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FROM THE LATE RENAISSANCE TO THE RISE OF ROMANTICISM
A Course for Second Year Students in English
Tutor: dr. Ioana Mohor-Ivan
English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism
familiarizarea studenţilor cu direcţiile şi personalităţile literare marcante ale literaturii engleze din secolele al XVII-lea, al XVIII-lea şi al XIX-lea însuşirea conceptelor teoretice şi a metodologiilor de analiză a discursului literar. aplicarea acestora în analiza de text.
Tipuri si modalitati de activitate didactica:
prelegere teoretica analiza de text discutie eseu.
Poetry of the Later Renaissance The Restoration The Augustan Age 18th Century Variants of the Novel The Movement from Neo-Classicism to Romanticism in Poetry
English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism
Chapter 1 – Poetry of the Late Renaissance
1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.1. Introduction Cavalier Poetry Metaphysical Poetry John Milton
Though literary history does not lend itself to tidy divisions and the late Renaissance in England should be seen as a whole movement – from Sidney and Spenser to Marvell and Milton (Vickers 1990, 160), the literary modes, genres or individual texts included in this survey tend to belong to the historical period spanning the accession to the throne of James I (1606) and the restoration of Charles II (1660), at the centre of which there lies the Puritan Revolution which wrought immense social changes and impinged upon the quality of English literature. Throughout the Jacobite and Caroline ages the court remains an undisputed centre of national authority, influence, power, reward and intellectual inspiration. As such, the literature produced in this context will tend to reflect courtly values, favouring an intricate, allusive and decorative writing, where the emphasis is placed on love (not necessarily marriage), warfare (largely free of political context) or devotional piety (quite apart from practical morality.) In the period of the Civil.Wars and Commonwealth, the urgency of crisis dominates English society, while the court looses its privileged position. Social divisions (e.g. Puritan / Anglican, or Parliamentarian / Royalist) reflect themselves within the literary field. If decorative writing survives among cultured parliamentarians and royalists, new developments are registered with the growth of a more civic and utilitarian writing favouring plain-style verse or plain-style prose, particularly within politico-religious controversy. If the lyric mode is representative for the courtly values that poetry enshrines and finds expression in the two ‘alternate’ poetic modes - Cavalier and Metaphysical - which dominate the first half of the century, John Milton’s verse is not only too varied in tone and scope to be adequately contained by either of them, but also exemplifies the Puritan ethos and its hostility towards the courtly culture, remaining thus apart.
The light playfulness of Song: To Celia. not only in the sense of being Royalists in opposition to the Puritan Roundheads. musician and poet. The dichotomy between Art / Nature is also present in much Cavalier poetry. Jonson was also a scholar.The Tribe/Sons of Ben – attached to the group). realised. or the brisk and alert movement of Vivamus. A classicist by formation. man of affairs. embodying the very essence of the Latin carpe diem (seize the day) philosophy. and often sexual.2. Ioana Mohor-Ivan .English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 4 1. wit. being more carefree. which often contains pastoral scenery and images. with its outspoken carpe diem philosophy are also proof of Jonson’s command of metrics. Sir John Suckling.2. but also as Renaissance “Courtiers”. Richard Lovelace and Robert Herrick were fervent admirers of Ben Jonson’s lyric verse (hence the other label . flippant.1. while the dark side of the poems is provided by the sense of impending decay or death implied in the theme of transience. drawn from a combination of a nostalgic English past and classical mythology. Yet its treatment differs from the Elizabethan praise of an abstracted and idealised beauty. placed and valued. Ben Jonson (1572-1637) Though primarily remembered as a dramatist. The Cavalier Poets The Cavalier are a group of poets associated with the Court as “cavaliers”. largely secular topics and the craftsmanship of the verse. verse and stanza forms. Most poems are also hedonist. poets like Thomas Carew. soldier. having accepted the ideals of the Renaissance gentleman popularised by Castiglione’s The Courtier: at once a lover. The characteristic theme of their verse is love. showing a similar concern for humane. Jonson took the lead from Latin poets like Catullus and Horace. a poem about the act of flirtation. 1. the author of the famous “comedies of humours” and Volpone. Moreover. whose eloquence and elegance they tried to imitate in their own artful poems. critic and poet. and it is with the songs and poems in the masques together with the collected verse of Epigrams and The Forest (both published in 1616) and Underwoods (1640) that his influence among the Cavalier poets is to be explained.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise Doth ask a drink divine: But might I of Jove’s nectar sup. So removèd by our wile? ‘Tis no sin. And I will pledge with mine. Time will not be ours. While we can. Or leave a kiss but in the cup. And I’ll not look for wine. Not so much honoring thee. He at length. my Celia. let us prove. Spend not then his gifts in vain: Suns that set may rise again: But if once we lose this light. Cannot we delude the eyes Of a few poor household spies? Or his easier eyes beguile.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 5 Song: To Celia Drink to me only with thine eyes. I sent thee lat-e a rosy werath. the sports of Love. Vivamus Come. As giving it a hope that there It could not withered be. I swear. Since when it grows and smells. ‘Tis with us perpetual night. to be seen. And sent’st it back to me. Why should we defer our joys? Fame and rumour are but toys. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . But the sweet theft to reveal: To be taken. but thee. These have crimes accounted been. But thou thereon did’st only breath. Love’s fruit to steal. our good will sever. for ever. Not of itself. I would not change for thine.
songs.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 6 1. hymns and imitations of the same Horace and Catullus. to Make Much of Time Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. go marry. the sun. You may forever tarry. Old time is still a-flying. And nearer he’s to setting. it is the lyrics like To the Virgins. his literary forebear. Then be not coy.2.2. Tomorrow will be dying. To the Virgins. The glorious lamp of heaven. to make much of time – a classic exposition of the carpe diem motif -. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . The sooner will his race be run. Robert Herrick (1591-1674) Like Jonson. For having lost but once your prime. And while ye may. When youth and blood are warmer. That age is best which is the first. Hesperides (1648) takes on an impressive variety of forms including elegies. But being spent. or Corinna's Going A-Maying – a synthesis of classical paganism with English folk themes which gives a special twist to his celebration of the seasonal custom – which have earned him the reputation of a distinguished verbal craftsman. bur use your time. The higher he’s a-getting. And this same flower that smiles today. the worse and worst Times still succeed the former. Though his major collection of poems. epigrams. Robert Herrick turned to the classical lyric for inspiration and worked to achieve eloquence and precision of form.
Whereas a thousand virgins on this day Spring. Made up of white-thorn neatly interwove . we'll abroad . some orient pearls unwept . and see The dew bespangling herb and tree. sooner than the lark. get up for shame. to fetch in May. Nay. 'tis sin. Each flower has wept and bow'd toward the east Above an hour since : yet you not dress'd . each street a park Made green and trimm'd with trees : see how Devotion gives each house a bough Or branch : each porch. sweet slug-a-bed. and let's obey The proclamation made for May : Ioana Mohor-Ivan . be brief in praying : Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying. and. Wash. profanation to keep in.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 7 Corinna's Going A-Maying GET up. the leaves will strew Gems in abundance upon you : Besides. a tabernacle is. Can such delights be in the street And open fields and we not see't ? Come. like the spring-time. Take no care For jewels for your gown or hair : Fear not . Come and receive them while the light Hangs on the dew-locks of the night : And Titan on the eastern hill Retires himself. mark How each field turns a street. come . Nay ! not so much as out of bed? When all the birds have matins said And sung their thankful hymns. the blooming morn Upon her wings presents the god unshorn. fresh and green. See how Aurora throws her fair Fresh-quilted colours through the air : Get up. or else stands still Till you come forth. my Corinna. each door ere this An ark. dress. Against you come. the childhood of the day has kept. Rise and put on your foliage. and be seen To come forth. Come. coming. And sweet as Flora. As if here were those cooler shades of love.
prayers. So when or you or I are made A fable. all delight Lies drowned with us in endless night.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 8 And sin no more. ere this. Green-gown. Come. and locks pick'd. There's not a budding boy or girl this day But is got up. Beads. tumble on the grass Ioana Mohor-Ivan . my Corinna. and woo'd. all liking. song. Come. both odd and even : Many a glance too has been sent From out the eye. let us go while we are in our prime . and gone to bring in May. my Corinna. And. come. ere we can cast off sloth : Many a green-gown has been given . A deal of youth. Then while time serves. Left to dream. ceased dreaming. can ne'er be found again. Some have despatch'd their cakes and cream Before that we have left to dream : And some have wept. yet we're not a-Maying. But. Many a kiss. or fleeting shade. let's go a-Maying. is come Back. Many a jest told of the keys betraying This night. And chose their priest. We shall grow old apace. let's go a-Maying. love's firmament . and our days run As fast away as does the sun . All love. and we are but decaying. And take the harmless folly of the time. and die Before we know our liberty. as we have done. as a vapour or a drop of rain Once lost. and plighted troth. Our life is short. and with white-thorn laden home. by staying . come.
century poets like John Donne. in 1693. The Metaphysical Poets Metaphysical is a term used to group together certain 17th. Eliot defended the style as fusing reason with passion and showing a unification of thought and feeling. As such. or discovery of occult resemblances in things apparently unlike”. rather than by intuition or mysticism. who tried to deepen the traditional lyric forms of love and devotion by stretching them to comprehend the new scientific discourses and theories. and perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy. when T.S. inventiveness. the metaphysical poets were fond of abstruse imagery and complicated metaphors. coinciding with his youth and studies. uneven and vigorous. their poetry investigates the world by a rational investigation of its phenomena. addressed to different persons. some cynical in nature. sharing common characteristics of wit. It is traditional to oppose the Cavalier to the Metaphysical poets: whereas the Cavaliers preferred more straightforward expression. they still retain the same intensity. the metaphysical poets adopted a style that is energetic. others marked with a violence of passion. 3. The second phase belongs to the later part of his life. when he described the far-fetched nature of their comparisons as “a kind of discordia concors. the following attributes characterize Donne’s both love and religious poems. Although thus changed in focus and theme. the same combination of passion and argument that is characteristic of his earliest endeavours. The poems included in Donne’s Divine Poems and Holy Sonnets reflect religious tensions and his poetic exploration of man’s relationship with God. As such. combines gaiety and sophistication of the urban wit with the specific immersion in metaphysical concerns. Paul’s Cathedral. Reacting against the deliberately smooth and sweet tone of much 16th-century verse. 1. and a love of elaborate stylistic manoeuvres. a combination of dissimilar images. It was only in the 20th-century that their poetry was brought back to favour. John Donne (1537-1631) John Donne’s literary output lends itself to two major divisions: the first phase. Samuel Johnson consolidated the critique in the 18th-century. 1. and are considered to have set the pattern for other poets labelled as “metaphysical” due to the fact that they shared a similar poetic style and way of organising thought: Ioana Mohor-Ivan . the topical debates on humanism. when the young and sophisticated scholar had grown into a grave and philosophical divine. 3. otherwise labelled as the “poetry of strong lines”. he criticised Donne because “he affects the Metaphysics … in his amorous verses where nature only should reign.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 9 1. George Herbert. valuing elegance. Andrew Marvell. when he should engage their hearts”. The term was first applied by John Dryden when. the Dean of St. The most interesting are the love poems collected in Songs and Sonnets. faith and eternity. Dr. Henry Vaughan or Richard Crashaw.
English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism
It is sharply opposed to the intricate, allusive, highly decorative writing and the idealised view of sexual love which constituted the central tradition of Elizabethan poetry; It adopts a diction and meter modelled on the rhythms of actual speech; It is usually organised in the dramatic or rhetorical form of an urgent or heated argument: the opening of the poems shock the reader into attention, sometimes by asking a question; then the thought or argument is ingeniously developed in terms of ideas developed from philosophy or scientific notions; It is marked by realism, irony, and often cynicism in its treatment of the complexity of human motives; It puts to use a subtle and often outrageous logic
It reveals a persistent wittiness, making use of paradox, puns, and startling parallels. These characteristics may be exemplified by Love’s Growth, in which commonplaces of Elizabethan thought are ingeniously transmuted by Donne’s argumentation, which teases them out in a mock-serious way and sustains the argument through a series of images that surprise and yet compel acquiescence in their validity. Love’s Growth
I SCARCE believe my love to be so pure As I had thought it was, Because it doth endure Vicissitude, and season, as the grass; Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore, My love was infinite, if spring make it more. But if this medicine, love, which cures all sorrow With more, not only be no quintessence, But mixt of all stuffs, paining soul, or sense, And of the Sun his working vigour borrow, Love’s not so pure, and abstract, as they use To say, which have no Mistress but their Muse, But as all else, being elemented too, Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do. And yet no greater, but more eminent, Love by the Spring is grown; As, in the firmament, Stars by the Sun are not enlarg’d, but shown. Gentle love deeds, as blossoms on a bough, From love’s awakened root do bud out now. If, as in water stirr’d more circles be Produc’d by one, love such additions take, Those like so many spheres, but one heaven make, For, they are all concentric unto thee; And though each spring do add to love new heat, As princes do in times of action get New taxes, and remit them not in peace, No winter shall abate the spring’s increase.
