Program postuniversitar de conversie profesională pentru cadrele didactice din mediul rural

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




Ministerul Educaţiei şi Cercetării Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century British Literature



© 2006

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

3.2. 4. 4. 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. ii The Restoration and the Augustan Age Unit objectives Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 4. 4. 3.4. 3.7. 2. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .2.1. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3. 2.5. 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 3.3. 2. 3. 2.3. 3. 3.2.4. 3. 3.3.4. 2. The Works of John Milton Unit objectives Milton. 3.1.1. 3.2. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 4 4.1.1. 3. 3. 4.3.2.

4. 5.4. 5.2. 4.2. 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. 5.4. 5. Gulliver. 4.2.6. 5.3.2. 5.Contents 4. 5.7.3. 5. 4. 5.3. 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 .4.4. 4. 4.4.3. 5. 4.5. 5.5. 5. 4.2.3. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage.2. 5.4.4. 4. The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Unit objectives Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela. 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 5.4. 4.2.3. 5.1.4. 5. 5. 5. 5. 4.4.3.

6.3. 6. 6. English pre-Romantic poetry Unit objectives Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson. 6.4. 6. 6.3. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.4. 6.2.Contents Gallery of personalities SAA No.4. 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. The Seasons William Cowper. 6. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading Reader in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature Selected bibliography iv Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4. 6.1.4. 6. 6. 6.1.1. 6.6.1. 6.1. 6.2.1.

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

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

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

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

Auxiliary sections Each unit contains. when this notion is used again in Units 4 or 6. These auxiliary sections are: the Summary and a list of key words. at the end. For example. if necessary or desired. if you wish to supplement or clarify your knowledge • Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 5 . in Unit 1. for the Great Chain of Being*. • the Selective bibliography at the end of the course. to organise it around the most important issues • the Glossary (in alphabetical order). not just Being.3. which indicates a minimal bibliography for each unit.3. Some terms may recur in several units. Sometimes. Most of the books included there are available in any University library. but the phrase of which that word is part. in which terms or phrases that have been considered difficult or unfamiliar to you are explained. The materials indicated in the Further reading section and in the Selective bibliography (see below) offer you supplementary information. will also appear in Units 5 and 6. • Further reading. other instruments meant to assist your study.1. which contains titles that should not be very hard to find in libraries. with the pages where you may find relevant information. For instance. You may ask your tutor to help you with the access to those sources. Thus.Introduction 4. You may also be directed back to a certain subchapter in a previous unit. in order to make sure you remember exactly what a term refers to. which includes basic information about the life and work of the mentioned personalities. you will be sometimes returned to the Glossary of a previous unit to reinforce or refresh your understanding of them. the Glossaries will send you back to 1. you will look up the whole phrase in the Glossary.1.4. the notion of heroic couplet is explained in subchapter 1. the term Enlightenment. The terms included in the Glossary are marked by an asterisk (*) in the text of the unit. whose Glossaries will send you back to the Glossary in Unit 1. which is explained in the Glossary in Unit 1. • the Gallery of personalities (in the alphabetical order of the last names). which will enable you to review and focus your knowledge. an asterisk must be understood to mark not just the word it is attached to.

which contains the selection of texts you need in order to accomplish some of the course tasks. The cumulated weight of these SAAs in your final grade is 40%. try to read each fragment more than once. These first two SAAs will therefore consist in more than one task. The Reader provides you with little glossaries for each text. especially the poetry texts. difficult. SAA no.lIntroduction 4.2 will cover units 4 and 5. the number of tasks. 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. this should not take you too much time. A send-away assignment (SAA) is signalled in the text by the icon accompanying this textbox. or one word may be given an explanation/translation different from the one you might be familiar with. In any case. which will enable your tutor to assess your performance in the course work. and the weight of each assignment: 6 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . or misleadingly familiar to you are explained either in English or in Romanian. the course contains three send-away assignments (SAAs). and make sure you understand its general meaning or basic ideas. 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. some of these texts might seem difficult to you. The three SAAs are placed at the end of units 3. The table below represents the place. The Reader The course is accompanied by a Reader. while SAA no.5. don’t hesitate to use a good dictionary. Assessment and evaluation Besides the self-assessment questions included in each unit. 5. 5. The given explanation or translation into Romanian applies only to the respective context. 1 will assess your knowledge of units 2 and 3. This is why the same word may appear with different explanations/translations in several glossaries. and 6. before you start solving the task. As the texts are not very long.

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

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

1. 1.1. 1.1.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background UNIT 1 THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES: INTELLECTUAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND Unit Outline 1 1.3. 1.3. 1.2.5. 1.4. 1. Unit objectives The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background The Renaissance and the Enlightenment The intellectual scene in the 17th and 18th centuries Reason and faith in the Age of the Enlightenment From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling The Enlightenment: an age of progress An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries The evolution of poetic forms Drama in the 17th and 18th centuries Jacobean tragedy Comedy in the early 17th century Drama during the Restoration period Sentimental drama and burlesque comedy in the 18th century The evolution of prose style Varieties of prose writing in the 17th and 18th centuries Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 10 10 10 10 11 12 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 21 23 24 24 28 30 30 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 9 . 1.1.4. 1. 1.

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

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

in his philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). 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 Enlightenment continued the Renaissance faith in man’s perfectibility and sought for man’s emancipation both as an individual and as a social being.3.1. The Enlightenment: an age of progress On the whole. 1. 1. and which prepared the way for the Romantic Age*. Read the statements below and identify the true ones. continued the project of the Renaissance. T F 5. for each sentence. Individual and social good was the object of all endeavours in this age. appropriately.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 1.” The whole century was preoccupied with the idea of man’s happiness and of the improvement of man’s condition on earth. The Royal Society was an institution concerned with the spreading of Neoclassical principles in art and literature. T F 4. in the latter part of the Age of the Enlightenment. T F 12 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .1. The growing spirit of individualism. The interest in the constitution and workings of the human mind awakened the awareness that man’s response to reality was not only rational. which made Enlightenment England a model of civilisation for the Western world. T F 3. to superstition and obscurantism. Circle T (true) or F (false). The poet Alexander Pope indicated. The cult of Reason thus gave way to the cult of Feeling. The Deist image of God as the “Universal Architect” reveals a rationalist-mechanicist conception of the universe. T F 2. with its belief in the perfectibility of man. The emergence of Deism was a reaction to religious dogmatism. It was a general dedication to the cause of progress.4. the central concern of the Enlightenment. when he declared: ”The proper study of mankind is Man. 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. From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling This infusion of emotionalism in spiritual life may be seen as the sign of a certain evolution in the temper of the 18th century. The Deist notion of innate virtue came to be connected with man’s capacity for feeling. 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. but also affective and instinctual. the Enlightenment. which may be defined as the Age of Sensibility.

the decrease in the power of the Crown. If you have failed to identify any of the sentences correctly as true or false. and both writers and audiences were. in one way or another. The absolute authority of the monarch made the Court the Influence of Court centre of intellectual and literary life.1. After 1688. in the orbit of the crown.1. Alexander Pope pointed out the humanistic orientation of the Enlightenment in his maxim “The proper study of mankind is man. You may also need to revise some of the terms explained in the Glossary.2. and the literary field was no longer confined to the learned.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background 6.” T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. with their Literature in the Age of Common Man cultivated taste.4. A new interest in rhetoric animated authors to pursue eloquence by a lavish use of figures of speech and the display of wit*. The division into Elizabethan. It is significant. T F 7. The literature of the Renaissance was under the sign of the classical revival*. that the notion of reading public emerges now. read again subchapters. at the end of the unit. This is mainly connected with the rise of the middle classes and the growth of their cultural importance. 1. regularity. The 18th century is called sometimes The Age of Common Man. It was the main focus of literary attention. There was a general care for discipline and refinement in composition. 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. for instance. The abundance of classical Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 13 .1. the social diversification and the “unfixing” of the strictly hierarchical order of the Renaissance led gradually towards a “democratisation” of literature. An overview of the literary scene in the 17th and 18th centuries From a literary point of view. The Court was not only the catalyst of the emerging national feeling. but also the ultimate arbiter life on literature in matters of literary and artistic fashions. when the literary audience becomes more diversified. to 1. the great ages of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment may be further divided according to various criteria. 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. and exalted Reason as the only defining human faculty. T F 8. Numerous treatises on literary art established norms and precepts. with little or no classical knowledge. but also to the close connection between the dominant literary values of those ages and Court life. and the accepted patterns and conventions were touchstones for literary virtuosity and originality. Jacobean* and Caroline* of the “high” and late Renaissance literature points not only to a temporal delimitation. including readers of more modest education. symmetry. for proportion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. we shall focus on William Shakespeare’s later plays. and in Unit 4 you will be acquainted with more features of Restoration comedy. Two moments in the evolution of English drama will be further detailed in this course: in Unit 2. to 1. If there should be major differences between them. 20 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . revise subchapters 1.4.2. together with their most outstanding representatives. at the end of the unit.The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: intellectual and literary background SAQ 5 What are the main varieties of comedy during the 17th and 18th centuries? Mention at least five of them in the space below.4.4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. 2.2. His later plays The baroque spirit of Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet: a revenge play Renaissance man and the baroque sensibility in Hamlet Hamlet: the philosopher vs. 2.12.3. 2.2.The late Renaissance and the Baroque UNIT 2 THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND THE BAROQUE Unit Outline 2 2.1.11. 2. 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. 2.5.2. 2.2. 2.1. 2. 2.8. 2. 2. 2. 2.3. 2. 2.1. 2.2. Unit objectives The late Renaissance and the Baroque The emergence of the baroque sensibility The late Renaissance: characteristics of the baroque sensibility Baroque features of late Renaissance drama and poetry Shakespeare’s genius.2. 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The protagonist. / It weeps. he multiples his crimes. one of Duncan’s sons.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. and unmotivated violence and cruelty. The storm scenes intensify symbolically the hero’s tragic sense of confusion. ____________________ 4.2. ____________________ Check your answers by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. you need to revise subchapters 2. paradoxically. innocence and corruption. ____________________ 5. since it accompanies the hero’s revelation of the discrepancy between appearance and reality. at the end of the unit.” The imagery* of disease is extended to the protagonist’s conscience. If any of your solutions should not correspond. Macbeth: the tragedy of “diseased” conscience In Macbeth. ____________________ 2. The hero’s exacerbated introspective tendency makes him postpone action. The baroque motif of madness is. but. The theme of evil is dramatised as a crime against the bonds of blood. ____________________ 3.2. it bleeds.7. invaded by “horrible imaginings” and hallucinations. Macbeth’s ambitions are inflamed by the prediction of three witches that he shall be king of Scotland. which constitutes a violation of the natural (therefore moral) order.2. and she is destroyed by the unbearable Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 41 . kinsman and guest. at the instigation of his wife. is manipulated into confusion about truth and falsehood. disorder.2. 1.6. Persuaded by his wife to hasten the fulfillment. arranging the murder of all those who might threaten his power. the horror of evil is amplified by the fact that the protagonist’s crime is committed against Duncan as his king. The evil reverberates in the whole land: in the words of Malcolm. kills the sleeping king and takes the throne. to 2. underlining the theme of knowledge. “Our country sinks beneath the yoke. Read them carefully and fill in the indicated space with the right title(s). The effects of this sacrilege against Nature are devastating. There is “no sweet oblivious antidote” to cure Lady Macbeth’s “diseased” mind either. a brave and worthy general in Duncan’s army. Macbeth’s conscience soon starts accusing him. who has a trusting nature. 2. illusion and truth. and each new day a gash / Is added to her wounds. Macbeth.

