinuri womb pântece. 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. but it has crept*. than the dry*. O my unguarded* youth. when I expected some new plot*. neutru to surmount to overcome (a birui. 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. intenţie to bear (bore. placă de ceramică how to order the fire cum să potrivesc focul kiln cuptor potter olar to glaze a smălţui lead plumb firewood lemn de foc embers jăratec I plied the fire am întreţinut focul quite through cu totul. and of so much honour too. She seems taken by surprise by her own feelings. durere. has greatly affected me. […] Forgive. like a thief. doubtful lively vivid (însufleţit.Reader dish blid. did I say! […] I know not how it came. I must own* to you.3. to my grief*. and so it is: but love. narrative. but now. before. the womb of fate: incertitudinea sorţii dry sec. a se pune pe lucru to bake a coace strangely hard neobişnuit de tare end ţel. can be. is not a voluntary thing – Love.] This letter. […] O my dear parents. apogeu distress nefericire. the mind tortured by the pangs* of uncertainty (the events then hidden in the womb* of fate). nor when it began. farfurie pitcher ulcior ulcea pipkin gavanos to turn to a se apuca de lucru. so much affection. plin de viaţă) height culme. forgive me! but I found. Pamela [Pamela receives a letter from Mr. Samuel Richardson. a depăşi) TEXT 5. forgive your poor daughter! How am I grieved* to find this trial so severe* upon me. dubious uncertain. Samuel Richardson. a învinge. however. to find him capable of so much openness. Much more lively* and affecting must be the style of those who write in the height* of a present distress*. and accounts for his rigorous* behaviour to me. nenorocire pangs mâhnire. my dear father. and tender years*. will ye* not in some 202 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . I am quite overcome*. born) a rezista. B_. that my heart was too partial* in his favour. This was a good fortune. But to be sure*. punct culminant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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