English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism
1. 3. 2. Andrew Marvell (1621-78) Andrew Marvell’s poetry ranges from political (the Horatian Ode: Upon Cromwell’s return from Ireland) to pastoral poems (The Garden), from satirical (The Loyal Scot) to passionate love verse (To His Coy Mistress). Nevertheless, Marvell’s chief influence was Donne, whose metaphysical conceits he adopted. The Definition of Love treats the theme of star-crossed love in a characteristically metaphysical fashion, making recourse to an accumulation of ingenious and elaborate imagery to reach the obvious conclusion that though destined to remain united in mind, the two lovers will eternally be separated in body by a greater power than they can contradict. The Definition of Love
My Love is of a birth as rare As ‘tis for object strange and high: It was begotten by despair Upon Impossibility. Magnanimous Despair alone Could show me so divine a thing, Where feeble hope could ne’r have flown But vainly flapt its Tinsel Wing. And yet I quickly might arrive Where my extended Soul is fixt, But Fate does iron wedges drive, And alwaies crouds it self betwixt. For Fate with jealous Eye does see Two perfect Loves; nor lets them close: Their union would her ruine be, And her Tyrannick pow’r, depose. And therefore her Decrees of Steel Us as the distant poles have plac’d, (Though loves whole World on us doth wheel) Not by themselves to be embrace’d. Unless the giddy heaven fall, And Earth some new Convulsion tear; And, us to joyn, the World should all Be cramp’d into a Planisphere. As Lines so Loves oblique may well Themselves in every Angle greet: But ours so truly Parallel, Though infinite can never meet. Therefore the Love which us doth bind, But Fate so enviously debarrs, Is the Conjunction of the Mind, And Opposition of the Stars.
English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism
1.3. 3. Henry Vaughan (1593-1633) If Marvell illustrates the secular development of metaphysical verse, Henry Vaughan is representative for its religious concerns. A Welsh country-side doctor, interested in the occult, Henry Vaughan was also a late adept of the philosophy of mystic correspondence between the world of creatures and the spirits. This is mirrored in his poems, where Vaughan often seems to be recounting direct experiences of the supernatural, identified with visions of the countryside and childhood innocence, like in one of his best-known poems, The Retreate: The Retreate
Happy those early days! When I Shin’d in my Angell-infancy. Before I understood this place Appointed for my second race, Or taught my soul to fancy ought But a white, Celestiall thought, When yet I had not walkt above A mile, or two, from my first love, And looking back (at that short space,) Could see a glimpse of his bright face; When on some gilded Cloud, or flowre My gazing soul would dwell an houre, And in those weaker glories spy Some shadows of eternity; Before I taught my tongue to wound My Conscience with a sinfull sound, Or had the black art to dispence A sev’rall sinne to ev’ry sence, But felt through all this fleshly dresse Bright shootes of everlastingness. O how I long to travel back And tread again that ancient track! That I might once more reach that plaine Where first I left my glorious traine, From whence th’Inlightned spirit sees That shady City of Palme trees; But (ah!) my soul with too much stay Is drunk, and staggers in the way. Some men a forward motion love, But I by backward steps would move, And when this dust falls to the urn In that state I came return.
shall not thy sacred vein Afford a present to the infant God? Hast thou no verse. decribing his virtuous deed and victory. (Vickers 1990. in which the poet summarizes the generally accepted Christian understanding of what happened at Christmas. To welcome him to his new abode? The second part of the Ode is designed as the Hymn itself and consists in 27 eight-line stanzas in a more lyric metre. And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 13 1. For so the holy sages once did sing. That he our deadly forfeit should release. Our great redemption from above did bring. In all his writings. Forsake their Temples dim. and this the happy morn Wherein the son of Heaven’s eternal King. John Milton is the last great liberal intelligence of the English Renaissance. Milton drew on an extensive classical education which included seven years at Cambridge. Say. heavenly Muse. Of wedded maid and virgin mother born. Italian and English. that light unsufferable. With that twice-batter’d God of Palestine. …. or solemn strain. consisting of an introductory invocation of 4 seven-line stanzas. the same that Shakespeare had expressed in his time. freedom and self-determination. Having been failed by the Muse. That glorious form. John Milton (1608-74) Widely considered among the five greatest poets in English language. in Latin Greek. It is a poem in two parts. literature and philosophy. And that far-beaming blaze of majesty Wherewith he wont at Heaven’s high council-table To sit the midst if Trinal Unity. his first considerable poem in English.4. He laid aside. the poet takes it upon himself to glorify Christ as a transcendent paragon of heroic action. and then turns to the pagan Muse for inspiration: This is the month. no hymn. And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay. and here with us to be. a year’s travel in Italy – devoted to the study of the Bible and theology. Forsook the courts of everlasting day. as the values he advocated in his work are: tolerance. 196). while still in cradle over the pagan gods of the ancient world: Peor and Baalim. a) Milton’s early poems (from the 1620s) include the famous On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity (1629). Ioana Mohor-Ivan . seven years’ further study.
Casting a dim religious light. b) The works of the 1630s may be included in Milton’s so-called “pastoral period”. With antique pillars massy proof. Though notionally opposed. an Attending Spirit intervenes helping the brothers free their sister – to present the morality theme of Virtue triumphing over Vice. And storied windows richly dight. who lures travellers into drinking a magic potion that turns them into monsters. as the brothers go in search of a spring. as Lord Lieutenant of Wales. But let my due feet never fail To walk the studious cloisters pale. . dividing all legitimate pleasures into the private and the public realms. the qualities of both are alluring. a lady and her brothers are stranded in a forest by nightfall. L’Allegro and Il Penseroso (c. Heav’ns Queen and Mother both. which extend the lyrical mode established by the Ode in order to juxtapose the cheerful and the thoughtful man. . I feel that I do fear Ioana Mohor-Ivan . to celebrate the appointment of the Earl of Bridgwater. Comus (1634) is a masque written at the request of his friend. . ] But all to please. owner of the Ludlow Castle.three travellers. an evil sorcerer. The text employs a simple plot . offspring of Bacchus and Circe. In service high. . 1632) are a pair of contrasted poems related to the synkriseis tradition of classical literature. the lady befalls into the hands of Comus. and anthems clear. As may with sweetness. With such a full and unwithdrawing hand [. because the two are in fact complementary. Now sits not girt with tapers holy shine. through mine ear. and sate the curious taste? the Lady finds no difficulty in rejecting his “false rules”: She fables not. And bring all Heav’n before mine eyes . There let the pealing organ blow To the full-voic’d choir below. Dissolve me into ecstasies. In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz mourn. the composer Henry Lawes. Despite Comus’s attempts to tempt the Lady and the persuasive rhetoric of his argument: Wherefore did Nature pour her bouties forth.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 14 And mooned Ashtaroth. The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn. And love the high embowed roof. for they reflect the poet’s mood as he lived in retirement at his father’s country-house in Buckinghamshire.
you sorrow. Eikonoklastes). Rot inwardly. and smite no more. At last he rose. Second Defence. While the still morn went out with sandals grey. And now the sun had stretched out all the hills. is not dead … Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills. For Lycidas. Nevertheless. a former Cambridge student and possibly a friend of Milton’s who had drowned on a journey to Ireland. public and political rather than personal. The hungry sheep look up and are not fed. as when the wrath of Jove Speaks thunder. But swoln with wind. the only poems that he wrote are 24 sonnets. yet a cold shuddering dew Dips me all o’er. And though not mortal. the poem moves from its commemoration of the actual person to reflections on the writer’s own mortality and ambitions. their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw. education or the freedom of the press (Aeropagitica) dominates his literary output. philosophical and religious concerns of the time: What recks it them? What need they? They are sped. while also engaging in polemic and touching upon the political. But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once. While prose propaganda on topical issues like the defence of the new state (Defence of the British People. and pastures new. as he reconciles his own desire to surrender hope with his faith in God’s will: Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Lycidas (1637) is a pastoral elegy published to the memory of Edward King. woeful shephers. With eager thought warbling his Doric lay. and foul contagion spread: Besides what the grim Wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace. weep no more. And now was dropped into the western bay. He touched the tender stops of various quills. like the stars. his work becoming civic and utilitarian. and the rank mist they draw. after offering a vision of Lycidas rising to heaven. and twitched his mantle blue: Tomorrow to fresh woods. The ending.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 15 Her words set off by some superior power. divorce. has Milton himself (as “the uncouth swain”) utter the final lines which bring the remarkable optimism of a renewal: Weep no more. And when they list. c) During the period of the Civil wars and the Commonwealth all of Milton’s energies went into the support of radical republicanism. with the exception of On His Blindness (1652). and nothing said. the poem which records Milton’s reaction at his loss of sight.
Lodged with me useless. he then decided on the theme of the Fall. I fondly ask. for mankind would not exist outside Paradise if Satan had not engineered the fall of Adam and Eve. Satan chooses the latter. Milton returned to the full-time composition of poetry. lest he returning chide. in its final form Paradise Lost is clearly divided in two halves: the first one deals with the Fall of Satan and his rebellious Angels. light denied. What matter where. For this. And that one talent which is death to hide. though in hell: Ioana Mohor-Ivan . while the second parallels it in the Fall of Man. they serve him best. the Almighty hath not built Here for his envy. d) After the Restoration. Paradise Lost (1667) remains the most impressive of the three. Ere half my days. Milton set out to demonstrate that even sin was a part of God’s plan for humanity. a hell of heaven. Doth God exact day-labour. producing the three great epics which mark the end of his literary career. soon replies. Undergoing constant revision. Who best Bear his mild yoke.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 16 When I consider how my light is spent. The same as in On His Blindness. God doth not need Either man’s work or his own gifts. Milton’s intention was the “assert eternal providence. Yet for both the Fall involves individual choice and becomes an assertion of their free will: reasoning between heaven and hell. They also serve who only stand and wait. though my soul more bent To serve therewith my maker./And justify the ways of God to men”. will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure. free will and individual choice. His state Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed And post o’er land and ocean without rest. But Patience to prevent That murmur. And what I should be. and present My true account. all but less than he Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least We shall be free. in this dark world and wide. and in itself Can make a heaven of hell. and in my choice To reign is worth ambition. having been imprisoned but released after a paying a fine. Though at first Milton seems to have been tempted by the Arthurian legends as the fit subject for a national British epic. because the latter went beyond national confines. to be free and supreme: The mind is its own place. if I be still the same. allowing the poet to analyse the whole question of freedom.
English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.
After Eve has yielded to Satan’s temptation and bitten of the forbidden fruit, Adam’s choice to share in the transgression of divine law is similarly an act of free will: the effect of his choice is one of loss, but a loss that will later turn to gain – the gain of a future for humanity on earth and, like the ending of Lycidas the final image of Paradise Lost is profoundly forward-looking:
The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide: They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way.
Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes (1671), both published four years after Paradise Lost, show a different conception of humanity from that portrayed in the first epic. Unlike Adam and Eve, Christ and Samson are both superhuman, i.e. beyond the bounds of normal human beings, and their triumphs (Christ’s over the tempting Satan, or Samson’s over the Philistines) are less clearly explorations of human qualities than ideal exempla of what humanity should be rather than what it is. In Samson Agonistes Milton also returns to the theme of blindness, as Samson is “eyeless in Gaza, at the mill with slaves”:
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse Without all hope of day! The sun to me is dark And silent is the moon, When she deserts the night Hid in her vacant, interlunar cave. To live a life half-dead, a living death.
The poem becomes a journey from darkness to light, from defeat to victory. Samson’s final act of strength – as he pulls down the temple of his foes – turns his own death into an achievement, while the last lines compare his fame to the Phoenix, and turn Samson into a Christ-like figure, resurrected after death:
So virtue given for lost, Depressed and overthrown, as seemed, Like that self-begotten bird In the Arabian woods embossed, That no second knows or third, And lay erewhile a holocaust, From out her ashy womb now teemed,
English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism
Revives, reflourishes, then virtuous most When most unactive deemed, And though her body die, her fame survives, A secular bird ages of lives.