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

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

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

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

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

The betrayal of his brother and the plotting of the courtiers on the island were severely punished by Prospero. Their styles are different. T F 6. staged and managed by Prospero through his magic art. Two essential symbolic elements contribute to the development of the theme of regeneration: the sea-journey and music.2.12. applied to certain poets of the early and mid-seventeenth century. and this makes them both masters of metaphysical wit. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 47 . T F 5. but each of them. The power of music has no effect on Caliban. combines an outstanding intellectual brilliance with lyric grace. T F 7. 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. T F 2. T F 4. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false) for each sentence. The contemporaries referred to their poetry as “strong lines. 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.3. You must find them among the following statements. 1. T F Make sure your answers are right by looking in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 2. Prospero intends to use his magic power and supernatural knowledge in his regained authority as duke of Milan. revise subchapters2. except that of terrifying him. The metaphysical poets The term metaphysical. T F 3. at the end of the unit. If any of your choices should be wrong.The late Renaissance and the Baroque SAQ 7 Let us remember a few things about The Tempest. Ferdinand and Miranda represent the innocent young generation capable of renewing Prospero’s former world.9 to 2. John Donne and Andrew Marvell illustrate best the baroque sensibility of the 17th century in their themes and expressive strategies. in his own way.2. was first intended to bring discredit on them.

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

at the end of the unit. Two important themes in his poetic work are love and faith. and the same realistic force.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. and created a style which had the vigour and liveliness of colloquial speech. you will look at some famous examples of metaphysical conceits. and 2. revise subchapters 2. in poems belonging to John Donne and Andrew Marvell. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 49 . Use the space left below.1. Donne displays the same sophisticated wit. In the following subchapters. pastoral* conventions. and both are explored in the whole richness and variety of their possible experiences. and a highly original one.3. He rejected the regular versification of Elizabethan poetry . Themes in John Donne’s poetry John Donne is one of the most influential poets of the 17th century. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. the two most outstanding representatives of this poetic trend in the 17th century. 2. Each answer should not exceed 2 lines / 20 words.2.3.3. In the treatment of both themes. and allegory. If they should differ considerably. the same blend of ingenious reasoning and intense passion.3. its decorative use of classical mythology.

sometimes speaking frankly of his erotic desire. he resorts to the extravagant identification of a flea that has bitten both of them with their “marriage bed” and a “marriage temple.” He tries to persuade his mistress not to kill the flea. which. and he seems to amuse himself. sometimes presenting woman as inconstant and unfaithful. and all that the faithful lover could hope for were symbolic rewards and favours for his constancy and humble submission. Crying over their separation would bring to mind an analogy with earthly disasters (“sigh-tempests.” their separation must be seen in analogy with cosmic disturbances (“the trepidation of the spheres”).4.3.” In fact. His love poetry is revolutionary in its rejection of the Petrarchan* conventions of courtly love*. in which the lover tries to persuade his mistress not to cry at his imminent departure. as this would be a triple “sin. Chaste. but. A famous poem celebrating shared love is A Valediction*: Forbidding Mourning. from cynicism and playfulness to passionate sincerity and the celebration of both physical love and spiritual union. when accompanied by genuine feeling. are however harmless to man. in which the speaker brings all his argumentative skill in support of his attempt to convince the woman to accept physical intimacy. Donne adopts a wide range of tones and attitudes. carrying the lover’s witty arguments to their logical extremes. in which their blood is now mixed. The poem celebrates the stability and comfort of a secure relationship. though greater. Donne’s love poems In his love poems. may afford an experience of the transcendental. unattainable lady and enjoy the pleasures of sensuality. shocking the reader by the unexpected analogy developed in the central conceit (the flea as symbolic marriage bed). 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. and often emphasising the need for mutual love. Donne changes this conventional vision of love. This is a seduction poem.The late Renaissance and the Baroque 2. Mingling the trivial with the mystical sublime. according to which woman was always an unattainable ideal. he pleads that she should abandon the intransigence of the chaste. superior – woman was an object of never fulfilled desire. Another powerful example of Donne’s use of logical argument in a poem about love is The Flea. Donne’s rejection of the Petrarchan tradition A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning The Flea: seduction and wit 50 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . beautiful.” “tear-floods”). Their superior love is founded on spiritual union and is not dependent on physical presence for its survival. He also suggests sometimes that physical union. These are conceits which illustrate the preference of the metaphysical poets for analogies between the macrocosm and the (human) microcosm. The various comparisons and analogies by which he describes their love function as arguments in his plea. dealing with profound personal feeling and emotion from the distance of intellectual argument. Donne is highly playful in this poem. their love being so great and “refined.

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

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

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

in contrasting colours. The speaker’s argument opposes the “deserts of vast eternity. anticipating the early Romantic attitude to nature. He showed a deep love for the countryside. which begins with a most accurate description of a dew-drop on a rose petal. Marvell emphasises the dignity with which the defeated king met his fate.8. shyness] and accept his passionate love. behaving with royal grace in his last minute. these details as emblems of a transcendent reality. which illustrates the poet’s skill in combining the playful and the serious. The carpe diem* motif was popular in Renaissance poetry. 2.7. reveals thus its symbolic dimension to the poet’s contemplative mind. in which both of them act according to a divine order.” so the Christian Soul denies the earth and its “impure” pleasures.e.” whose visible beauties are the key to spiritual truths. developed then into a complex analogy with the pure Christian soul and its relation with earth and with heaven. Marvell often sees.3. The most illustrative poem.3. the most accomplished is To His Coy Mistress. Gifted with a sharp sense of observation of natural detail. but Marvell’s poem extends it into a meditation on time. A natural detail. a masterpiece of metaphysical wit. to change the form of ruling power). Nature as “mystic book” Another side of Marvell’s poetic personality is illustrated by his nature poetry. however.e. It is a seduction poem. Marvell does not portray Oliver Cromwell and his opponent. What begins as a nature poem is extended into a religious poem by means of a metaphysical conceit. Victorious Cromwell is admirable for his fiery spirit and the courage with which he assumed the task to “cast the kingdoms old / Into another mould” (i. pictured with remarkable precision. Although loyal to the Puritan cause. in this respect.e.” associated with his mistress’s preference for a prolonged courtship. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Carpe diem 54 . is On a Drop of Dew. The theme of love in Marvell’s poetry Of Marvell’s love poems. on the scaffold. King Charles I Stuart. lest it grow [i. On a Drop of Dew 2. He rather sees the events and the fate of the two rulers in the context of a providential history. aspiring to union with almighty God. and many of his poems reveal his delight in the contemplation of rural nature. On the other hand.The late Renaissance and the Baroque Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) Its classical perfection manages to hold in balance the ambivalence of attitude and the complication of thought characteristic of the metaphysical trend. and thus he can find reason to praise both of them. Just as the dew-drop is “trembling. as if Nature itself were a “mystic book. His nature poems have usually a mystical tendency. for fear that it might grow] impure. in which the speaker develops an ingenious argument in order to persuade his mistress to give up her coyness [i.” and finally dissolves itself “into the glories of the almighty Sun.

then (therefore)…. in the Reader). paying attention to the logic of the argument. What are the main ideas corresponding to these three steps? Formulate them succinctly in the space left below. after revising subchapter 2. which has the structure If….The late Renaissance and the Baroque to the imperative of conquering time by the intensity of sensual enjoyment. SAQ 11 Read Marvell’s poem To His Coy Mistress (Text 2. If the difference is considerable. Love.8. If… But… Therefore… Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Love can suspend the inexorable laws of nature.3.8. it can arrest the inevitable course towards physical extinction by a moment of ecstatic pleasure. read the poem again. in its sexual fulfillment. Do not exceed 12 lines / 120 words in all. more carefully. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 55 . is presented as the only way of transcending our mortality. at the end of the unit. but….