Task Consider the following topics to defend in oral or written form: 1. The Lyric Mode during the 17th century: Cavalier poetry Definition of the lyric Cultural contextualization: the late Renaissance Definition of “Cavalier poetry” Characteristics of “Cavalier poetry” Representative poets Choose a text for illustration 2. The Lyric Mode during the 17th century: Metaphysical poetry Definition of the lyric Cultural contextualization: the late Renaissance Definition of “Metaphysical poetry” Characteristics of “Metaphysical poetry” Representative poets Choose a text for illustration 3. John Milton and the Lyric Overview of Milton’s literary career Milton’s lyrical texts: o Odes o Pastoral poems o Sonnets Choose a text for illustration
English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism
Chapter 2 – The Restoration
2.1. Background to the Literature of the Restoration 2.2. John Dryden 2.3. Restoration Drama 2.1 Background to the Literature of the Restoration 2.1.1. Political and Social Issues: a) restoration of monarchy b) development of a two-party parliamentary system c) the growth of a protestant, middle-class and stable society d) social beliefs and behaviours modelled on Thomas Hobbes’ (1588-1679) The Leviathan, or the Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiastical and Civil (1651), i.e. a total organism in which the individual is the total subject of state control.
e) increased urbanization triggering a shift in the balance of power from the country-side to the city f) renewed commitment to empire-building 2.1.2. Cultural Issues: a) insitutionalisation of scientific investigation and research (The Royal Society, 1662-63) b) The Age of Reason: characteristic value-system espousing a preference for rationality, order, general truths c) Deism: belief in a rational ‘religion of nature’ d) Empiricim (John Locke, 1632-1704, George Berkeley, 16851753) 2.1.3. Literary Issues: Neoclassicism a. a regard for tradition and reverence for the classics b. a sense of literature as art (i.e “artificed”, “artificial”, made by craft)
empress of the northern clime. ready to take her place as a trade centre for the world: Yet London.Heroic Stanzas (1659) -. the Duke of Monmouth. religious.e. as well as always placing himself at the centre of the greatest debates of the time (be them political. John Dryden (1631-1700) John Dryden (1631-1700) is the dominant figure in the literature of the Restoration. Dryden moved on to writing formal verse satires. This last poem interprets the “wonders” of 1666 . The other type tended to be very specific. Absalom and Achitophel (1681) uses an allegorical form in order to comment on the fundamental religious and political issues of the time: the succession to the throne. Earl of Rochester exemplifies. Samuel Butler’s Hudibras is a commentary on the Civil Wars and the events leading to the Restoration. a highly prolific writer expressing himself in all the important contemporary forms (odes. Dryden’s writing evinces strong interest in topical matters.the Great Fire of London and the two national defensive victories against the Dutch. literary criticism. closing on an image of London restored. a concern with “pride” (threat against the status quo) 2. and his Protestant. Restoration satire. epistles. drama). a concern for social reality. By an high fate though greatly didst expire: Great as the world’s. and the communal commonplaces of thought which hold it together d. b) In the 1680s. Dryden’s satirical works belong to the second type. and rise a nobler frame by fire. as part of the age’s preference for the genre. as trials sent by God to bind King and People together. could be of two kinds: the first one took the form of a very general sweeping criticism of mankind. mainly written in verse. distancing contemporary events through the analogues found in the Ioana Mohor-Ivan . such as A Satire Against Reason and Mankind. His “occasional poems” celebrating events of public character: the death of Cromwell . or the specifically literary questions of neoclassicism. attacking the Puritan religion and debasing its enemies by using the burlesque. being specifically targeted.Astraea Redux (1660) -.) a) From the very beginning of his literary career. and the grotesque.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 20 c. caricature. satires.Annus Mirabilis (1667).2. James. or the expanding glory of his nation and age . written by John Wilmot. the return of Charles II . fables. the way things are and should be e. which at the death of time Must fall. i. a concern for “nature”. disputed between the King’s Catholic brother. but illegitimate son. with allusions to real figures in politics and society. The poem blends the heroic and the satiric.
David is not offered as a simple heroic character at the start. Before polygamy was made a sin. And Heaven had wanted one Immortal song. wide as his command. Other contemporary figures are similarly matched to their biblical counterparts. not stand. after heav’n’s own heart. while reasserting his faith in the king’s ability to control the situation.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 21 biblical story of Absalom’s revolt against his father. David. Dryden is careful to mention the king’s faults. with whom Dryden had had an argument. and. the king of Israel. containing a complete statement which becomes the norm with Neoclassicist authors. to Achitophel. And Fortune’s Ice prefers to Virtue’s Land: Achitophel. this time against a literary rival.by shaping Absalom into a rebel – and. most notable being the association of the Whig earl of Shaftesbury. … David. MacFlecknoe (1684) is another specifically-targeted satire. eventually. for him his tuneful Harp had strung. ere priestcraft did begin. But wild Ambition loves to slide. had he been content to serve the Crown. related to principles of warmth and creativity: In pious times. Absalom and Achitophel also proves Dryden’s mastery of the heroic couplet – a pentameter couplet. His vigorous warmth did variously impart On wives and slaves. In order to expose his victim to ridicule. These are to be contrasted with the sterile energy of Achitophel. Dryden uses the devices of the mock-epic . the principal supporter of Monmouth’s claim. to his own destruction: Oh. which “wilde Ambition” misdirects to work to the downfall of “the Tree”/nation . Ere one to one was cursedly confined. this involves a tactical success in the presentation of the main characters. One of the most impressive features of the poem resides with Dryden’s skill in rendering the fragility of the Restoration settlement. When man on man multiplied his kind. Absalom’s chief adviser in the Bible. Then Israel’s monarch. and no law denied Promiscuous use of concubine and bride. Thomas Shadwell. Among other things. and lazy Happiness. grown weary to possess A lawful Fame. With virtues only proper to the Gown. but finally transforms them into qualities. Scattered his maker’s image through the land. When nature prompted. And lent the Crowd his Arm to shake the Tree. Disdain’d the Golden fruit to gather free. mean or absurd in the Ioana Mohor-Ivan .which treats the low.
Cried: “ ‘Tis resolved. solemn tone of epic poetry – in order to link Shadwell to a minor poet. is he Who stands confirmed in full stupidity. and wage immortal war with wit. And Music’s power obey. The ageing Flecknoe is made by Dryden an anti-monarch. who hands on his power (in an absurdly pompous ceremony of procession and coronation) to his “son” (Mac) Shadwell: And pondering which of all his sons was fit To reign. and dry.” Then cold. Alexander’s Feast (1693) CHORUS: Bacchus’ blessings are a treasure. from heavenly harmony This universal frame began: When Nature underneath a heap Of jarring atoms lay And could not heave her head. with the poet more ready to imitate musical effects through verbal devices): Song for Saint Cecilia’s Day (1687) From harmony. Fought all his battles o’er again. In order to their stations leap. Drinking is the soldier’s pleasure. But Sh ---. Sweet is pleasure after pain. Rich the treasure.never deviates into sense.alone. Soothed with the sound the King grew vain. Mature in dullness from his tender years: Sh ---. who had been ridiculed by Andrew Marvell in a previous poem. The rest to some faint meaning make pretence. c) A different side to Dryden’s literary interests is represented by his lyrics: various songs and odes which follow the Restoration fashion (which prefers stronger dance rhythms. and hot. and thrice he slew the slain. ruling over realms of ‘Nonsense absolute’.alone my perfect image bears. of all my sons. Sh ---.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 22 grand language. for nature pleads that he Should only rule who most resembles me. And thrice he routed all his foes. Richard Fleckoe. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . The tuneful voice was heard from high: “Arise. lofty style. ye more than dead. Sweet the pleasure. and moist.
dramatic prologues and epilogues in which he expressed his opinions on literature and art. he stresses the importance of decorum (a literature principle in accordance to which style and subject-matter must be matched) and of the rules (e. prefaces. Moreover. Anne Killigrew (1686) is an elegy over the death of the title figure.The Wild Gallant (1663). All for Love (1678) -which he wrote for the Restoration stage. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . is a beast fable in which a milk-white Hind (standing for the Roman Church) debates theology with the intelligent. written after his conversion to Catholicism. The last play mentioned is an example of neoclassical revision of the Shakespearean Antony and Cleopatra. f) As a playwright. Burn’d on the water. ii Enobarbus: I will tell you. and respects the unities of time. both in the comedies . The Rival Ladies (1664). e) Dryden’s literary criticism is represented by the various essays. While Religio Laici (1684) defends the middle-way of the Anglican Church. whose talent for poetry and painting offers Dryden an opportunity to consider the arts themselves. place and action. their present style. d) Dryden’s abiding interests in principle of authority and methods of government also went into two poetic statements of his religious creed. Marriage à la Mode (1672) – and the tragedies – The Conquest of Granada (1668). like a burnish’d throne.g. Dryden is careful to put into practice his critical opinions. is written in rhyme. . . which the original violated. The Hind and the Panther (1687).English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 23 To the Pious Memory. their central role in civilisation. the poop was beaten gold. sc. The barge she sat in. the rule of the dramatic unities) which literature must obey. The differences between the two texts are visible if one compares the following excerpts: ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. Dryden follows the model of the Graeco-Roman tradition and considers that literature must imitate nature and give a picture of truth in order to both delight and instruct. a heroic tragedy which employs an elaborately formal style. Some of the best known ones are: Essay of Dramatic Poesie (1668) Essay of Heroic Plays (1672) Discourse concerning the Original and Progress of Satire (1693) Preface to Fables Ancient and Modern (1700) Having proclaimed himself a classicist. Act II.Mrs. carnivorous and spotted Panther (representing Anglicanism).
at the helm A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands That yarely frame the office. Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too And made a gap in nature. Whistling to the air. Agrippa: O. lay. The city cast Her people out upon her. The genlt Winds were lodg’d in Purple Sails: Her Nymphs. A darting Glory seem’d to blaze abroad: That Mens desiring Eyes were never weary’d But hung upon the Object: to soft Flutes Ioana Mohor-Ivan . So many mermaids. rare for Antony! Enobarbus: Her gentlewomen. Stood fanning. From the barge A strange invisible perfume hits the sense Of the adjacent wharfs. the Streamers wav’d with Gold. The tackling Silk. And what they undid did. ALL FOR LOVE. but for vacancy. Antony: O. Stood pretty dimpled boys. For her own person. and Antony.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 24 Purple the sails. Enthroned I’ the market-place. And made their bends adornings. of tissue O’er-picturing that Venus where we see The fancy outsork nature: on each side her. you must! She lay. secure of all Beholders Hearts. Her Gally down the Silver Cydnos row’d. For sending him no Aid. the Winds That plaid about her Face: But if she smil’d.cloth of gold. And cast a Look so languishingly sweet. Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke. and so perfumed that The winds were love-sick with them. which. were plac’d. round her Couch. With divers-colour’d fans. with their painted Wings. did sit alone. It beggar’d all description: she did lie In her pavilion . the oars were silver. tended her I’ the eyes. As if. As amorous of their strokes. she came from Egypt. another Sea-born Venus. whose wind did seem To glow with delicate cheeks which they did cool. like Nereid. like the Nereides. like Cupids. and leant her Cheek upon her Hand. Where she. Dollabella: No more: I would not hear it. Neglecting she could take ‘em: Boys. Act iii Antony: To clear her self. and made The water which they beat to follow faster. like smiling Cupids.
Dollabella. The Hearing gave new Pleasure to the Sight. share me all.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 25 The Silver Oars kept Time. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Children. and while they plaid. that gazing Crowds Stood panting on the shore. take me. Must she be left? Pity pleads for Octavia But does it not plead more for Cleopatra? [Here the Children go to him. For she so charm’d all Hearts. II. which way shall I turn? I find a secret yielding in my Soul. And both to Thought: ‘twas Heav’n or somewhat more. [Embracing them. Octavia.] Ventidius: Was ever sight so moving! Emperor! Dollabella: Friend! Octavia: Husband! Both Children: Father! Antony: I am vanquished: take me. But Cleopatra. Antony: Oh. and wanted Breath To give their welcome Voice. etc. who would die with me.
While the Elizabethan thrust stage was incorporated. and also witnessed to the beginning of extratheatrical relationships being established between performers and members of the audience. and very often make use of the splendour and fascination of the spectacle. shrinking from the wide spectrum of national life of the Elizabethan playgoers to encompass mainly members of the aristocracy and the newly-rich middle-classes. Nathaniel Lee. Gloriana or The Rival Queens. emerged. When theatre was officially reopened three months after the restoration of Charles II. and Thomas Otway. With this. Sophonisba. rather than of ambition. but wonder and admiration. Another innovation consisted in the introduction of women players. Its basic conception is simple: at its centre there is a hero. in strange places where people with exotic names discuss heroic ideals related to love and honour. with The Conquest of Granada and All For Love. As such. the plays are written in rhyme. stage boxes. Otway wrote tragedies of failure.3. The audience itself also changed in its social composition. with his Nero.3. being considered rogues or vagabonds. set far from the reality of the intrigue-ridden London. with The Orphan (1680) or Venice Preserv’d (1682). remorse and suicide. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . conceived as a superman. In keeping with the neo-classical standards. or dedicating himself to the public good. quite different from its Elizabethan and Jacobian predecessors. an era of specialist drama (catering for narrower tastes) was ushered in. bigger and less intimate. with the action being jutted back. and placed in a situation where he is to choose between fulfilling his own emotional needs. Unlike the Globe or the Fortune.1. it gradually grew shallower. Artificial lightning.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 26 2. behind the picture frame. or moveable perspective scenery were also introduced. His actions are meant to arouse not pity or terror. Among the playwrights making their contribution to the Restoration tragedy the most notable are: John Dryden. which encouraged a more realistic sexual atmosphere on stage. By far the most original. the two main genres favoured by the Restoration theatre are: the heroic tragedy and the comedy-of-manners. a new type of theatre. Restoration Drama Between 1642 and 1660 the theatres in England were officially closed and the actors were put outside the law. Heroic Tragedy The Heroic Tragedy may be seen as the wish-fulfilling counterpart of the comedy-of-manners. 2. the Restoration theatres were roofed.
for Jaffeir is a hero because his actions ensure that the social order should not be overturned. [Goes to take the dagger but lets it fall. Come. The three wide mouths of that true Cerberus. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . his plans and friendships fail. the hero Jaffeir becomes a “foe to Venice” by joining a conspiracy against the its senators not for the sake of freedom.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 27 corruption and destiny. Grim poverty. they can’t continue long. . Agnes! If there be a hell. thought long lost at sea: Agnes: The stranger sleeps at present. affirming thus the status quo rather than questioning and re-examining it. an instrumental ass For villains to lay loads of shame upon. And drive about just for their ease and scorn. ‘tis just We should expect it. They shall be stopped. in whose plays like The London Merchant (1731) or The Fatal Curiosity (1736) the domestic tragedy of the Elizabethan theatre finds a new middle-class setting. all tender human follies Out of my bosom. Belvidera: Jaffeir: .] Old Wilmot: Give me the fatal steel. and be more yourself! Old Wilmot: What’s to be done? On what had we determined? Agnes: You’re quite dismayed. The jest of rogues. A case apart is represented by George Lillo. [Takes up the dagger. ‘Tis but a single murder Necessity. for shame! Shake off this panic. from this hour I chase All little thoughts. come. impatience. Old Wilmot: Oh. What the play proves is the inadmissibility of dissent. but mainly to avenge his love. fortune’s common fool. but so restless His slumbers seem. In Venice Preserv’d. Jaffeir is eventually obliged to kill his best friend and himself: Jaffeir: How cursed is my position. tossed and jostled From every corner. . Revenge! Pierre: And Liberty! Jaffeir: Revenge! Revenge! Having become an outcast. demands. I’ve secured his dagger. Agnes. and despair. Vengeance shall have room. I’ll do The deed myself. dispatch! Here. The Fatal Curiosity is set in Cornwall where an old couple murder a visiting stranger in the hope of monetary gain. only to discover that the young stranger was their own son.] Agnes: Nay.
Sir Fopling Flutter (1676) – were among the first notable successes. or Love in a Tub (1664). modes and morals of the upper-class society. creating the illusion of a more familiar world than that presented in the tragedies. Another subject of interest is related to the uses and abuses of “affectation” (or socially determined behaviour): its characters are obsessed with fashion. Its main subject is sex: sexual attraction. The typical play features a witty and amoral couple at the centre. which mirrored the manners.The Comical Revenge. Sir Fopling: Correct the errors of his motion and his dress. male and female. Sir Fopling: But I mean in case of being alone. The Comedy-of-manners At the other end of the spectrum there lies the comedy-of-manners. deals alternatively with the pursuit of love and money. the innocent in town. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . or love and marriage. Dorimant: The shadow of himself indeed.2. In a glass a man may entertain himself. town and country. Sir Fopling: Prithee Dorimant. Dorimant: You are practising and have a mind to recover. a fatuous fop. Its aims are twofold: to correct (by making vice seem ridiculous) and to amuse. a discarded mistress and a cuckolded citizen in the middle distance. The plot. with an acute interest in the relationships between love and money. the young gallant always in search of pleasure until forced to agree to marriage. The Man of Mode uses interwoven plots to counterpoint youth and old age. As such the plays offer a realistic picture of life. often represented as contrasts between rustic country-manners and the refinements of the city. whose mindless foppery is satirized: [Sir Fopling dancing by himself. which is highly complex and involves the proliferation of intrigue in subplots. She Wou’d If She Cou’d (1668) or The Man of Mode or. George Etherege’s plays . I see.] Young Bellair: See Sir Fopling dancing. an import of the French comedy of morals. as well as a group of assorted elderly lechers of both sexes in the background. at the other there Sir Fopling Flutter. sexual conquest. less stylized and more naturalistic. Strong contrasts are made between innocence and knowingness. At one end of the scale we find Dorimant. gossip and their own circle in society.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 28 2. why hast not thou a glass hung up here? A room is the dullest thing without one? Young Bellair: Here is company to entertain you. sexual intrigue.3. the old country squire.
the masterpiece of the genre is considered to be William Congreve’s The Way of the World (1700). whose way was paved by the other three comedies that Congreve wrote in the 1690s: The Old Bachelor (1693). would you make me believe that? Don’t I see. they are coming up.The Gentleman Dancing Master 1672). Horner: My man shall wait upon you. Horner: I cannot be your husband. William Wycherley’s plays . Yet pray. ‘tis that I may love you long. its relationship to love and money. be persuaded to go home and leave the rest to my management. and Wycherley has often been considered the most obscene and amoral of the Restoration playwrights. and study yourself. Pinchwife: No. ‘Tis to secure my love. its reality and appearance. since you are married to him. in. pshaw! You’d make me angry. so I don’t. The Double Dealer (1693) and Love for Love (1695). don’t you believe that I’ll go at all. . [Exit Mrs Pinchwife. every day at London here. Mrs.In again. Mirabell and Millamant demonstrate that the terms need not be antagonistic. The Way of the World makes use of the standard situation which involves the witty pair of lovers. and the usual tensions between desire and reputation. Mrs Pinchwife: I don’t know the way home. the amorous widow. for their marriage should primarily be linked to emotional fulfilment. intrigues and adultery. I’ll let you down the back way. but that I love you so mainly. Though the play’s main theme is marriage. dealing with Horner’s sexual conquests of both the fashionable town wives and the artless country wife of the title: Horner: You would not take my advice to be gone home before your husband came back. Mrs Pinchwife: Oh. He’ll never receive you again else. The Country Wife (1675). At the Ioana Mohor-Ivan . he’ll now discover all. What. The Plain Dealer (1676) – belong to the 1670s when the presence of the actresses had become firmly established. As such as subjects are related to physical sex and cuckoldry. Horner: So. and your reputation with your husband. Pinchwife: What care I? D’ye think to frighten me with that? I don’t intend to go to him again. my life.] Nevertheless. the squire from the country. Mrs. Sir Fopling: ‘Tis the best diversion in our retirements. are you weary of me already? Horner: No. women leave their first husbands and go and live with other men as their wives? Pish. You shall be my husband now. in your solitude you remember the saying of the wise man. Sir Fopling.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 29 Medley: I find. The Country Wife is a comedy of seduction and hypocrisy. my dearest. dearest. I hear ‘em.
you shall always knock at the door before you Ioana Mohor-Ivan . and stay for the other till after grace? Millamant: Ah.in the tradition of the Shakespearean comic lovers like Beatrice and Benedick – engage.as liberty to pay and receive visits to and from whom I please. ‘tis more than impossible. don’t be impertinent – My dear liberty. love. as if we were proud of one another the first week. to provoke eyes and whispers. Mirabell: Have you any more conditions to offer? Hitherto your demands are pretty reasonable. Mirabell: Names! Millamant: Ay. I won’t be called names after I’m married. Mirabell: Would you have’em both before marriage? Or will you be contented with the first now.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 30 same time. because they are your acquaintance. adieu – I can’t do it. Come to dinner when I please. get up when you will – And d’ye hear. to have no obligation upon me to converse with wits that I don’t like. must I bid you then adieu? Ah-y adieu – my morning thoughts. with Millamant demonstrating great poise and a sense of appropriate modern behaviour: Millamant: I’ll never marry. without interrogatories or wry faces on your part. like my Lady Fadler and Sir Francis: not go to Hyde Park together the first Sunday in a new chariot. because they may be your relations. and choose conversation with regard only to my own taste. the the play remains memorable for the classic jousts of wit into which the two lovers . Millamant: Trifles. to write and receive letters. I’ll lie a-bed in a morning as long as I please. Millamant: Ah! Idle creature. and ashamed of one another ever after. – Good Mirabell don’t let us be familiar or fond. unless I am first made sure of my will and pleasure. jewel. my dear. spouse. Mirabell. my darling contemplation. to be sole empress of my tea-table. all ye douceurs. and as wellbred as if we were not married at all. agreeable wakings. joy. without giving a reason. in which men and their wives are so fulsomely familiar. – Positively.I shall never bear that. Let us never visit together. which you must never presume to approach without first asking leave. Mirabell: then I’ll get up in a morning as early as I please. shall I leave thee? My faithful solitude. . nor go to a play together. positively. I won’t be call’d names. and the rest of that nauseous cant. as wife. or to be intimate with fools. dine in my dressing-room when I’m out of humour. to wear what I please. nor kiss before folks. but let us be very strange and well-bred: let us be as strange as if we had been married a great while. And lastly wherever I am. indolent slumbers. ye sommeits du matin. sweetheart. and then never be seen there together again. To have my closet inviolate. .
as “an author who is forced to write for bread and not ashamed to own it.] Mrs Sullen: What will become of me? 2. Of the younger generation of playwrights. where two impoverished London gallants hope to recoup their fortunes but. I may by degrees dwindle into a wife. [Looks passionately at her. Madam. instead.] Have my thoughts raise a spirit? . is enchanted by Archer. they leave the claustrophobic atmosphere of fashionable London to be set in the country. Women Playwrights: Aphra Behn (1640-89) and Susannah Centlivre (1669-1723) Aphra Ben can be considered the first Englishwoman to see herself as a professional writer. Madam . or at least enjoying the benefits of “good” families and a proper education received at Oxford. who took to writing plays in a “gentlemanly” manner. Archer: And I with wonder. if you please? Mrs Sullen: In the name of wonder. I I continue to endure you a little longer. a man or a devil? Archer: A man. Ben was a poor Ioana Mohor-Ivan .” It is precisely this condition which should distinguish Ben from her contemporary peers. the author of The Recruiting Officer (1706) and The Beaux’ Stratagem (1707) ensured the genres continuing appeal on the English stage. [Takes her hand. and explore the comedy of human motivation with more sympathy and a concern for morality. who had been hiding in her closet: Mrs Sullen: Ah! [Shrieks. a man.4. the author of The Relapse (1696) and The Provoked Wife (1697) and George Farquhar.What are you. At times. Madam. like in the excerpt in which Mrs Sullen. The Beaux’ Stratagem is thus set in Lichfield. most of them coming from the ranks of nobility.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 31 come in. John Vanbrugh. Farquhar’s plays. and you shall be my Alemena.] Mrs Sullen: Do you intend to be rude? Archer: Yes. and your sister Venus opened the casment. At the same time. the humour verges on pathos. and runs to the other side of the stage. whence came ye? Archer: From the skies. though using Restoration themes and plot devices.I’m a Jupiter in love. fall in love with the women they try to trick. are more realistic in setting and tone. or. I’m struck dumb with admiration. your cousin Cupid lent me his wings. Mrs Sullen.3. the victim of an oppressive marriage. Madam. as Ben herself often said. which is depicted very different form the limbo of earlier dramatists. These articles subscribed. Sir. Mrs Sullen: How came you in? Archer: I flew in at the window. I’ll give you demonstration this minute. [rising.] Mrs Sullen: How can I be sure of it? Archer: Madam.
in A Room of One’s Own acknowledged that: “here begins the freedom of the mind . as the only means of financially supporting herself. As sexualised objects of their society. producing derivative plays guided more by money than by aesthetics. suggesting that she was only a “hack” writer. Nevertheless. It is true that she set scenes in brothels . girls could say “I can make money by my pen”. even as they were just getting out of bed (like in The Forced Marriage (1679). deriving their personal power from liaisons with men. One explanation for this endeavour can be found in the circumstances of Centlivre’s life. they were simply the only realm of potential narrative and dialogue. Ben’s contemporary critics sneered at her self-professed pecuniary goal. or because she considered that writing could provide an easier access to independence than mercantile ventures.’ Apart from blaming Ben for finding inspiration for her plays in Molière or Middleton.like in The Town Fop (1676) and created happy scenes between illicit lovers. Imprisoned for debt in the late 1660s. .but for a woman it was unnatural. Whatever the inspiration. the playwright was often criticised for presenting just stock characters in stock situations. who have the liberty of the public sphere. But apart from seeing this as part of the immoral and decadent note of Restoration comedy. Despite such criticism. also has the merit of introducing new images of women on the stage . women’s realms of power and development were the bedrooms and the brothels of the day. and for the bawdiness of her plays.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 32 woman. because if these situations are bawdy. she turned to writing plays after her release. But seen within the context of Restoration comedy which revelled in salacious situations including extensive foreplay with adultery. maybe because she had noted the success male authors were enjoying at the time. widowed at an early age and forced into an adventurous life. Such criticism then should be seen as being gender-biased. For women. .a project which her precursor did not undertake. for now that Aphra Ben had done it. . who was even more prolific than Ben. including a governmental spying mission in Holland in 1666 during the Dutch wars. one should also be aware of the fact that such scenes are situated in the domain of women. which Ioana Mohor-Ivan . . Ben herself responded to it saying that “it is the least and most excusable fault in the men writers . the sequence of plays that followed witnessed an outstanding success in production also proving that writing for bread could succeed handsomely.” Susanna Centlivre. for example. Ben’s self-assumed role of a professional writer provided an inspiration to many women authors to follow. including Virginia Woolf who. for they lived in the spheres of sexual and marital arrangements. her plays were of the same kind with the maleauthored ones which were successful at the time. they are so for men. Moreover.