The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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


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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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The late Renaissance and the Baroque

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

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

4.5. 3. 3. 3. 3. 3. 3.3.4. 3.6. Unit objectives The Works of John Milton Milton.1. 3. 3. the “author of all ill” Milton’s depiction of Adam and Eve Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No.3.The works of John Milton UNIT 3 THE WORKS OF JOHN MILTON Unit Outline 3. 3.1. 3.5. the Christian humanist Milton’s early poems L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Lycidas – a pastoral elegy Milton’s sonnets Sonnet VII Sonnet XVII Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Satan and the fallen angels in Hell The divine foreknowledge of the Fall Raphael’s warning to Adam The creation of the world The seduction of Eve The world after the Fall The heroes of Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan: the rebel’s inner hell Satan.3. 3. 1 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 63 63 63 64 64 66 66 67 67 68 69 70 72 72 74 75 77 78 79 81 82 83 83 84 85 86 87 62 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4.

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

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

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

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

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

and it represented the fulfillment of his ambition to write an epic which would be “doctrinal to a nation. and the two sonnets. His blindness was no obstacle – as he advanced in the composition of the poem. Paradise Lost was the fruit of long years of preparation and meditation. Paradise Lost – the Christian epic Milton began the composition of his masterpiece in 1657. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If there should be significant differences.3. and of leaving to posterity an undying work. completing it in 1665 and publishing it in 1667. Virgil.4. 3.” He had always dreamed of reaching the stature of the great epic poets that were his models – Homer. Dante* –.2. when he was already blind. respectively. What is the common thematic development in these two sonnets? Your answer should not exceed 8 lines/80 words. and he worked at it over several years. and 3. made up of two sections: an octave (an eight-line stanza) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). he expected the inspiring Muse to compensate for his physical blindness with a 68 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . As the several Invocations in the poem suggest. which in Sonnets VII and XVII is the same. at the end of the unit.1. paying attention to what their octave and sestet deal with. This formal pattern usually corresponds to a certain thematic structure. in the Reader).The works of John Milton SAQ 2 Milton adopted the form of the Italian sonnet. read again subchapter 3.2. the passages stored in his mind were transcribed after his dictation. Read these sonnets (Texts 3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. 40 lines/400 words should be enough for your answer (apart from the lines that you are expected to quote for illustration). 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. before he firmly decides to carry out his evil plan.The works of John Milton • Virgil: Publius Ovidius Maro (70-19 B. Send-away assignment no. in the Reader renders most of his memorable monologue. You will find it helpful to read again subchapter 2. His speech reveals Satan’s tormented mind and the multitude of passions that agitate his soul.5. and the last paragraph of 2. the baroque motif of the theatrical illusion is developed. one of the greatest Roman poets. in which he explores his inner hell. God’s creation. In both of them. what is the difference in the implications of the two play-metaphors? The answer to these questions should not exceed 25 lines / 250 words. A revision of subchapter 3.2. 1 This assignment covers Unit 2 and Unit 3. in Heaven • his oscillation between remorse and pride • his oscillation between self-justification and self-blame for his rebellion against God • his consideration and rejection of the possibility of rehabilitating Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 85 . • What characteristic baroque theme do both fragments illustrate? Given the different context – tragic in Macbeth. in Milton’s Paradise Lost.6.). Identify his conflicting feelings and the various thoughts that trouble his conscience. 1. and 2.2. • Read attentively this fragment. with special attention to the indicated subchapters.2. It will be therefore advisable to revise the preceding unit. and thus of destroying man. You will thus be drawing a portrait of Milton’s Satan.1..C. Macbeth delivers his monologue immediately after he is informed about Lady Macbeth’s death. as well as of SAQ 7 and its solution at the end of the unit might help you to better understand the text and organise your answer. At the beginning of Book IV. Satan prepares himself to enter Paradise and to accomplish his diabolical design of tempting Eve.1. at the end of the play. Prospero’s speech closes the representation given in honour of Ferdinand and Miranda.. either with remarkable lucidity or blinded by his hate and ambition. romantic in The Tempest –.4. which reveals the complexity of Milton’s hero. the paragraphs about Macbeth in 2. Texts 2. Text 3. in the Reader represent short fragments from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest. before the final battle. whose epic poem The Aeneid relates the experiences of Aeneas after the fall of legendary Troy. 2. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%.

both sonnets deal with the theme of loss (the poet’s sense of the passing of time.. is that one may choose right or wrong. clarity. however. 2. 3. SAA no. like that of the angels. since that would mean the “revocation” of His own “high decree” by which man was made free.e. respectively) and with the anxiety that poetic fulfilment is late to come. The latter part of both sonnets (the sestet) changes the mood to one of patient confidence. Both man and the rebel angels are “authors to themselves in all. The paradox of freedom. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). comforting himself with the faith that his poetic destiny is in God’s hands. The implication is that God gave man conscience. responsible for his choices. i. his blindness.. in grading your paper. or reason.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%. Remember that. the divine punishment is compensated by mercy (the sending of Jesus as mankind’s saviour). Created “just and right. 1 will count as 10% in your final assessment.” man shared the perfection of the angels (“the Ethereal Powers and Spirits”) and their complete freedom of will and judgment. The fall of man. the “instrument” by which to exercise his free will. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task. 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.a. rational spirit of the Creator (he refers to Him elsewhere as “the great 86 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . SAQ 4 The image of God using His divine instrument (the “golden compasses”) to draw the “just circumference” of the world implies the idea of perfection and rationality. not God. The poet places his trust in Providence. God cannot use His infinite power and knowledge to prevent the errors of those who are free to choose. is thus not attributable to God. • the coherence.” In the case of man. Milton emphasises the geometrical.c. as man’s wrong choice was not the pure result of his free will. and reason makes man. but the consequence of evil influence. SAQ 3 God’s whole argument is based on the idea of freedom.b. SAQ 2 In the first section (the octave).

SAQ 5 a. Incapable of obedience to God. David.).4. 2.4.3. It is his will and desire that give value to things around. c. Turcu. 1. 2.e. they soon master the sadness of their loss and confront the wide world as a place in which they are expected to exercise judiciously their free will. 1. Editura Universităţii Suceava. d. Their hesitant steps suggest their awareness of the difficulty of all choice. If God leaves man’s loyalty. Preda. SAQ 7 1. The Literature of the Beginnings. He wants man’s obedience to be the result of an act of free choice. Satan is willing to exchange the happiness of Heaven for the torments in Hell. is meant to keep alive the memory of their transgression. the intelligible and the unintelligible (the dark void). 1969 (pp. Paradise is now a forbidden place. 2 (“Shakespeare to Milton”). vol. unless he is put in the situation of making choices. unless he exercises his will and reason. From Beowulf to Paradise Lost. 2. Ioan-Aurel (coord. This line illustrates both his aspiration to complete independence and his ambition. Man is not a free creature. then it is like Heaven for a spirit that cannot accept constraints. English Literature and Civilisation. f. b. 435-449) 2. g. 153-163) 3. 2. i. Satan feels God’s absolute power as a limitation to his enormous ambition. London: Secker and Warburg Ltd. of the responsibility that accompanies freedom. i. of human solidarity. A Critical History of English Literature. 1983 (pp. to be dictated by Reason. 4 SAQ 6 For Adam and Eve. Daiches. The Renaissance and the Restoration Period. These lines suggest Satan’s formidable strength of will and the independence of his indestructible spirit. e. who draws a firm line between the formed and the formless (chaos). guarded by fear-inspiring armed angels. His gift of Reason to man has no justification (it is “useless and vain”). and for him servitude in Heaven is the real hell. and the image of the terrible gates. 141-152) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 87 . but at least they have the mutual comfort of their love. The same rational spirit separates what is vital from what is “adverse to life” (the “infernal dregs”). as God has made him. SAQ 8 God cannot be pleased with blind submission. 3. faith and love untested. comforting himself that he exchanged submission for sovereignty. Luminiţa Elena. Bucureşti: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică. with passive virtue.. 2003 (pp. If Hell is a space of freedom. under the guidance of Providence.The works of John Milton Architect”). Forced to look ahead.e. Further reading 1.