Finally. logic. as they experienced the fear of discovery and the social distaste for their roles. the future playwright lived part of her youth as a boy. the Ioana Mohor-Ivan .) These are not happy. Valeria. in order to gain access to education or daring physical actions. rhetoric and the like.” Though the other characters on stage berate her for the unwomanly pursuit of such studies. the use of drag in Centlivre’s play does not resolve the social issues (such as it happens for Portia in The Merchant of Venice. a “philosophical girl”. Centlivre’s first play. women were certainly required to do men’s apparel. but rather they are dark. and though this was no novelty on the English stage. In drag as “Cousin Jack” she frequented the university. away it flew. This may be the explanation for the series of independent female characters that appear in her plays. Yet. which dr. the necessity of male disguise must have caused in many privation and anxiety. they should be called ‘Valerians’. grammar. but also with a set of adventures that were to prove useful in her writing career.” Once more. As different from Shakespeare. but also stabs her rival to death. Placentia dresses as a men because she wants to gain access to her husband’s new mistress. as it happens in The Beau’s Duel. characters who invent unusual social roles for themselves. Leaving home at 16. they are not derivative of the great master (as some critics hurried to label them. Though life in drag was not uncommon for women in the 17th century London (as documented some of the age’s texts). Sometimes. worrying that she will “lose the finest insect for dissection. one lady advises her to found “a college for the study of philosophy. the heroine of The Basset Table (1705). attending classes in fencing.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 33 provided her with experiences that allowed for a more unique and daring sense of possibilities for women characters. but demonstrates the anger and desperation of the female characters. where none but women should be admitted. Indeed. The same role reversal in Centlivre’s real life must have also provided her with the viewpoint of an independent woman. living outside the social order. Centlivre devised scenes for women in drag. is both the brunt of the play’s humour. But perhaps her most memorable character is Viola. but also the victorious exception to the social code. Lovely sent me just now. Living in a cross-gender role must have provided her not only with an education. the heroine reveals herself as a woman. For example. and to immortalize your name. a social role identified with men. witty scenes set in forest such as Arden. a huge fresh fly. in The Perjur’d Husband (1700). the heroine adopts the role of the sexual pursuer.). desperate ones in which women cross dress in order to gain the power of freedom to express their wills. She makes her first entrance in pursuit of a fly. Valeria manages to defend herself well. Only when she determines that the woman is guilty of consciously stealing her husband. and opening the box to try the experiment. Shakespeare having excelled at it.
probably not far removed from her own illicit attendance of classes at the university as a boy. Like the playwright herself. I’d execute. were it in my power.” Thus. Centlivre’s portrayal of a college for women achieves both dramatic force as well as comic eccentricity in its treatment. Task Consider the following topics to defend in oral or written form: 1. The Epic Vs. Valeria is an outsider. the Mock-epic • Definition of the epic • John Milton’s epic poems • Definition of the mock-epic • Cultural contextualisation: neoclassicism • John Dryden and the mock-epic • Choose a text for illustration 2. a woman who wants to live by her own intelligence.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 34 answer of the heroine dispels the mocking tone verging on the seriousness of the issue: “What you make a jest of. Restoration Drama • Historical and cultural contextualisation • Characteristics of the Restoration theatre • Genres of Restoration Drama: – The heroic tragedy (characteristics) – The comedy-of manners (characteristics) • Representative playwrights • Choose a text for illustration Ioana Mohor-Ivan . but a forceful one.
Pope is the greatest poet of the age. when many distinguished authors such as Virgil. Rebellion bite her Chain. And gasping Furies thirst for blood in vain.2. Trees where you sit shall crowd into a shade: Where’er you tread the blushing flowers shall rise. shall attend her there. gloomy Care. The writers of this later.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 35 Chapter 4 – The Augustan Age 4. and extinct her Fires: There hateful Envy her own Snakes shall feel. Augustan Prose 4.1.1. which abound in visual imagery and descriptive passages of an ideally-ordered nature: Oh deign to visit our forsaken seats. mercantile future for Britain in which faction. pale Terror. The poem’s conclusion. Alexander Pope (1688-1744) Augustan is a descriptive term applied loosely to the literature and art of early 18th-century Britain. And all things flourish where you turn your eyes. And mad Ambition. Alexander Pope 4. (413-22) Ioana Mohor-Ivan . There purple Vengeance bath'd in Gore retires. Ovid and Tibullus flourished. in many ways summing it in a similar manner in which Dryden did for the Restoration period. And Persecution mourn her broken Wheel: There Faction roar. dedicated each to one season and beginning with spring. It denotes a period of literary excellence and refers back to the heyday of classical writing during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). bowing towards the end of the European war in the Tory party’s Peace of Utrecht. Windsor Forest (1713) is a commendatory poem which combines a celebration of rural Albion with a political affirmation of the peace under Queen Anne. calls up Father Thames to foretell a wealthy. discord and other foes of peace will be triumphed over: Exil'd by Thee from Earth to deepest Hell. Horace. Her Weapons blunted. aiming their own writing to exhibit urbane and classical elegance. The mossy fountains and the green retreats! Where’er you walk cool gales shall fan the glade. His first notable poetic attempts are four Pastorals (1709). In Brazen Bonds shall barb'rous Discord dwell: Gigantick Pride. decorum and proportion. neoclassical age not only admired but tried to imitate their style. harmony.
Life. the other one is literary ambition. the violated lock is transported to heaven to become a new star. and test of art. supernatural characters are present in the Sylphs (the souls of the dead coquettes).English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 36 The Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady (1717) and Eloisa to Abelard (1717) are Pope’s most romantic poems. and its aim to laugh the two out of the quarrel that resulted after Lord Petre had cut off a lock from Miss Arabella Fermour’s hair. or harmony is one of Pope’s early themes. At once the source. Unerring Nature. force. 1714). unchanged. The masterpiece of the earlier part of Pope’s career is. wakes up. The Rape of the Lock (1712. has been blighted. the heroes and heroines are the beaux and the belle of the day. and end. written in imitation of Ovid’s Heroids. The Aeneid. Even if the familiar devices of the epic are observed. an attractive trap for all mankind. sips coffee and gossips and finally has her hair ravaged. as well as surveying abuses in reading and writing. which is still the same. glorifies her appearance at a ritualistic dressing-table. An Essay on Criticism (1711). the 11thcentury scholastic philosopher. the action is set in the wider circle of time itself: at the close of the poem. The second. Pope elaborated the trivial event into the semblance of an epic in miniature. As in the pastoral tradition. ostracism and suicide. and universal light. engaging with the high heroics of love. highlights the relationship between Art and Nature: First follow Nature. It is a mock-heroic poem on an actual episode which involved two prominent families of the day. the incidents or characters are beautifully proportioned to the scale of the mock epic: the war becomes in the poem the drawing –room one between the sexes. and your judgement frame By her just standard. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . in neoclassical fashion. The first is a melodramatic poem which addresses and meditates over the ghost of the unfortunate lady whose love brought her condemnation. engages into a game of cards. the poem traces the course of the fateful day when Belinda. or Paradise Lost. One clear. the society beauty. forcing thus the reader to constantly compare great things with small. makes a plea for correctness in literary composition and. nevertheless. the epic journey to the underworld becomes a journey undertaken to the Cave of Spleen. and beauty must to all impart. which abounds in parodies and echoes of The Iliad. still divinely bright. is a bleak study in the self-imposed loneliness of the legendary Eloise whose love for Abelard. If balance. As such.
a poem modelled distantly on Chaucer’s The House of Fame. puns and wordplay: Sol thro’ white curtains shot a tim’rous ray. (III.59) Pope returned once more to the question of literary ambition with The Temple of Fame (1715). And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day: Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . awake: Thrice rung the bell. it presents the fantastic visions induced by sleep in the mind of the poet. or Necklace. Here Thou. Written in the form of a dream vision. […] What guards the purity of Melting Maids. just at twelve. and of Nymphs at Home. as well as the characteristics of Pope’s neoclassical couplet. […] Know farther yet. Scarce seem'd her Stature of a Cubit's height. the Goddess of fame: When on the Goddess first I cast my Sight. the slipper knock’d the ground. whose rhetorical organisation makes use of parallel and contrast. (II. Dost sometimes Counsel take and sometimes Tea.. WHEN kind Occasion prompts their warm Desires. at a Ball. And the press’d watch retur’d a silver sound.. Or lose her Heart.103-9) […] Here Britain's Statesmen oft the Fall foredoom Of Foreign Tyrants. at the centre of which there stands the presiding deity of the poem. But swell'd to larger Size.6776) […] Whether the Nymph shall break Diana's Law. And sleepless lovers. the Whisper in the Dark. is by some Sylph Embrac'd : For Spirits. or miss a Masquerade. Whoever FAIR and CHASTE Rejects Mankind. and Midnight Masquerades. wit. with ease Assume WHAT Sexes and WHAT Shapes they please. Forget her Prayer's. The Glance by Day [obj1c]. Or some frail China Jar recieve a Flaw. or her new Brocade. the more I gaz'd. In Courtly Balls. WHEN Musick softens.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 37 The following excerpts illustrate both the mock-formality which defines the genre. Great Anna! whom three Realms obey. and WHEN Dancing fires?(I. freed from mortal laws. Or stain her Honour.
the Temple ev'ry Moment grew. Nevertheless. A less distinguished project was. In response. together out they fly. the Iliad (1715. His silver Beard wav'd gently o'er his Breast. Upward the Columns shoot. the poet faces the statues of the various heroes that populate its interior. In Years he seem'd. another contemporary. his editing of Shakespeare’s Works (1725). Here Hector glorious from Patroclus' Fall. (182-95) There follow those of Virgil. wisdom. Pindar. 1720). had earned Pope’s disapproval. each of them representing a classical ideal (of poetry. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . in which the latter was pointing out Pope’s scholarly deficiencies. A different sideline to Pope’s literary activity is represented by his translation of Homer’s famous epics. And ampler Vista's open'd to my View. a satire and mock-epic reply to the poet’s critics. Bold was the Work. the mighty Homer shone Eternal Adamant compos'd his Throne. And here and there disclos'd a brave Neglect.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 38 Till to the Roof her tow'ring Front she rais'd. these are the ideals of fame. Here dragg'd in Triumph round the Trojan Wall Motion and Life did ev'ry Part inspire. Horace and Aristotle. as such. a playwright who. a boldness in his Looks appears. and the poet decides neither to seek nor to reject the reward of Fame. placed next to the Temple. or patriotism). was moved into that position. and in the Mansion of Rumour. in the meantime. which they embody it and shadow forth. which prompted a pamphlet by a contemporary scholar and playwright. but not impair'd by Years. Colley Cibber. the Truth and Lye" (494). Father of Verse! in holy Fillets drest. prov'd the Master's Fire. and the Odyssey (1725-6). And Arches widen. the Roofs ascend. But the allegory somehow reconciles these extremes. In the final version of the work. (258-65) In the temple. The first to be described is that of Homer: High on the first. and. they are further opposed to its reality . but to follow virtue rather than the fickle Goddess. Pope turned Theobald into the hero of his Dunciad. / Inseparable now. The Wars of Troy were round the Pillar seen: Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian Queen. nevertheless. Lewis Theobald. Tho' blind. and long Iles extend. A strong Expression most he seem'd t'affect.presented in the dramatic procession of suppliants who crowd around the Shrine of Fame. With her. where lies and truth contend until "At last agreed.
extended to all arts and sciences. The New Dunciad. Art after Art goes out. Wit shoots in vain its momentary fires.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 39 The Dunciad was designed originally as a contribution to the war against literary dullness carried on by the members of the Martinus Scriblerus club which Pope had joined in 1713. the Goddess Dullness. because. at dread Medea's strain. Thus at her felt approach. unpopular and despairing. And all its varying Rain-bows die away. tries to decide where his talents will be best deployed: Swearing and supperless the Hero sate. Blasphemed his gods. published in 1728. but found no bottom there. like the aged Flecknoe. and all is Night. In the first book. that lean'd on Heav'n before. and is no more. Then gnawed his pen. was published in 1742. …… But Bayes decision is made up for him. As one by one. a vast profound! Plunged for his sense. a fourth. and blamed his fate. And Metaphysic calls for aid on Sense! See Mystery to Mathematics fly! Ioana Mohor-Ivan . while the third book presents Bayes. Sinking from thought to thought. The meteor drops. while the complete work appeared in 1743 as a brilliantly wrought attack on all sorts of literary vices. As Argus' eyes by Hermes' wand opprest. Shrinks to her second cause. then dashed it on the ground. Physic of Metaphysic begs defence. asleep in the goddess’s lap. describing how the Goddess comes to substitute the kingdom of Dull upon the Earth and closing on a bleak vision of cultural chaos: She comes! she comes! the sable Throne behold Of Night Primaeval. The first version. consisted of three books. Clos'd one by one to everlasting rest. his domain being the empire of Emptiness and dullness. Mountains of Casuistry heap'd o'er her head! Philosophy. the character Bayes (Colley Cibber). anoints the Hero king of the Dunces. contemplating her realm of confusion and bad poetry. in Dryden’s Mackflecknoe. the dice. and of Chaos old! Before her. and in a flash expires. See skulking Truth to her old Cavern fled. Yet wrote and floundered on in mere despair. Fancy's gilded clouds decay. The sick'ning stars fade off th'ethereal plain. The celebrations which follow his enthronement are described as a burlesque of the funeral games for Anchises in the Aeneid in the second book. the theatre and the court. and secret might. The last book sees the dream realized. dreaming of the past and future triumphs of the empire of Dullness.