5.3.4. 4.The Restoration and the Augustan Age UNIT 4 THE RESTORATION AND THE AUGUSTAN AGE Unit Outline 4.2. Unit objectives The Restoration and the Augustan Age Restoration drama Restoration theatre – a form of Court entertainment Dominant forms in Restoration drama Restoration comedy and its character types William Congreve. 4.2. 4.2. 4. 4. the frustrated idealist The importance of Gulliver’s Travels Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 89 89 89 89 90 90 92 93 95 95 96 96 98 98 98 100 103 103 103 105 105 107 107 110 110 111 111 113 115 116 88 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .4. 4. 4. 4.7. 4. 4. 4.3.4. “The Spectator’s Club” Augustan satire John Dryden Alexander Pope Jonathan Swift The structure of Gulliver’s Travels Lilliput and Brobdingnag: satire and utopia The fourth voyage. 4.4. 4. Gulliver.4.1.1. 4. 4.2. 4. a master of satirical comedy of manners The rise of sentimental comedy English literary Neoclassicism Great Augustan writers: John Dryden and Alexander Pope Principles of Neoclassic literary poetics Nature and Reason The Augustan ideal of style “To divert and instruct” – the imperative of Augustan literature The periodical essay The Tatler and The Spectator. 4.4.1. 4.3.

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

both of them highly conventional forms. on the other. ridiculing their crude manners and lack of sophistication. the licentiousness* and frivolity characterising Restoration comedy were accompanied by a cult for elegance. refinement and sophistication. Sensational turns of situation. 4. or Court Wits. fashionable manners. The action was usually set in remote. and the characteristic theme was the conflict between love and honour. Conquest and seduction.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. A certain coarseness of feeling.1. but they were loveless marriages and love affairs without warmth and affection. It made fun of the people from the countryside.1.2. Restoration comedy was a mirror of the Comedy of manners environment in which it developed. on the one hand. jealousy. and. The conception of character in Restoration comedy was indebted to the Renaissance comedy of humours*. the 90 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Gallantry. Restoration comedy and its character types Restoration comedy was “class drama. exotic places. or in the survival of love over the criminal machinations of the villains. The range of character types in Restoration comedy was very diverse. magnificent settings. ending in Heroic tragedy the death of the hero or heroine or both and the triumph of honour. grandiloquent declamations and sentimental exaltation.” reflecting the aristocratic ethos of the time. Another dominant dramatic form during the Restoration was the comedy of manners. Marriage and the games of love were a prevailing theme. adultery. Dominant forms in Restoration drama The main kinds of drama were heroic tragedy and comedy of manners. One of the most common types was the rake – the libertine. an artificial. and its audience was restricted to the exclusive and fashionable circles in London. although each in its own way and for different reasons. reflected the hedonism* and promiscuity encouraged at court by Charles II himself (nicknamed “the Merry Monarch” for his pleasure-loving way of life). The Puritan rigidity and austerity of the former period were repudiated. inflated conception of heroism – these were the ingredients of a dramatic genre whose spirit was in sharp contrast with the unheroic age of the Restoration. the cynicism. The highest achievement of this kind of baroque theatre was provided by John Dryden’s plays*. lust. sumptuous costumes. wit*. above all. of incredible cruelty and perfidy. and absolute villains. Restoration comedies dealt primarily with sexual intrigue and the pursuit of pleasure – including the pleasure of cynical manipulation of others.3. were essential for the true man of the world. and the plays of the Restoration Wits*. and satirised the aspiration of social climbing and the ideal of virtue and respectability of the middle classes. with characters conventionally distributed into fabulously valiant heroes and virtuous beautiful heroines. betrayal and mockery were recurrent motives in the comic plots of Restoration drama. Heroic tragedy* was a dramatic development from the epic poem.

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

T F 8.3. His satirical play Love for Love (1695) deals with the contrast between public reputation and private behaviour. to 4. Heroic tragedy reflected the realities and spirit of the Restoration Age. T F 5. T F 9. T F 2. read again subchapters 4. frivolity.1. 4. 1. Read the statements below and identify five true ones. elegance. The middle classes and their moral code found a mirror in the comedy of the Restoration. such as the impoverished gallant. and satirised clumsy manners and dull simplicity. who resorts to all kinds of devices to avoid 92 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . by doing the exercise that follows. William Wycherley* and John Dryden*. refinement and sophistication. T F 4. The main themes of heroic tragedy were seduction and the games of love. hedonism and amorality at Court. It displays typical Restoration characters. simple action. Restoration comedy built its plot on a single.The Restoration and the Augustan Age SAQ 1 Let us revise some aspects concerning the Restoration drama. T F 6. The Restoration rake as a typical character in comedy was representative for the atmosphere of licentiousness. T F Check your answers in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. If any of them should turn out to be wrong.1. at the end of the unit. The Renaissance comedy of humours inspired Restoration dramatists in their construction of dramatic character. The true master of Restoration comedy of manners was William Congreve (1679-1723). a master of satirical comedy of manners Among the most representative authors of comedies during the Restoration period there were George Etherege*. Circle appropriately T (true) or F (false). The baroque character of Restoration heroic tragedy resided in its sensational plot. William Congreve. T F 3.1. Restoration comedy praised wit.4. T F 7. Restoration theatre introduced professional women actors in performances. extravagant stage settings and highly rhetorical language.1.

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

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

The excellence of their literary work and the elegance and force of their critical arguments made them central figures of the Augustan Age. His didactic poem An Essay on Criticism (1711) is the most outstanding literary manifesto of English Neoclassicism. In both cases. Pope presents the basic concepts and theses of this literary orientation in a poetic form of remarkable elegance and clarity.1. and harmony extended beyond literature. and he laid the foundations of modern literary criticism. a society exhausted by civil wars was expressing its need for stability and moderation. other great writers who were influenced by Neoclassicism or defended its doctrine were Jonathan Swift*. 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. but it represents the quintessence of the Augustan literary ideal. The dialogue form of this essay allows Dryden to avoid being dogmatic and to look with healthy scepticism at a wide range of critical issues. and propriety would favour the spirit of social unity and order and would contribute to the protection of the achievements of civilisation. in a series of essays and prefaces where he discussed matters of literary composition and taste and defended his own literary practice. John Dryden (1631-1700) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 95 . and Alexander Pope* in the 18 th . 4. His main critical work is An Essay on Dramatic Poesy (1668). Alexander Pope brought to perfection Dryden’s achievements in poetic style and technique.2.2. Augustan England believed that a cultural idea of balance. balance.The Restoration and the Augustan Age 4. of the elegant French classical drama over English Renaissance drama. or of the heroic couplet* over blank verse*. In it. Joseph Addison*. His work doesn’t equal in variety that of his predecessor and master. Besides Dryden and Pope. such as the superiority of the Ancients over the Moderns. in which he systematises his Neoclassic view on literary art. John Dryden illustrated with masterpieces all contemporary literary genres. elegance. Oliver Goldsmith* and Samuel Johnson*. English literary Neoclassicism* The Neoclassic aspiration for order. 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*.

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

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

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

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

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

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

it is clear that Addison promotes certain virtues. Identify at least eight such features. Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) 102 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . SAQ 5 From the description of the members of the Spectator’s Club. 2. 4. 1. read again subchapter 4. at the end of the unit. 8. common sense. If there should be major discrepancies. a cultivated mind and superior understanding. the talent of never offending the others) with such qualities as moral and physical courage. combining the external marks of social decency (pleasant conversation. and write them in the indicated spaces below. cheerful disposition. more carefully. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. 6.1.3. 3.The Restoration and the Augustan Age The gentleman represented an ideal of social behaviour. which are important for the Enlightenment ideal of social integration. 7. 5.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He established the periodical essay as a literary genre.e. or who chats or talks idly.4 in Unit 1.” utopia: a genre in fiction whose name comes from Sir Thomas More’s work Utopia (1516). Marriage à la Mode (1672) distinguishes itself by its brilliant wit combats and effective social satire. uncreated word: with reference to the literary world. for the notion of sentimentalism. poetics: the system of principles and conventions which govern a certain literary form. or literature in general. Pope’s satire warns thus about the dangers of lowering literary standards. especially the main landowner in a village. perfect society (literally: “no place. Tatler: a “tattler” is a person who gossips. in which he outlines the features of an ideal. he translated from ancient authors. elegant. Restoration Wits: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. and he was the pioneer of modern English literary criticism. essays and dramatic works. and he contributed significantly to the dissemination of the values of the Enlightenment in England. sentimental comedy see again subchapter 1. i. polite learning: the knowledge acquired through classical education (polite: refined. making literature “dull.1. Dryden. Neoclassicism: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. of imagination and originality. Gallery of personalities • • • Addison. sprout up: to begin to grow or develop. Boileau. polished). founder of literary journalism. Restoration: see again the Glossary in Unit 1.3 in Unit 5. of taste or skill. He was equally successful as an author of heroic dramas (see again subchapter 1. squire: a country gentleman.” from Greek u = not. and sentimental novel in subchapter 5. John (1637-1700): one of the most outstanding figures of the Restoration and the Augustan Age. this phrase suggests the lack of inspiration.4. Among the latter.4. Joseph (1672-1719): representative of English literary Neoclassicisn. whose poem L’art poétique (1674) established the canons of taste and the standards of literary judgement for European Neoclassicism. wit: see again the Glossary in Unit 1. and topos = place). the conception about literature and the creative act of a certain literary school or writer. author of poems. Nicolas (1636-1711): outstanding French poet and critic.3 in Unit 1) and of comedies of manners. 113 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . He excelled in all literary genres of his time.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • • • cosmic harmony and order manifested in the appearances of this world.

or Sir Fopling Flutter (1676). Pope. William (1640-1716): one of the Restoration Wits. he contributed to the spreading of Enlightenment ideas.The Restoration and the Augustan Age • • • • • • • • • • Etherege. and A Modest Proposal (1729). who called him a “comic history-painter. William (1697-1764): painter and engraver. an unequalled master of irony and wit. Besides his famous Gulliver’s Travels. his works include A Tale of a Tub (1704). Virgil. preoccupied by the cultivation of an English style that should be simple. Like his friend. of Irish origin. 114 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Steele. Swift.” Horace: Quintus Horatius Flavius (65-8 B. Hogarth. a bitter satire in defense of the Irish people. which contains an allegorical satire on the division of the Christian Church. Goldsmith. Among various other works. he endeavoured to lift Latin literature to the level of Greek literature. Johnson. Sprat. His works include the philosophical poem An Essay on Man (1733). His best comedies are She Would If She Could (1668). concise and flexible. he argues for the superiority of the Ancients over modern authors. He was a friend of the novelist Henry Fielding. Alexander (1688-1744): the most illustrious representative of English literary Neoclassicism. George (1634-1691): a member of the group of Restoration Wits. clear. Latin poet of the time of Caesar Augustus. a masterpiece of 18th century fiction. His comedies The Country Wife (1675) and The Plain Dealer (1676) satirise the discrepancies between the social surface of respectability and the unscrupulous selfishness that may hide behind it. he is the author of the novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766). author of odes. political and moral vices. and The Man of Mode. Thomas (1635-1713): mathematician and writer. Oliver (1728-1774): upholder of the Neoclassic standards of style and composition. In the mock-heroic allegory The Battle of the Books (1704). Samuel: see the Gallery of personalities in Unit 2. in which he is the optimistic spokesman of the Age of Reason. and a major representative of English sentimentalism. as well as the mock-heroic poem The Rape of the Lock (1712). Together with Addison. satires and epistles. extremely popular owing to his “modern moral subjects” – a series of paintings or engravings which tell a story and constitute a comment on social. Jonathan (1667-1745): the greatest English satirist. member of the Royal Society. as well as to the forging of a polished literary prose style. Wycherley. Richard (1672-1725): Augustan essayist and dramatist (he established sentimental comedy on the English stage).). and of the influential critical work Ars Poetica.C.

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

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

4.3. 5. Unit objectives The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Background and main concerns Novel and romance in the 18th century Didacticism and realism in the 18th century novel Typology of the novel in the 18th century Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson: from circumstantial realism to sentimental truth Daniel Defoe and the novel of adventure Robinson Crusoe: theme and plot Interpretations of Robinson Crusoe Defoe’s style Samuel Richardson’s contribution to the development of the novel The plot of Pamela.4.4.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 5.3. 5.5. 5. 5.1. 5.3. 5.1.2. 5.1. 5. 5.1. 5.3.1. 5. 5. 5. 5.4. 2 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 118 118 118 118 119 121 123 123 124 125 127 128 128 129 130 132 132 133 134 134 135 136 136 136 137 139 139 140 142 142 143 144 145 146 148 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 117 . 5.4.2. 5.3. 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.4.2. 5.2. 5.4.

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

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

SAQ 1 Complete the sentences below.1. 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. by centering its interest on the relationship between the individual and his/her social environment. By contrast with the escapist spirit of romances. read again subchapters 5. on the other. The tensions and conflicts between private/individual convictions and inclinations. 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. If there should be major differences.1. and 5. The rise of the middle classes … 2. The didactic mission of the novel in the 18th century consisted in … 5. on the one hand. 1. 120 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . … 4. and public/social norms and conventions. Women were … 3.2. Two or three lines (20-30 words) should be enough for each completion. at the end of the unit.1.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The novel offers imaginative versions of the reconciliation of these two tendencies.

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

3. It is concerned with the individual’s full assertion as a social being. this illustrates the concern of the Enlightenment with the development of the individual as a social being. It explores the diversity of social manners and their articulation with moral values. in an atmosphere of gloom. and his/her experiences provide a satirical survey of the contemporary society. Two of these descriptions do not match any of the types of novels described in the subchapter above. ________________________ 7.1. If you have failed to match any of the descriptions with the right type of novel. • SAQ 2 What kinds of novels do the following sentences describe? Write the answer in the space indicated by the continuous line. The achievement of maturity leads to the hero’s satisfactory social integration. after each sentence. ________________________ 8. It defines itself in contrast with the “serious” narrative genres. 122 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . It presents a tale of mystery and horror. ________________________ 4. deliberately reducing the importance of plot or emotional conflict. ________________________ 5. It explores the labyrinth of emotion and feeling. It centres on intellectual debate and confrontation of ideas.. at the end of the unit. ________________________ 2. ________________________ 6. trivial subjects. mocking their elevated style by applying it to common. usually with supernatural ingredients. ________________________ Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Its hero is a marginal figure who aspires to social success. It offers more delight in ________________________ action than in character. 3. 1. at the end of a process in which he/she learns to accord private impulse with social expectation. read again subchapter 5. in their confrontation with moral choice.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.

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

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

It corresponds to the Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 125 .2. tracing Robinson’s progress from sin (his disobedience of his father). the motif of the island acquires symbolic Robinson’s island dimensions. It may also be read as a spiritual autobiography in the Puritan tradition.2. In this light. In his initial struggle with despair. If it should differ considerably. at the end of the unit. as an allegory of the ecological development of history.3. read again subchapters 5. and finally to his conviction of God’s benevolent design. Robinson perceives his exile from the world as a terrible punishment for his transgression of his father’s word. and 5. as a political or economic utopia. but the proper condition for the examination of consciousness. to the awakening of religious conscience. making sure you understand the meaning of the phrase “honest cheat..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. embodying elements of contemporary social philosophy and economic theory. Gradually. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2.2. as one of the great myths of individualism of Western civilisation. Robinson comes to see his solitude rather as a spiritual and moral shelter. as his life becomes more secure and his trust in Providence increases. 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. the awareness of his sinfulness and the sincere desire for repentance.1.” 5. Isolation is no longer a misfortune.

inventiveness. It has its spiritual rewards. subchapter 5. in the space below. Enumerate. 126 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural .The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The celebration of homo faber characteristic Puritan tendency to self-scrutiny and introspection. 1. morally autonomous. or the felix culpa*. perseverance. Crusoe’s years of solitude trained him for social insertion. you must read again the last two paragraphs of subchapter 5. food and the basic commodities of life turns into a source of satisfaction. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.g.” desires and “delights.2. Like Adam. If you should fail to find any of the features mentioned there. the protagonist’s experience evokes the theme of the fortunate fall. Robinson is cast out from the “edenic” safety and happiness of his father’s home into an uncertain world of toil. The enormous effort by which he secures shelter.2.2. where his daily bread is earned with “infinite labour. 2. or by a sentence (e. at least four features of the hero’s character as they are illustrated by this description. SAQ 4 Read Text 5. ingenuity). describing in minute detail Robinson’s attempt to make an earthenware pot.. if the biblical curse of work is meant to remind Adam permanently of his original disobedience..3. 3. g. as a self-reliant individual. with a well-defined utilitarian view of life. Defoe’s novel is thus a celebration of the dignity of work. which will serve his instinct for independence.” However. at the end of the unit. its essential role in man’s material and spiritual progress.. and is thus a way of restoring a lost Paradise.” Robinson perceives the island as the equivalent of a regained Paradise. Changed in his “notion of things. Robinson Crusoe also celebrates those human features which enable man to master circumstances: pragmatism. You may render these features either by a single noun (e. He takes pleasure in his work). as well as the fragment in the Reader. In this connection. and it is also symbolic of the Puritan sense of an intense personal relationship with God. Robinson finds in it a “therapeutic” value. perspicacity. 4.

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

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

that no one has the right to control the ideas and feelings of another. This ambiguity in her condition makes her remarkably class-conscious. the rights of the individual. as a traditionally dominant class. B_ intercepting Pamela’s first letter to her parents (Engraving by H. Richardson’s novel participates in the larger illuminist debate on the issue of authority and absolute power vs. The cover engraving and title page of the 1741 edition Mr. B_. The moral conflict in the novel is accompanied by social issues. a complete novelty in fiction. F. She perceives her imprisonment by Mr.2.7. his violation of her privacy (including the private space of her correspondence) as abusive attempts to reduce her to the condition of an object. the freedoms that he takes with her.” but she defends her dignity as an individual. to set moral standards to the nation. as he embodies perfect virtue in a lower middle-class girl. but the education she received in Lady B_’s house is far above that of a servant. Social hierarchy and the individual self Pamela’s problem is not only the defense of her chastity. Gravelot to the 1742 edition) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 129 . is consistent with the spirit of individual freedom which defines the Enlightenment. Pamela’s position of moral superiority reflects Richardson’s confidence that the values of the middle class entitled them to claim moral leadership. She sees social hierarchy as “natural. He thus questions the exclusive right of aristocracy. Richardson’s creation of Pamela is revolutionary. Through its subject and theme.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Pamela is brought up by her modest parents in the spirit of the strictest religious principles. Richardson’s implicit radical message.