dares to shine. faithless at Whitehall. CHAOS! is restor'd. and at Hazard late. Light dies before thy uncreating word: Thy hand. the poet. turn giddy. focusing on various aspects of man’s social morality: See the same man. and public virtue. but also a representation of a contemporary flatterer. (629-56) In the last part of his literary career. Religion blushing veils her sacred fires. Nor human Spark is left. sound art. a personification of vice in general. And unawares Morality expires. in the gout. In the more miscellaneous Imitations of Horace (1733-1738). In his Essay on Man (1733-34). The proper study of mankind is man. And Universal Darkness buries All. humanistic learning. Satires and Epistles. in place. Mad at a Fox-chase. presume not God to scan. wise at a Debate. Pope moved on to philosophical. Early at Business. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Friendly at Hackney. good taste. Lord Hervey. in vigour. influenced by Deism. civil at a Ball. through which he championed the same values of traditional civilisation: right reason. was too readily identified with Queen Caroline: Eternal Smiles his Emptiness betray. ethical and political subjects. rave. allegorically portrayed in the following excerpt from An Epistle from Mr Pope to Dr Arbuthnot (1735) in the picture of the flatterer Sporus. Drunk at a Borough. nor private. Pope undertook the personal defence of his trade of satire. consisting of 11 translations and adaptations of Horace’s Odes. approached the study of humanity scientifically. however.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 40 In vain! they gaze. in relation to the cosmos. and die. Each addressed to some particular personal ally (the first of them being the erudite physician and Scriblerian Dr. for the 18th-century readers. great Anarch! lets the curtain fall. Alone. The Moral Essays (1731-5) continued the investigation at the social level. Arbuthnot) they unite. or out. in company. confident that meaning can be found: An honest man’s the noblest work of God. Know then thyself. Nor public Flame. nor Glimpse divine! Lo! thy dread Empire. in presenting the beleaguered but stubbornly truth-telling poet against a backdrop of officially sponsored humbug and corruption. spitting “venom” at the ear of an Eve who.
on the contrary. or Politicks. Their friendship began when they were schoolboys together in London. Joseph Addison (16721719) and Richard Steele (1672-1729). or Rymes. should be considered. The aim of these two conscious moralists was frankly educational. they Ioana Mohor-Ivan . as the Prompter breathes. The Restoration period with its interest in men and affairs. the development of the newspapers and of the periodical essays. The trifling Head. as being the fathers of the modern periodical. they both enjoyed the patronage of the great Whig magnates (except during the last four years of Queen Anne’s reign. spits himself abroad. its information services in the coffee houses developed an even wider interest in home and foreign news and as the market for the printed word expanded. before dealing with them. largely represented by middle-class readership. While Pope seems artificial to many modern readers. His Wit all see-saw between that and this. or corrupted Heart! (315-27) 4. And he himself one vile Antithesis. now low. familiar Toad. Joseph Addison (1672-1719). Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) and the Periodical essay Despite the interesting body of verse produced during the Augustan Age. Amphibious Thing! that acting either Part. The Tatler (1709-11) and The Spectator (1711-12. under the Tories) by whom they were generously treated. the works that have worn best and still hold the interest of the general reader are written in prose. Augustan Prose 4.1. or Blasphemies. Now high. stimulating the public appetite for up-to-minute news that was vital at the time. or Smut. half Venom. standing as an interesting literary sideline of the 17th and 18th centuries. are looked upon. the production rose to meet the demands of the public. In Puns.2. now Miss. hardly seem to have become old-fashioned. 1714) were journals of coffee house gossip and ideas in London and progenitors of a long line of well-informed magazines. And. However. or Lyes.2. Or at the Ear of Eve.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 41 As shallow streams run dimpling all the way. or Tales. Journalism had started developing during the Civil Wars. Swift and Defoe. the Puppet squeaks. Whether in florid Impotence he speaks. now Master up. Or Spite. The result was the foundation of newspapers and weekly journals. Their founders. Half Froth. their careers ran parallel courses (they both attended Oxford) and brought them into fruitful collaboration. in many ways.
they do not seem to come up to the great design of such narrations. Steele. after their reading. what to think. they both clearly point out the new social ideal of balance between the morality and respectability of the old. it is both a charitable and necessary work to offer something. Steele’s essays applied his ideal to any topic that suggested Ioana Mohor-Ivan . transient. It provided the readers with a mixture of news with personal reflections that made it highly popular. Now these gentlemen. . schools and colleges. in his turn. mainly through the discussion of great authors and their books: [Our aim] is to enliven morality with wit. I have resolved to refresh their memories from day to day. . As can be seen.] And to the end that their [the readers’] virtue and discretion may not be short. and to temper wit with morality. [. has the same educational purpose that he believes can be achieved by insinuating moral or other teachings under the guise of entertainment: Though the other papers which are published for the use of the good people of England have certainly very wholesome effects. self-control. reasonableness. at tea-tables and coffee-houses. which shall be the end and purpose of this paper: . particularly for the nouveaux riches and the rising middle-class in general. that I have brought philosophy out of closets and libraries. . for the most part. intermittent starts of thought. being men of strong zeal and weak intellects. rather Puritan middle-class and the wit. which.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 42 never disguised their intention of improving the minds. Addison outlines a moral and educational programme for the post Restoration English society. I have also resolved to have something which may be of entertainment to the fair sex. I humbly presume. should be principally intended for the use of political persons. to dwell in clubs and assemblies. urbanity and good taste. The Tatler (1709-11) was first launched by Steele (hiding behind a pseudonym. . who are so public spirited as to neglect their own affairs to look into transactions of State. in honour of whom I have taken the title of this paper. and are laudable in their particular kinds. stressing moderation. whereby such worthy and wellaffected members of the commonwealth may be instructed. Isaac Bickerstaff) with the contribution of Addison and its title was meant as a bid for female readers. till I have recovered them out of that desperate state of vice and folly into which the age has fallen. morals and manners of their readers. I shall be ambitious to have it said of me. grace and enlightenment of the aristocracy.
the coquette. The Spectator (1711-12. though dominated by Addison. The intention was to outline the middle way as being the best: though there is much good in the old. a student of law and literature. for it sets down and perpetuates class values which would remain strong for two centuries. a Tory country squire. true breeding as against vulgar manners. full of prejudices and superstitions. . a churchman. respectively. the readers with significant indications of the time. in which the whole Village meet together with their best Faces. 1714) was a joint undertaking. The attitudes the essays display in relation to the opposition between the city and the countryside and between the social classes provide. As Sir Roger is Landlord to the whole Congregation. Spectator’s Club). A Country Sunday I am always very pleased with a Country Sunday. My friend Sir Roger. He has likewise given a handsome Pulpit-Cloth. rather simpleminded. and think. a Whig London merchant. etc. and. Sir Andrew Freeport. and join together in Adoration of the Supreme Being . . hear their Duties explained to them. in fact.). education. it would be the best Method that could have been thought of for the polishing and civilising of Mankind. It is certain the Country-People would soon degenerate into a kind of Savages and Barbarians. He turned it into the journal of an imaginary gentleman’s club (Mr. a soldier. never for long away from his country estate. The most memorable of all were Sir Roger de Coverley. he ridiculed common social types such as the prude. he keeps them in very good Order. He has often told me that at his coming to his Estate he found his Parishioners very irregular. being a good Churchman. etc. to converse with one another upon indifferent Subjects. upon which they now very much value themselves. the proper use of Sunday etc. has beautified the inside of his Church with several texts of his own choosing. he gave every one of them a Hassock and a Common-prayer Book: and at the Country for that Purpose. and in their cleanliest Habits. whose members represented contemporary social types (a man about town. and railed in the Communion-Table at his own Expense.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 43 itself as pleasing or useful: the theatre. but of far more intelligence.. a man of less charm. if keeping holy the Seventh Day were only a human Institution. and that in order to make them kneel and join the Responses. thoroughly good-hearted. and will suffer no Body to sleep in it Ioana Mohor-Ivan . the progress lies with the Whigs. were there not such frequent Returns of a stated Time. the rake. This sense of class and social identity is significant in the paper’s consideration of market appeal. simplicity in dress. to instruct them rightly in the Tunes of the Psalms. and indeed outdo most of the Country Churches that I have ever heard.
above all. the most significant of the literary magazines. Samuel Johnson in his Life of Addison described his style as follows: His prose is the model of the middle style. a satirical literary magazine (the jockey name is synonymous with literary hack work) and The Monthly Review (1760). . Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Jonathan Swift is the greatest writer of the first half of the 18th century (if not of the whole century). the only periodicals of the time. . Johnson) used journalism as a vehicle for their ideas. Swift.” purvey an attitude. Reference should also be made to other periodicals such as: The Gentleman’s Journal (1692-94) that eventually turned into the long-lasting The Gentleman’s Magazine (1731-1914). reassuring observation and comment on the life and times of the 18th century and his work stands as a proof that the published word was becoming a powerful instrument in society. 4. Fielding.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 44 besides himself. established the tradition of the periodical essay. Addison’s wellbalanced attitude. He was a great humanist and a savage satirist. and if he sees any Body else nodding. either wakes them himself. must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison .2. Defoe. Dr. that dominated and influenced the tastes of the entire nation. Whoever wishes to attain an English style. aimed at purveying opinions rather than news. a point of view rather than committed engagement with issues and debates. on light occasions not groveling. without glowing words or pointed sentences . for if by Chance he has been surprised into s short Nap at sermon. flow and simplicity of the journalist.2. however. well-informed distance. or sends his Servant to them. They all reflected the image of London during the Augustan period and its tastes. witty. The Tatler and the Spectator were not. That is why many of the writers of the age (Pope. Johnson praised it. familiar but not coarse. always equable. upon recovering out of it he stands up and looks about him. for its admirable compromise between the grace and polish of the artist and the ease. pure without scrupulosity. and always easy. . Addison’s words: “I live in a world rather as a spectator of mankind than as one of the species. and exact without apparent elaboration. In spite of his identifying sentimentality and whimsical humor as the main faults of Addison’s style. The Grub Street Journal (1730-37). characterized by a safe. taking the satire of such poets like Dryden and Pope to a Ioana Mohor-Ivan . on grave subjects not formal. . both tolerant and selfprotective. and elegant but not ostentatious.
The narrator is the most memorable character. Sir William Temple. a person whose intellectuals were overturned.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 45 polemical extreme. while celebrated as the most perfect in discipline and doctrine. the prevalency of some certain temper. The preface is then followed by five digressional episodes satirizing various ‘modern’ absurdities. For. if we take a survey of the greatest actions that have been performed in the world. but at the same time. [. Born in Dublin of Anglo-Irish parents. which we commonly suppose to be a distemper. that its rise and institutions are owing to such an author as I have described Jack to be.] we shall find the authors of them all to have been persons whose natural reason had admitted great revolutions from their diet. still has its flaws. during 1689-99. and his brains shaken out of its natural position. The Tale is meant to divert attacks upon the ship of state and religion by using the old seaman’s trick of throwing an empty tub into the sea to distract whales. criticizing and mocking authority figures with an ever-increasing venom. and whose pride in learning and lack of common sense represent the zealous modern insanity that Swift takes as his target for satire. . While staying in the household of his kinsman. Dissent (Presbyterianism) for its religious fundamentalism. and Improvement of Madness in the Commonwealth Nor shall it any ways detract from the just reputation of his famous sect. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . interrupting the story with digressions (e. the Use. discovered his gift as a satirist. whereas the Anglican Church. He wrote two satires on corruption in religion and learning: A Tale of a Tub (1704) and The Battle of the Books (1704). under the influence of single men. It tells the story of three brothers representing the main branches of the Christian Church: Peter represents Catholicism. he came to England following the troubles related to James II’s abdication. Accounting for the various ways in which the brothers behave towards the coat. A Tale of a Tub (1704) is a prose satire on religious fanaticism. he read widely. . saying that they must not alter it.g. Martin stands for Anglicanism and Jack for Dissent. Swift ironically presents the history of the development of Christianity: Rome is attacked for its arrogance and doctrine of transubstantiation. but all three of them fail and fall out in the process. A Digression Concerning the Original. a retired diplomat. together with the particular influence of air and climate. and call by the name of madness or frenzy. rather reluctantly took orders (embarking upon an ecclesiastical career). their education. such as pedantic scholarship and Puritanism. Their father leaves his coat to the three boys. a Digression in Praise of Digression).
i. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1713. Introduced to Pope. all spiritual and mental states derive from physical causes (here the ascent of ‘vapours’ to the brain). In The Injured Lady (1707). the Moderns controversy. Swift abandoned his favourite ironic method and expressed deep pessimism in relation to Ireland’s unstable economy. The Spider standing for the Moderns is opposed to the Bee. he protested that the Union between England and Scotland was a betrayal of Protestant Ireland in favour of dissenting Scotland. and writing major essays defending government policy. a fearful question lies: what right has any human being to trust that he is sane? The Battle of the Books (1704) is part of the Ancients vs. that marked the end of the hopes of preferment in England. He continued his journalistic activity with his taking over the editorship of the Examiner. representing the Ancients. The Drapier’s Letters (1724). revealing for the first time Swift’s mastery of light. he attacked the English mercantilist policy draining Ireland of its wealth and urged economic self-reliance and the boycott of English goods. he returned to Ireland where he remained until his death. he wrote several satirical pieces for the Tatler. out of his Irish pamphlets. makes use of allegory which was to become the author’s favorite device in Gulliver. A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Becoming a Burden to Their Parents or to Their Ioana Mohor-Ivan . using Swift’s favourite device (an astrologer appears as an obvious fraudulent spokesman). Having befriended Addison and Steele. The mask of a Dublin tradesman is used both to protect the Dean’s identity and to provide a rhetorical platform for the author’s criticism of the English rule. Finally. ironic satire. including The Bickerstaff Papers that was meant as an attack on projectors and schemers. Under the circumstances.e. he enjoyed the literary company of the Scriblerus club. Swift devoted his talents to politics and religion (not clearly separated at the time) and most of his works in prose were written to further a specific cause. is a hard-hitting attack on the government’s proposal for a new Irish coinage. In A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture (1720). This mock-heroic prose satire. he was offered the deanship of St. As a reward for his services. For the rest of his life. With A Short View of the State of Ireland (1727). one year before the death of Queen Anne and the fall of the Tories. Beneath his whimsy.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 46 The above mentioned quotation is based on Swift’s ironical doctrine of “the mechanical operation of the spirit”. a weekly propaganda paper for the Tories. that earned him the title of a Hibernian Patriot. He was not only an efficient ecclesiastical administrator but started writing a series of pamphlets (many anonymously published) on Ireland and its colonial status.