2. as a servant.6. Psychological realism and the epistolary technique What makes Richardson a real innovator is the credibility with which he renders the heroine’s inner conflicts. but her letters betray her growing affection for her master. read again attentively subchapters 5. 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. at the end of the unit. Her conscience is divided between her loyalty to the moral principles inculcated by her parents and her social duty. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Her initial innocent regard for her master’s benevolence turns gradually into the apprehension of danger. in no more than 10 lines / 100 words.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 6 Considering the heroine’s dilemma in the novel. though in quality [i.”? Answer in the space left below. to obey Mr. B_ When the latter acts openly as her oppressor. and 5. 130 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . 5.2. her contradictory impulses and unconscious motivations.7.e. between hate and admiration. but his moments of kindness confuse her and make her feel vulnerable. Richardson’s mastery consists in the subtlety with which he suggests the gradual surfacing of unconscious feeling and with which he traces the heroine’s slow process of self-knowledge. If there should be significant differences.8.2. Pamela struggles from the start between fright and fascination. social standing] I am but upon a foot with the meanest slave.

excerpted from Pamela. which are captured in the process of their emergence.3. SAQ 7 Starting from Richardson’s own description of his epistolary manner (Text 5. as well as the indicated fragments in the Reader. her sentimental response to them. 2. events are recorded with the same care for detail as in Defoe’s narratives.. Compare your answers with the ones given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. however. and that human actions may have their true motivation hidden from consciousness.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel The character of Mr. in the Reader). The spectacular change in him is his overcoming of class prejudice under the influence of feeling. If they should correspond to none of the offered suggestions. She has a remarkable gift for rendering an incident vividly or delineating another character. is the impact of these incidents and encounters on her mind and heart. 1. and his developing love. on the other.. What Richardson manages to convey most convincingly is the psychological truth that feeling and emotion may sometimes run counter to our rational will. Your answers should not exceed 4 lines / 40 words each. What counts.4. In Pamela’s letters and diary. He proves as unaware of his feelings as Pamela is. The use of the epistolary technique afforded direct access to the character’s thoughts and feelings.2.9. find two main advantages of the epistolary technique. on the one hand. at the end of the unit. The exploration of the complexities of emotional response to pressing moral issues defines Richardson as a sentimental novelist. B_ follows a similar evolution. and considering also Text 5. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 131 . There is a struggle in him between the “pride of birth” and “pride of fortune”. read again subchapter 5. He found the epistolary narrative to be best suited for his sentimental focus.

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

while Fanny and Pamela are revealed to be sisters. Natural imperfections are a source of the Ridiculous for the comic writer. T F 6. for true or false) for each of them. alluding thus to the older genre. Affectation arising from vanity presupposes the concealment of vice under an appearance of virtue. SAQ 8 In the Preface to Joseph Andrews. which closes the plot. like the motif of love fulfilled against all obstacles. very carefully and identify which of the statements below are true and which are false. 5. For instance. T F 7.2. This removes all obstacles in the way of Joseph and Fanny’s marriage. The novel as comic romance Like his invoked literary master. the spectacular reversal of Joseph’s status. T F 2. carefully. T F 5. which turns out to be gentle*. T F 4.3.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel disclosures bring about the final clarification and the great reversal of the plot: Joseph turns out to be the son of a gentleman. Fielding gives his definition of a comic romance and discusses the nature and the source of the comic (“the Ridiculous”). Fielding likes to play with genres. Affectation arising from hypocrisy is more efficiently comic. Mr. in the spirit of comedy. or the pattern of the adventurous journey. but rooting his action in contemporaneity and the ordinary. Both comedy and comic romance introduce characters of low social rank and inferior manners. Wilson. Circle the appropriate letter (T or F. read the text once more.5. is an ingredient of romantic plots. The comic writer gives pleasure by strictly imitating nature. Cervantes. to be both serious and ironic about their conventions.” Fielding himself speaks of his work as a comic romance. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 133 . 1. The action of a comic romance is more extended and comprehensive than that of a comedy. T F Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Read Text 5. whom they had met during their journey. at the end of the unit. Fielding exploits such motifs in a comic or burlesque key. If you should fail to identify the sentences correctly as true or false. indeed “in imitation of the manner of Cervantes. T F 3. The burlesque in writing and the caricatura in painting presuppose distortion and exaggeration. T F 8. Fielding resorts to the burlesque both in the creation of his characters and in diction.

Virtue and vice are not the “privilege” of a certain class or profession. his virtues always outshine his occasional foolishness. and he never seems to learn from disappointing experiences. and the reader is invited to judge all the other characters against the moral standard that he embodies. both honest and hypocrite priests. Like his literary ancestor. because “beauty and excellence” are always best demonstrated by their reverse.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. there are both good and bad innkeepers. Every social class. masters. the essence of Christian morality is not prudence. one of the most successfully accomplished quixotic* characters.3. as for Richardson. above all. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural Character as type The principle of contrast in characterisation 134 . but manners. the parson combines innocence and simplicity with dignity and learning. In the beginning. as he himself says. Fielding’s panoramic approach led him to find uniform patterns in human behaviour. For the author. in spite of the many instances of greed. hypocrisy and intolerance he is confronted with. Adams’s unsuspecting nature often gets him in trouble. but also moral instruction. Defoe and Richardson were also concerned with the relation individual-society. he describes “not men. The character of Parson Adams The influence of Cervantes is clear in Fielding’s delineation of Parson* Adams. but a species” (Joseph Andrews). but they placed their main interest in the individual. active goodness. in various nuances of behaviour and in its moral diversity. In the combination of foolishness and idealism that characterises the parson. He represents what Fielding considers the highest Christian value: goodness. etc. Fielding makes a synthesis between the comic and the morally serious. Joseph appears to follow his sister in his restriction of virtue to the question of chastity. cruelty. Joseph emerges as morally mature. In other words. in Fielding. Fielding offers aesthetic delight. Parson Adams’s character remains the moral center of the novel. often making him appear ridiculous. but good deeds and charity. Fielding’s fiction displays an immense gallery of characters. His fund of Christian idealism is inexhaustible. By means of techniques of contrast. fulfilling thus the novel’s double aim of entertaining and instructing. not an individual. Fielding’s conception of character in Joseph Andrews The way in which Fielding conceives his characters in his novels is of great importance for his didactic purpose. profession and temperament is represented in his novels. Along the novel. etc. doctors. Fielding involves him in a multitude of comic situations. At the same time. quickly assimilating his mentor’s lesson and convinced that true Christianity means. lawyers.3. both loyal and treacherous servants or friends. In order to make the extraordinary variety of human types easier to deal with. Fielding resorts to the principle of contrast in characterisation. which often create comic effects. which must give substance to faith. The presence of Parson Adams is essential for the evolution of the main character. Parson Adams as a quixotic character 5.4.3.

through its moral and temperamental types. and he believes. If they should differ substantially.3.2. SAQ 9 Mention at least three features of Fielding’s art of the novel which distinguish him from Defoe and Richardson. he had the exceptional gift of individualizing his characters through speech. Fielding’s Augustanism* Of all 18th century novelists.8.3.4. 2.. His narrative style is eminently Augustan: articulate and refined. 3. read again subchapters 5.. 1.5.2.. Fielding is the most “Augustan. and he tried to give full legitimacy to the novel. combining elegant seriousness with wit and irony.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. reveals his Augustan view of the writer’s province. Compare your answer with the one given in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.. defining it in relation with the respectable genres of the epic and drama. of no more than 3 lines / 30 words each. provide the first theory of the novel.3. incorporated in the substance of his works. At the same time. His commentaries and reflections on his own art. Such reflections show his Neoclassic emphasis on discipline and craftsmanship as essential for successful creation. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 135 . of evoking his characters’ social position and moral nature through their language. Explain them. drawing short comparisons. in the superior corrective efficiency of comedy and its devices. He is a moralist. unaffected. preoccupied with the reformation of manners.4. at the end of the unit. 5. 5. He had a solid classical education and a strong sense of literary tradition. like many Augustan writers. and 5.” His exploration of the diversity of Human Nature. 5.2.

These few tragi-comic episodes from Tristram’s early life make him a “small HERO. However. He tells us about his birth only in Volume III. unpredictable narrative. 5. He digresses continually. does not manage to give a shape to his story. Tristram Shandy: an unconventional autobiographical novel The title of the novel raises in the reader the expectation of an autobiographical narrative. corporal Trim. as well as of Parson Yorick. who has read “the oddest books in the universe” and consequently has “the oddest way of thinking.” individuals dominated by some private obsession. that he was.4. His Tristram Shandy has been seen as an anti-novel. the priest who baptised Tristram. christened Tristram (a name which evokes the French word “triste”) instead of Trismegistus* as his father had intended. Tristram. a sceptical examination of the conventions of realistic fiction. that parody was a factor of innovation in the development of the novel as a literary genre. at every point. We learn few things about his life: that his nose was crushed at birth by the doctor’s forceps. that his brother Bobby died suddenly. His father. at the age of five.4. Fielding had demonstrated. The ultimate question that Sterne raises in his novel is the nature of fictional representation. the history of a private life.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5.2. pedantic discourses are completely incomprehensible to those around him. With Sterne. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 5. the narrator. instead of a linear narration of a life's story and the rational coherence of an autobiographical retrospective account. that his father decided to write a “system of education” (Tristrapaedia). Tristram suffered a new misfortune: an accidental “circumcision. 136 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . Walter Shandy.1.4. which progressed at a slower pace than the growth of his son.” when a window sash fell over him owing to the maid’s carelessness.” He is fond of building strange theories and hypotheses about the smallest things. by accident. he seems to have. In spite of his promises. the relation between life and literature.” in every sense. Laurence Sterne and the “anti-novel” Sterne’s only novel was published in instalments: its nine volumes appeared between 1760 and 1768. Eccentric characters in Tristram Shandy Tristram’s family is a collection of “originals.e. Walter. the testing of the possibilities and limits of fiction took the novel into a radical direction. we are drawn into an extremely irregular. that. Toby and the latter’s devoted servant. in Joseph Andrews. and his long. i. Much more of the narrative is dedicated to the unforgettable figures of his father. of those procedures by which an author “transcribes“ life. This makes his novel a work of metafiction*. moulds reality into a literary pattern. is an erudite philosopher. other interesting things to relate. which isolates each of them in his mental universe. of his uncle.