Was cheerful to his dying day. whether stewed. or a ragout. baked. they show a rich span of emotion and verbal invention. published in 1766) and his poems (Stella’s Birthday. bringing disturbing analogies to the forefront. And showed by one satiric touch. The Journal to Stella was written for Esther Johnson. the daughter of Temple’s steward. Hester (Esther) Vanhomrigh. With all the turns of Whigs and Tories. This appalling proposal is couched in terms of quietly realistic humanitarianism (they might suffer less). reluctant Dean and the spirited young woman. nourishing. As for the poem Verses on the Death of Dr. It offers as a solution for Ireland’s economic problems the marketing of Irish children for English consumption. and wholesome food. He wrote her letters and charming poems (seven birthday poems). the details are expounded with all the calm reasonableness of a merchant persuading his customers of the superior quality of a particular kind of article. Swift formed her character and came to love and she followed him to Dublin where they met constantly until her death. Their love was not unsettled even by the passion Swift awakened in a much younger woman. . . roasted. That kingdom he hath left his debtor. His literary personality was aggressive in Ioana Mohor-Ivan . A quite different side of Swift is revealled in his Journal to Stella (171013. An enigmatic account of his relation with Hester/ Vanessa is given in the poem Cadenus (an anagram for Dean) and Vanessa. I wish it soon may have a better For a long time he was considered merely a mad misanthrope. Swift). And friends would let him have his way. it is Swift’s own joking epitaph in which he presents his perception of himself: He knew an hundred pleasant stories. educated by Swift. He gave the little wealth he had To build a house for fools and mad. Vividly expressive. which narrates the love and friendship between the middle-aged. Cadenus and Vanessa. . using the convention of the medieval courtly love. Verses on the Death of Dr. and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 47 Country (1729) is the most bitter. but that critical opinion – convenient for the tastes of his own day – could now be seen to do less then justice to a writer who used satire with great originality and wit to highlight what he saw as the faults and hypocrisies of his age. a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious. No nation wanted it so much. or boiled. Swift (1739).
all the time convinced that he is making a good impression. his satirical plan is aimed at pointing out the long-standing feud between England and France (Blefuscu) and the petty functionalism of the kingdom with its political parties and religious controversies. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Finally.e. economic and social institutions which human imperfections call into being. The account he gives of England grows increasingly ironic as he unintentionally exposes the irrationality and barbarism of his own culture.). another one trying to build a house starting from the roof. During the next journey he visits the flying island of Laputa and the neighbouring Lagado and Luggnagg. he encounters diminutive inhabitants who call him “Man Mountain”. inventive in form and disciplined in style. Laputa and the country of the Houyhnhnms. looked upon as the most universal satire. the vilest form of life in their country. In the second voyage to Brobdingnag. at Lagado’s Academy of Projectors – a satire on the Royal Society – he finds manic researches going on at the hands of scientists (one trying to extract sunbeams from cucumbers. he leaves Brondingnag through a misadventure and makes his way to England which he now sees as Lilliputian. a ship’s surgeon. However. Swift’s satire is this time directed against some new scientific institutions of the time such as the above mentioned Royal Society and other schools of learning. Swift’s masterpiece is Gulliver’s Travels (1726). the perspective is reversed: Gulliver is diminutive and the Brobdingnagians gigantic. who tells of his voyage to Lilliput. he visits the land of the horses who live by the dictates of reason and whose language is ‘the perfection of nature’. Having listened to Gulliver’s account of European politics in general. classical in taste. After two years. in other words. i. etc. The main features of this second voyage are Gulliver’s revulsion at the magnified details of human anatomy and his defensive account of English and Continental politics. Brobdingnag. antagonism to the current optimistic view that human nature is essentially good. the Houyhnhnms decide he is a yahoo. Swift used the device of the imaginary voyage in producing a purportedly autobiographical narrative of Lemuel Gulliver.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 48 temperament. In his first voyage to Lilliput. Laputa’s inhabitants are obsessed with astronomical speculations involving mathematic and music. whose main objects are man’s moral nature and the defective political. in spite of its being also full of allusions to recent and contemporary events.
his narrative is stripped of verbal justification. a race of apelike beasts in human form. sometimes the corruption of ministers who engage their master in a war in order to stifle or divert the clamour of the subjects against their evil administration. Neither are any wars so furious and bloody. white. clean. several horses and mares of quality in the neighbourhood came often to our house upon the report spread of a wonderful Yahoo. as those occasioned by difference in opinion. whether whistling be a vice or a virtue. except on my head. characterized by concrete diction. or throw it into the fire. or bread be flesh. These delighted to converse with me. Tomashevsky. simple. especially if it be in things indifferent. . whether it be better to kiss a post. uncivilized Yahoos. He asked me what were the usual causes or motives that made one country to go to war with another. that could speak like a Houyhnhnm. Gulliver tries to tell everything with the utmost accuracy: he removes the shell of euphemistic phrases and fictitious tradition. explains that in order to present a satirical picture of the European social order. I made so great a progress. what is the best colour for a coat. out of a design of seeing and talking with me. or of so long continuance. Sometimes the ambition of princes. brutal. but I should only mention a few of the chief. As the above given quotation shows. or grey. . Difference in opinions hath cost many millions of lives. and could express myself tolerably well. I understood whatever was spoke. they were innumerable. civilized horses with the foul. that in five months from my arrival. could hardly believe me to be a right Yahoo. whether flesh be bread. economy and conciseness of language. uncomplicated syntax. because my body had a different covering from others of my kind. In a period when horses were one of the main servants of man. Gulliver himself has to recognize that the Yahoos are the closest to his own species: . they put many questions. as Gulliver defamiliarises the world of everyday perception. They were astonished to observe me without the usual hair or skin. the Russian Formalist critic. I answered. that shuns amazement and grows more Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Swift’s examination of roles seems intended to provoke and offend. . whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine. red. who never think they have land or people enough to govern. By all which advantages. his prose style is clear. . This is the culmination of Swift’s angry polemic: he contrasts the rational. hence it emerges in all horror.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 49 . and seemed in his words and actions to discover some glimmerings of Reason. whether black. face and hands. The Houyhnhnms who came to visit my master. but in fact it was dismissed as fantastic comedy and its satiric power was blunted. for instance. dirty or clean with many more. and whether it should be long or short. and received such answers as I was able to return. narrow or wide.
Ioana Mohor-Ivan . parody and other kinds of literary impersonation. he came to feel increasingly alienated and vengeful towards England. in all he wrote. Gulliver is banished and returns to England. That determined many critics to see his work. Through satire.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 50 teasing and controlled the more fierce the indignation that is called upon to express. mindful. where the impression made on him remains so strong that he prefers the company of horses to that of his own family. largely a stylistic preference (something of a legal safeguard). Swift’s literary career is remarkable for the way in which his artistic energy both sewed and transcended ideological conservatorism. Aldous Huxley in Ape and Essence. his most memorable works are based solidly on the intrinsic exploitation of a seemingly innocent persona whose character eventually becomes part of the satirical strategy of rebuking the reader’s complacency. Consequently. Nevertheless. of the public and political responsibilities of a writer. Although he repeatedly referred to himself as “Englishman born in Ireland”. for a long time. Swift diverts attention away from his own limited yet consistent principles towards the distortion of reason and sanity which he detects in his enemies. and George Orwell in his Animal Farm. Swift’s elusive literary identity illustrates an ambivalent sense of national loyalty. it will continue to exert its influence on twentiethcentury writers like James Joyce in The Holy Offer (written in Swiftian verse). as a deeply pessimistic judgment on human nature. His ambiguous art is reflected in the anonymous and pseudonymous forms he habitually employed (he very rarely spoke in his own voice or signed his name).
English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 51 Task Consider the following topics to defend in oral or written form: 1. Ioana Mohor-Ivan .centuries • Neoclassicism: characteristics and favourite literary genres • Forms of essay-writing: – The prose essay: John Dryden – The verse essay: Alexander Pope – The periodical essay: Addison and Steele • Choose a text for illustration. The Essay during the 17th. Neoclassical Satire Definition of satire Cultural contextualisation: neoclassicism Types of neoclassical satire Representative authors: o Verse satires: John Dryden and Alexander Pope o Prose satires: Jonathan Swift Choose a text for illustration 2.and 18th.
2. The middle classes existed as a readership. the new demand for education/moral training associated with middle class values. Tobias Smollett and the Picaresque Tradition 5. with its associations of newness and originality. His thesis is a materialist one. i. Delarivier Manley’s The Secret History of Queen Zarah (1705) and The New Atlantis (1709).7. over time. 18th Century Variants 5.g. Before that there had been forms of long and continuous narrative prose. place an equal emphasis on the influence of protestant individualism (especially Calvinism) in directing new attitudes towards the individual. and with it the new mercantile capitalist values of investment and capital accumulation. the Travels of Sir John Mandeville (c. Henry Fielding and the Omniscient Narrator 5.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 52 Chapter 5 – The English Novel. occurs in the eighteenth century. with its new emphasis on the individual (rather than social groups) as the essential social unit. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Maria Edgeworth and the Regional Novel 5.1. and required reading material. Other critics. Oliver Goldsmith and the Sentimental Novel 5. The Gothic Novel 5. Daniel Defoe and the Fictitious Autobiography 5.g.3.g. the rise of materialistic philosophical individualism.10. showing the development of individual (and individuated) characters. such as travel writings e.6. related to this.5. In particular he isolates three key areas in which we see the influence of contexts: the growth of economic/possessive individualism. Ian Watt in The Rise of the Novel connects the emergence of the genre with the growth of the middle classes in the eighteenth century (which creates a readership anxious to read of itself and its values).4. one which is concerned with the realistic depiction of middle class life. Samuel Richardson and the Epistolary Novel 5.9. Laurence Sterne and the Anti-novel 5. particularly in writing of Robinson Crusoe.1. The Novel of Social and Domestic Life: Fanny Burney and Jane Austen 5. that social and historical factors generated aesthetic responses. The birth of the novel The birth of the "Novel".e.8. The Birth of the Novel 5. But it was only in the 1720s that a recognisable "Novel" form emerges. Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko (1688). 1375) and Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller (1594) -. values and experience. prose romances – e. or prose satires – e.
to the quasi-factual A Journal of the Plague Year (1722). which employed the episodic technique. Novel writing is thus tied to the moral demands of a middle class readership. a reconstructed documentary account of London between 1664 and 1665. evident in the way in which these early novelists deal with sex. or to use consciously anti-romance forms. Working against this was the need to shape experience into narrative order. Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) and the Fictitious Autobiography The writings of Daniel Defoe may be seen as fundamental to eighteenth-century ways of thinking. The eighteenth century novel often appears torn between the demand not to offend. from the Swiftian pamphlet The Shortest Way With the Dissenters (1702). (and burlesqued by Fielding in Shamela). Part of the answer. in the picaresque tradition of Cervantes (as in Roderick Random). with is need for pleasurable instruction. one of most enduring fables in Western literature as well as the strongest claimant to the title of the first true English novel. This conflict between realistic intention and aesthetic narrative order is most clearly evident in Sterne's antinovel Tristram Shandy. passion and desire. in Defoe's case. in which the conventions of the Novel are exploded before the novel has had a chance to become a settled form. They range from the early Essay on Projects (1697). 5. most notably in the works of Richardson. and advance the so-much neglected faculty of correct language. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . and realistic depiction of society. without a clear sense of narrative order and progression.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 53 A key concern in terms of the development of the eighteenth century novel is the recurring preoccupation with realism. to teach. This is seen in Defoe's and Fielding's preoccupations with the word "History" (and the need to defend themselves against accusations of lying. or by relying on Aristolean notions of "mimesis". written with the moral and educational aim “to encourage polite learning. he is already self-consciously using Chapters and Books to order his narratives. in which he satirises the Anglican Torry attitude to non-conformity. to Robinson Crusoe (1719). which would lead to the inevitable conflict between the demands of narrative order and realistic portrayal. and yet to be realistic. was to produce a loose novel. and to purge it from all the irregular additions that ignorance and affectation have introduced”. adultery. as a means of asserting the realism of their writing. By the time of Fielding. to refine the English tongue. and in their attempts to make their works as realistic as possible.2. whether by using first person narration as in Moll Flanders and Robinson Crusoe. An alternative tactic was to use epistolary form. Another issue related to this was that of moral purpose.