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

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

asterisks. with its multitude of dashes. Digressive narrative Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 139 .” The confused chronology and the digressive excesses frustrate also our expectation of a plot. to a certain view of writing. even a black sheet introduced at the death of Yorick. makes the reader aware of them. The difficulty he experiences as a writer is due to the limits of language.4.e. drawings and graphs. Faced with the problems of accurate representation through words. coherent plots. 5. frustrates our expectation of chronological linearity commonly associated with an autobiographical account. i. there are several dedications scattered through the book. by drawing his attention not only to what is told. for instance. only in the middle of Volume III that we find the author’s Preface. with its blank pages for the reader to fill in. by exploiting them in a parodic way. It is. the book is a comic oddity. The defamiliarisation of realistic conventions By taking extreme freedoms with narrative and compositional conventions. For example. which he calls “the sunshine of reading. and to involve the reader both imaginatively and sentimentally. Tristram is earnestly trying to tell the story of his life and his opinions as accurately as possible. points of suspension. the “imperfections of words. 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. Tristram has the consciousness of his tragi-comic predicament. The “Shandean” view of writing This ambivalent view of life corresponds. so different from Fielding’s tight. in Sterne’s novel. The zigzagging narrative. This impression is increased by Tristram’s effort to be exhaustive in his presentation. marking a moment of affectionate recollection. He delights in minute descriptions of postures and small gestures.4. its unpredictable returns to various moments in the past. there are numberless digressions and interpolated stories.” Not only as a man. Sterne’s rambling narrative.5.4.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel 5. Tristram constantly oscillates between the comic despair at his incapacity to master his narrative and the delight he takes in complete narrative freedom. Tristram resorts to other means of communication. but also to how it is told. etc. He thus exaggerates parodically the realistic pursuit of accuracy and immediacy. Typographically. and he takes great delight in digressions. watched as if by a slow motion camera. The narrator explicitly refuses to keep the story straight. but also as an author. the restriction of the hero’s “life” to a few episodes breaks the convention of autobiographical focus. Sterne defamiliarises them. The structure of the book is equally odd. and gives the impression of stagnation. does not seem to move towards any climax.

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

7. 3. go again through subchapters 5.4. In this way.. Compare your answers with those provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Read the text and find three reasons for Tristram’s praise of digressions. 2. the narrator stops and considers his eccentric way of telling it. and 5.4.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel SAQ 11 Text 5. Instead of continuing the story.5.6. Henry William Bunbury: Uncle Toby and Trim reviving a scene of war on the bowling green (1773) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 141 . The fragment is practically about the writing of the novel. Write them in the spaces indicated below. 1. and read the fragment attentively once more. at the end of the unit. which he discusses in the very text of the work. the author reveals to the reader one aspect of his conception of writing. using no more than 3 lines / 30 words for each of them. in the Reader illustrates the metafictional dimension of Sterne’s novel. If they differ significantly.

Richardson takes the novel in the direction of the minute analysis of emotion and feeling. self-conscious novel that makes him highly modern. Since its settlement on the literary scene. However. in his novels of manners. completely ignored by Augustan poetics. this genre has enjoyed unrivalled popularity. This is reflected in the wide diversity of directions in which the novel developed in the 18th century. Fielding. selected as an illustration of the most characteristic features of his art. Sterne. in a work so committed to the matterof-fact. Defoe illustrates best the new narrative realism that emerged in fiction. readers along the ages have been able to find a wealth of symbolic meanings and a story of archetypal significance. The absence of norms and models made it an exceptionally flexible and inclusive form. Lastly. Henry Fielding. who shares with Fielding the attraction to comedy and parody. 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. to the palpable reality of common objects and actions. and with Robinson Crusoe the middle class hero is imposed on the literary scene.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Summary The birth of the novel is a literary phenomenon that must be seen as part of the process of modernisation defining the Age of the Enlightenment in England. on the other hand. Key words • • • • • • • • • • • realism romance character to divert and instruct parody comic novel of manners sentimental novel narrative technique metafiction convention 142 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . which has dealt with four major novelists of this age: Daniel Defoe. the novel was a minor form. Their works illustrate various aspects and tendencies in the evolution of the genre. At the beginning of the 18th century. Samuel Richardson. and Laurence Sterne. but his interest in the psychological complexity of the individual is completed by a remarkable sensitivity to social aspects. You have formed an idea of this diversity from the chapters of this unit. We have only concentrated on one novel for each writer. tests the possibilities and limitations of the newly-born literary genre in an experimental.

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

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

as illustrated by this fragment.2. revealing candidly to him the “benefits” of this invention.1. • the coherence. The novel as a literary genre both reflects and helps consolidate values and attitudes which define the Age of the Enlightenment. You might find it helpful to revise subchapters 5. and to the illustration of those values and attitudes in a particular novel. 2 This assignment includes tasks concerning both Unit 4 and Unit 5. clarity.. which presents Swift as a master of allegorical satire. in the Reader presents an incident at the court of Brobdingnag. Pay special attention to the instructions for each task.1. and its contrast with European civilisation as Gulliver presents it. 2 will count as 20% in your final assessment. your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). Remember that. Text 4. SAA no. You may refer both to the general circumstances of the novel’s emergence and its concerns. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 20%.. the king rejects this tribute.1. You will have. Mention at least four aspects in support of this idea. to revise the preceding unit. 1. as well as the presentation of the novel you choose to discuss. therefore. 2.4. and Gulliver’s new humiliation will make him partial in the subsequent description of the king’s rule. Text 5. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 30%. 3. Limit your answer to 25 lines / 250 words. in grading your paper. Gulliver offers him the secret of the recipe for gunpowder. who had just pronounced a severe judgement on his civilisation. with special attention to subchapter 4. in Book II of Gulliver’s Travels. in the context of the novel’s pattern of Puritan autobiography? Your answer should be no longer than 10 lines /100 words. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 145 . and 5. Horrified. Limit your answer to 35 lines/350 words. What is the double symbolic significance of Robinson’s island. • the features that make the kingdom of Brobdingnag a utopia of reasonable government. The weight of this task in the assessment of this SAA is 50%. in the Reader represents a fragment from Robinson Crusoe in which the motif of the island is particularly prominent.The Age of the Enlightenment: the rise of the novel Send-away assignment no. In order to win the good graces of the king.4. Read the fragment carefully and analyse: • the ironic-satirical treatment of Gulliver himself.

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

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

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

2.4.English pre-Romantic poetry UNIT 6 ENGLISH PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY Unit Outline 6 6. The Task William Blake – the visionary artist Blake as a pre-Romantic poet Blake.1.4.2. 6. the Romantic visionary The theme of childhood in Songs of Innocence Ironic implications in Songs of Innocence The fall from Innocence: Songs of Experience Knowledge in the world of Experience The double vision in Blake’s Songs Summary Key words Glossary Gallery of personalities SAA No. 6. 3 Solutions and suggestions for SAQs Further reading 150 150 150 151 151 153 153 154 154 155 156 158 158 159 161 161 162 163 166 166 167 168 170 171 171 173 173 174 176 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 149 . 6. 6. 6. 6. Unit objectives English pre-Romantic poetry Pre-Romantic tendencies in 18th century poetry The poetry of melancholy meditation The interest in early poetry The pre-Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The rural universe in 18thcentury poetry The sentimental approach: Oliver Goldsmith Character sketch in The Deserted Village The realistic approach: George Crabbe Robert Burns and the popular tradition Pre-Romantic nature poetry James Thomson.4.7.2. 6.3. The Seasons William Cowper.2. 6.2. 6. 6.1. 6.4. 6.4. 6.2.4. 6. 6.3.

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

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

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

3. The great novelists (e. such as the song and the ballad. but also literary forms. Elements of a pre-Romantic sensibility can be found all along the century. an interest developed in popular forms of poetry. busy life of the city with moral confusion. The pre. There was a growing suspicion that civilisation may have a corrupting effect on man’s innate goodness. characteristic of the Enlightenment. The emphasis on sentimental response.g.1. In the following subchapters.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. the new feeling for nature – these were features indicating that literary taste was changing. A return to blank verse – for which Shakespeare and Milton were the great models – allowed greater flexibility of expression. In the latter part of the century. the state of nature began to be idealised.Romantic sensibility and the interest in new poetic forms The transition from the Augustan to the Romantic age was slow and long. and the simplicity of country life with moral virtue. The sentimental opposition between town and country was to become a convention in 18 th century literature. sometimes within the context of Augustan conventions. This change in taste concerned not only themes and subjects. Under the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau*. the interest in rural life and its contrast with civilisation. The rural universe in 18th century poetry The emerging Age of Sensibility oriented the critical spirit. William Blake would call the heroic couplet* the “great cage” of Augustan poetry. Henry Fielding) would often associate the turbulent. patriarchal society in which men could enjoy fully their natural right to freedom. towards the highest achievement of man’s Reason: civilisation itself. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 153 . Towards the end of the century. 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. and the 18 th century abounded in optimistic utopias about an idyllic. and indeed the tendency along the century was to abandon it for poetic forms that allowed more freedom. the inspiration from folk myths and legends. The return to blank verse 6.2. valued for their simplicity and directness by the first Romantics (William Wordsworth. and the emergence of a distinct poetic attitude towards nature. the interest in the local and national past. Samuel Taylor Coleridge).

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

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

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

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

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


English pre-Romantic poetry

Illustration to (1905 edition)

The Village

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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

English pre-Romantic poetry

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

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

Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural


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

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

e. / Paradise that has survived the fall. indicate an affectionate observer. he becomes aware of the instability of this last retreat from the confusions and corruption of modern urban civilisation. represents one of the most memorable statements. Your answer should not exceed 10 lines / 100 words. like gardening. Retirement to the countryside does not mean for him idle solitude – it is not isolation that he seeks in rural nature. Read this fragment and explain why Cowper finds the countryside superior to the urban world. SAQ 5 Text 6.4.” Sometimes. As a poet of nature. but the joy of communion with friends. He praises the simple pleasures. which he opposes to the civilisation of the city. Coleridge). the peace and quiet of village life. in the Reader. Cowper’s love of nature is closely linked to his love of the countryside. fearing that “The town has tinged [i. T. His meticulous descriptions of countryside scenery and animal life. Cowper displays a remarkable eye for detail and a landscape-painter’s sense of perspective. at the end of the unit. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. extracted from Cowper’s The Task. and of simple. Rural “domestic happiness” seems to him “the only bliss. Wordsworth. affected] the country. 160 Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural . concerning the opposition country/town. 1856 The Task.English pre-Romantic poetry illustration by Birket Foster. 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 contemplation of nature has a healing effect on Cowper. in which he can find shelter against depression and anxiety. Read again the fragment if you answer is significantly different. with its vices and follies. S. however. in the 18th century. of the seasonal diversity of natural aspects.

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

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

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

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

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

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

at the end of the unit. revise this subchapter and read the poem more attentively. with no explicit answer. This suggests that the world of Experience is more opaque and uncertain. but also if this creator is also that of the gentle lamb.English pre-Romantic poetry 6. dangerous tiger. The speaker in the latter poem wonders not only who created the “fearful symmetry” of the powerful. you]?) and his own answer. SAQ 8 In Blake’s poem Infant Sorrow. who made thee [i. the event of a child’s birth becomes the symbol of the fall into the world of Experience. 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. provoking more anxiety than certainty. Quote the respective words or line(s) and give your comment in the space below. innocent question (“Little Lamb. by ambiguity and even obscurity. Knowledge in the world of Experience The clarity and directness of Songs of Innocence is replaced.4. in a paragraph of 10 lines / 100 words at the most. in the Reader – and find out in its lines suggestions for at least one aspect which defines this “dangerous” world. while The Tyger consists only in an accumulation of questions. Compare your answer with the one provided in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 167 . 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. Read this poem – Text 6.6.6. and the rhythms of the poems are also more difficult.e. in Songs of Experience. If it should differ in major respects.

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

The speaker’s “journey” to the garden of Love is an attempt to revive the former state. but he is no longer able to do that.1. Compare your answer with the one offered in the section Solutions and suggestions for SAQs.2. and read the poem again more carefully. Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 169 . revise subchapters 6. The two “states of the human soul” are here set in contrast. Explain them in no more than 20 lines / 200 words.4. at the end of the unit. If there should be major differences between them. in the Reader – tells the story of the loss of Innocence and the entrance in the state of Experience. Read the poem carefully and identify the symbols by means of which the two states are contrasted.4.English pre-Romantic poetry SAQ 9 The poem The Garden of Love – Text 6.7.. except as an act of remembering. to regain the vision of Innocence. to 6.

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

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

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

with his law of love. 6. whose radicalism strongly influenced the ideology of the French Revolution. gardens or estates...English pre-Romantic poetry • • • Jesus. 6. 6. Gallery of personalities • Rousseau. Jean Jacques: (1712-1778): French writer and philosopher. and consistence of your ideas (40%) • the accuracy of your grammar (20%) • the accuracy of your spelling (10%) Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 173 .9.13. Your commentary should not exceed 50 lines / 500 words. clarity. He condemned social inequality and regarded the sovereignty of the people as the only legitimate form of political power. in grading your paper.8. 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). • 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. topographical poem: a poem in which the description of a landscape is accompanied by meditation and historical retrospection.10.). your tutor will take into account: • the closeness of your answer to the formulated requirement (30%). Remember that. Point out the pre-Romantic themes and attitudes that these poems illustrate.11. 3 The Reader includes some of the “pair poems” from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Nurse’s Song. Many topographical poems were praises of particular parks.12. 6.. SAA no. the unlawful practice of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest. meant to win a patron’s favour. Pay special attention to the images in these poems and to their symbolic significance.” usurous: from usury. • the coherence. Send-away assignment no. Pay special attention to the instructions for the task. and 6. The Chimney Sweeper. Tyger: Blake’s spelling of “tiger.. 3 will count as 10% in your final assessment. and Holy Thursday (Texts 6.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

fast chariot ceremonial carriage (car) yonder (poetic) over there vault burial chamber (cavou) quaint odd.: swift. inappropriate (nefiresc) ashes cenuşă lust strong sexual desire (dorinţă.Reader had we but… if only we had coyness timiditate. patimă) grave mormânt. fig. tentă dew rouă willing favourably disposed. nuanţă. modestie thou you shouldst should ruby rubin Humber an estuary in the north-east of England the Flood Potopul the conversion of the Jews considered to be one of the events at the end of history vegetable growing slowly as a plant thine. a lua cu de-a sila strife violent struggle thorough through Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 185 . a lâncezi. a se veseli to languish a se ofili. groapă youthful de tinereţe. peculiar. indicates her “willing soul” to sport a petrece. inclined instant fires the flush in her face. sfială. a se plictisi slow-chapt power the power of its slowly devouring jaws to tear (tore. tineresc hue culoare. thy your state ceremonial treatment winged having wings. which. in spite of her coyness. torn) a smulge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural

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

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

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

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

sferă affecting false characters pretending to be in a way that one is not. it is then that these unfortunate circumstances. 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. of our pity. which at first moved our compassion. tend* only to raise our mirth*. comic romance roman comic comic epic poem poem eroicomic comprehensive cuprinzător fable subiect. smaller faults. cu stângăcie. The poet carries this very far: None are for being what they are in fault. dărnicie) vain vanitos awkwardly stângaci. contradiction doth does deceit înşelătorie it partakes of se înrudeşte cu. but affectation appears to me the only true source of the Ridiculous. […] Great vices are the proper objects of our detestation. / Ci de-a nu fi ceea ce vrea să pară. fig. exact sensible endowed with common sense (cu judecată. cu bun simţ) outré (French) exaggerated hath has alma mater (Latin) the nourishing mother. but when ugliness aims at the applause* of beauty. But for not being what they would be thought*. 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. 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.Reader […] Much less are natural imperfections the objects of derision. or lameness* endeavours to display* agility. intrigă light uşor highest sets the highest before us aduce în faţa ochilor pe cei de rang superior diction stil ludicrous grotesc unless except ever always exhibition display (expunere) appropriating the manners of the highest to the lowest atribuirea obiceiurilor din lumea bună unor oameni din popor e converso (Italian)and viceversa to confine oneself to a se limita la just faithful.: the primary source licence liberty province domeniu.” Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 205 . face parte din liberality generosity (mărinimie.

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

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

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

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

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

So I turned to the Garden of Love. go and play till the light fades away*. a sălta. The Garden of Love (from Songs of Experience) I went to the Garden of Love. in the sky the little birds fly. And laughing is heard on the hill. That so many sweet flowers bore*.7. let us play. And the gates of the Chapel were shut. And tomb-stones* where flowers should be. the sun is gone down. for it is yet day. And Priests in black gowns* were walking their rounds*. no. “Then come home my children. Come. And binding* with briars* my joys and desires. And ‘Thou shalt not’* writ* over the door. at ease dew rouă let us away să megrem to fade away to die. well.” “Well. green pajişte verde at rest calm. Where I used to play on the green. My heart is at rest* within my breast. Nurse’s Song (from Songs of Innocence) When the voices of children are heard on the green*.Reader TEXT 6. robă walking their rounds făcându-şi rondul binding to bind. And the dews* of night arise. come leave off play.” “No. iarbă neagră) TEXT 6.8. And then go home to bed. And saw what I never had seen: A Chapel was built in the midst*. midst middle ‘Thou shalt not’ ‘You shall not’ (the interdictory formula beginning the ten commandments in the Bible) writ written bore to bear. bore. And we cannot go to sleep. and let us away* Till the morning appears in the skies. bound: to tie briar a wild bush with branches that have thorns (măceş. William Blake. a ţopăi to echo a răsuna Proiectul pentru Învăţământul Rural 211 . Besides. tranquil. And I saw it was filled with graves*.” The little ones leaped* and shouted and laughed And all the hills echoed*. borne: to give birth to grave mormânt tomb-stone piatră funerară gown mantie. William Blake. And every thing else is still. And the hills are all covered with sheep. to disappear to leap (leaped/leapt) a sări.

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

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

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

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