If. Defoe’s imaginative reworking of Selkirk’s memoirs enjoys therefore a pronounced degree of realism. after suffering a number of misfortunes at the hands of Barbary pirates and the elements. he was keen to insist on their truthfulness: The author is here supposed to be writing her own history. and making it what you now see it to be . Crusoe starts his journey as a trader. is able to resist for some 28 years. while the island becomes colonised. and in the very beginning of her account she gives the reasons why she thinks fit to conceal her own name. the first person narration unravels Moll’s dissolute life as thief. as she afterwards pretends to be. It ends positively. The economic aspects of Defoe’s fiction have in particular prompted the interest of recent criticism: Crusoe’s survival and his enterprising behaviour are seen as expressions of Defoe’s own belief in the mercantilist mentality of the expanding British Empire. and. the Prodigal Son. Alexander Selkirk. after which there is no occasion to say any more about that. going beyond Crusoe’s rescue to show how the mariner’s investments make him rich. the copy which came first to hand having been written in language like one still in Newgate than one grown penitent and humble. and to make it speak a language fit to be read. This is supplemented by a sober. is shipwrecked off South America. Job. according to his journal. has had no little difficulty to put it into a dress fit to be seen. prostitute and incestuous wife. Moll Flanders (1722) is another of Defoe’s attempts to pass as genuine a work of imagination. and the suffering of Ioana Mohor-Ivan . where. particularly she is made to tell her own take in modester words than she told it at first. His Crusoe is a mariner who takes to sea despite parental warnings and.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 54 The story of Robinson Crusoe is based squarely on the account of a fugitive sailor. The novel confirms for the reader the ultimate rightness of Crusoe’s way of thinking and acting. ensuring thus the continuation of the model of society that Crusoe established there. the conditions of the poor. while also containing much social comment on the gaols. to make money and thus increase his material comforts. It is true that the original of this story is put into new words and the style of the famous lady we here speak of is a little altered. This time it is the memoirs of a prostitute. The pen employed in finishing her story . his only thought is to remould in his distant isolation the whole pattern of the material civilisation he has left behind. as Defoe wrote in the preface to the novel. Everyman. the novel seems now unconvincing. who survived on an uninhabited island in the Pacific for five years. the colonial explorer and the proto-industrialist. two months and nineteen days. with due gratitude for the God’s mercies and a belief that God helps those who help themselves. Once shipwrecked on the island. as a psychological study in isolation. Thus. businesslike religion. its strength comes from a combination of disparate echoes and shapes: Jonah.
well I thrust my hand quite up to my elbow. but all was one. irrecoverably lost. I had the money still. The title hero of Colonel Jack (also 1722) is another narrator telling his story from the vantage point of someone who has achieved wealth and respectability. till I should have occasion for it: big with this discovery. then I got down the tree again. in a word. and the narrative allows her not only to find happiness and peace but also to be accepted back into society. there could be no room. she is penitent in the end. and that two men in particular followed me. or any possible method to secure it. I could not hit upon any one thing. when I came a little way in the lane. I began to look about me for a tree. and I thought the people eyed me as it was. and in the middle of the town I went down a lane that goes away to the Blind Beggar’s at Bethnal-Green. so I placed my treasure there. . Though Moll uses her beauty and sex as a commodity. and thrust my hand again till I scratched my arm and made it bleed. that I could not think of ways to keep my money. and see to hide it there. to see what I intended to do. and what course I should take with it. then up again. Looking back on his youth. putting my hand in again to lay it more commodiously.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 55 emigrants. I got a stick off of the tree and thrust it in a great way. When my crying was over. As young as I was. and it perplexed me so. but I must come thus far to throw it into a hole where I could not reach it. for after all my ruminating upon it. that at last. This drove me further off. or where I should put it. of a sudden it slipped away from me. that I would look out for some hole in a tree. I was now sensible what a fool I was before. at last it came into my head. I found a foot-path over the fields. and cried all the while most violently: then I began to think I had not Ioana Mohor-Ivan . and my little parcel was fallen in quite out of my reach. as I then thought it. and when I came there. I put my hand in. the mature colonel recounts his first major exploit as a thief: As soon as it was day. and I found the tree was hollow. all of them subjects of concern for the well-intentioned middle-classes. but behold. the fields were so full of people. and if there were any that I began to look narrowly at. I sat down and cried heartily. that they would see if I went to hide anything there. I roared out. and I crossed the road at Mile-End. . as I said just now. and found (as I thought) a place very fit. after no less dissolute beginnings as pickpocket and member of the London underworld. continually trying to sell them in the highest market in order to reach financial security. pretty high out of my reach. and how far it might go in. and in those fields several trees for my turn. towards Stepney. as I thought. or any end of the hole or cavity. so much as to hope ever to see it again for it was a vast great tree. my money was quite gone. as I thought. nay. the case was the same. then I cried. and what to do with it I could not tell. but no bottom was to be found. and there I mused and considered what I should do with this money. and I was mighty well satisfied with it. at last one tree had a little hole in it. and rambled abroad into the fields. so that. but there were no trees in the fields about Stepney. I knew not. and many a time I wished that I had not had it. I was in such a passion. I got out of the hole we lay in. and I climbed up to the tree to get to it.
hunger and puzzlement at the unpredictability of the natural world creating the image of a rescuable human soul. and then I cried again: then I came away in despair.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 56 so much as half-penny of it left for a half-penny roll. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) and the Epistolary Novel In the next generation of novelists. Samuel Richardson devised a different formula for achieving authenticity in his fictional works. 5. then I went back again to the tree. And the point of the novel is to trace how the rescue was effected. the novel presents a breathless account of how the poor but virtuous teenage maidservant resists the sexual harassment of her master until the man learns to appreciate and respect her nature and proposes marriage in earnest. As the older man measures the distance between his present self and the urchin he remembers. Clarissa (1748) marks a major step forward. and up the tree again. Richardson’s Pamela: or. the virtuous. Here Defoe offers his readers an example of a learning experience: the little boy’s feelings are concentrated entirely upon the pleasure and pain which govern his appetites and desires. and thus I did several times. The money has brought unpleasant feelings of guilt. Solmes. Lovelace abducts Clarissa. but the need for money is a consequence of a need for food. it tells the story of the title heroine. the story does not end here. Novels in the form of letters had been popular for several decades (Aphra Behn had published Love Letters between a Nobleman and his Sister as early as 1683).3. then plays with her emotions in devious Ioana Mohor-Ivan . whom the family have chosen for her. In the letters that Pamela Andrews sends to her honest and poverty-stricken parents. beautiful and talented young daughter of the wealthy Harlowes. A longer and more elaborate novel. Mr. rejecting an older suitor. crying and roaring like a little boy that had been whipped. Virtue Rewarded (1740) raises the tone of the novel from the level of this kind of subjectmatter. in accordance to Richardson’s didactic purpose – to prove that worth depends on individual effort rather than social status. Robert Lovelace. who falls in love with a profligate aristocrat. with the boy’s experience of guilt. namely to allow it to be understood that the author was simply the editor of a bundle of letters from various hands which threw light on an interesting ‘human’ situation. he is also analysing the morality and psychology of theft. and I was a hungry. and the second part of the novel focuses on Pamela’s acclimatisation to the new social position and the dignified way with which she conducts her marriage. However.
had you? Strange that you could! With all your acknowledgements and confessions. he then wants to marry her. they will believe nothing you say. and to make conditions with him. Bella. But. It also allows him to present the action of the novel through the eyes of each of them. Clary? (mocking my half-weeping accent) I thought too I had a father and mother. I expected.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 57 ways and finally rapes the young woman while she is under the influence of drugs. The novel handles the interplay of its characters’ psychology with more subtlety and complexity than the previous Pamela. child. very slowly. was her expression! And was it willing to think it had still a brother and sister? And why don’t you go on. that’s all. and as your own matters are gone a great way between his hated Lovelace and you. dies a martyr to the combined cruelty of her lover and her family. indeed I was! For in you. mainly due to a development of Richardson’s epistolary technique which employs two main sets of correspondents: Clarissa and her friend. do you think I would deceive them? Do you think I would encourage them to call you down. Clary. a sister What! Interrupted she. I hoped for. to keep the reader in suspense about what the other is thinking and feeling. but Clarissa refuses and. said I. and your despising airs. taken from one of Clarissa’s letters in which she describes how her sister Bella broke the news that the family decided that the heroine must marry Mr. This arrangement allows Richardson to take the readers into the inner thoughts of the main characters. that will put them out of doubt of the sincerity of your promises. But I find I am mistaken. The excerpt. I am the less obliged to you. proves that the novel is essentially dramatic in form: Obedience without reserve is required of you. My papa is justly incensed that you should presume to dispute his will. are you surprised? Cannot you speak? Then. Filled with remorse. you had expected a different issue. and because you respect one vile wretch more than them all. Pretty Mopsa-eyed soul. and it will be in part true. except you will give the one only instance. to contradict all that I should have invented in your favour? Well. it seems. and Lovelace and his friend. Clary. Solmes.come. Belford. so creditable to your noted prudence! I was indeed speechless for some time: my eyes were even fixed. Anna Howe. with all your mannerly flings. Bella. two uncles and an aunt: but I am mis-taken that’s all . Ioana Mohor-Ivan . and while one of them is explaining what is happening. well. He knows what is best for you. What. I could not tell them how far matters had gone between you and your fellow [Lovelace]? When the intention is to bend that stubborn will of yours to your duty. because you have thrown off their authority. upon the hard-hearted Bella’s proceeding with her airs of insult. and ceased to flow. did you expect that I was capable of telling stories for you? Did you think that when I was asked my own opinion of the sincerity of your declarations. say this. I was willing to think that I had still a brother and a sister. indeed I was mistaken.
in which Clarissa’s tones are often contradicted or qualified. Clary! None of that bridled neck! None of your scornful pity. Lovelace is a villain.if it be a pleasure to you. Though the artificiality it imposed on the writer brought about its disappearance during the next century. and Choderlos de Laclos brilliantly exploited the dramatic possibilities of the form in his only novel.I know you were going to say so. interrupting her. Bella. unless I knew the occasions. Will you go down and humble that stubborn spirit of yours to your mamma? I said nothing. conflicting. and differentiating between the two sisters. sister? But I will only say.but what say you to two or three duels of that wetch’s? I can’t tell what to say. and that’s the way to please you. Jean-Jacques Rousseau employed in his Julie ou la nouvelle Héloise (1761). I will pity myself: for nobody else will. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Then you don’t think him so? Indeed. I pity you. too. And since I must not pity you. when I think him so. Because you don’t. surely. While the novelist is much less obviously in control of the presentation of the scene – with no narrator to stage-manage its development – it is the dialogue alone which carries on the story. Clary. I don’t. but in the end. Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1782). W. Then say. The novel itself may be read as a play of voices. thoroughly vindicated. And what. I will say as you say in everything. for most readers. Bella. at other times. At the end of the 18th century the epistolary novel had a brief but intense European vogue. because I don’t deserve it . So I will. 20th century authors. proceed. said she Hush.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 58 How have I deserved this at your hands. as well as indicating emotion and attitude. And with that disdainful air. Bella! What new talents does it discover in you! But proceed . Goethe used it in The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774). J. Bella. at times communing. Shall I conduct your ladyship sown? (offering to take my declined hand) What! Not vouchsafe to answer me? I turned from her in silence. Do you justify duelling at all? I do not: neither can I help this duelling. girl! I beseech you! This sort of behaviour is natural to you. mean you by that? (bristling up to me) Tell me what you mean by that reflection? Tell me why you call it a reflection? What did I say? Thou art a provoking creature . Saul Bellow in Herzog (1964) and John Barth in the suggestively entitled Letters (1979) have witnessed to its continuing appeal. like Iris Murdoch in An Accidental Man (1971). You did not always.
But Joseph Andrews is not only an enquiry into the character of a virtuous man. 1739-41.in which the chaste young hero is unjustly dismissed for resisting the lures of his employer. which makes the innocent virtue displayed by Richardson’s original heroine appear calculating and conniving. Pasquin (1736) and The Historical Register for the Year 1736 (1737). the editor of The Champion . and the burlesque Jacobite’s Journal. Fielding considers the novel to be “a comic romance” or “a comic epic poem in prose”. which includes “a much larger circle of incidents” and introduces “a greater variety of characters”. in turn. Joseph’s sweetheart ends by asserting the opposing view. on which Fielding theorizes in its Preface. Thus it begins by ridiculing the view that innocence is possible – would a young man-servant reject the advances of his mistress? However. constantly opposes their unaffected goodness and innocence with the greed. the novel intends to make fun of chastity (male) as a heavy moral issue. dense with contemporary allusions directed chiefly at Horace Walpole. with a “more extended and comprehensive” action. the novel develops quite differently: its simple tale . accompanied by Abraham Adams. the Ioana Mohor-Ivan . 1745-46. Supposedly the story of Pamela’s brother. An adept at literary parody and a good stylistic mimic. Fielding resumed his legal studies and also turned to political journalism (becoming. Until the introduction of censorship with the Licensing Act of 1737. Joseph Andrews (1742). 1747-48) as another outlet for his witty inventiveness. writing a series of successful satirical plays like Tom Thumb (1730). under Fielding’s hand. but also an enquiry into the form of a novel. arrogance. which was also intended as a kind of parody of Richardson. Fielding turned to the stage for a living.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 59 5. but as comments on it. and Fanny. The True Patriot. they would not be distorted. which traces the mishaps of the trio on their way home. As such. After the blocking of that avenue. and though the subjects would be treated in a comic way. A year later he replied with a skilful pastiche entitled Shamela (1741). aggression and deceit that characterise the predatory world of Georgian England. Lady Booby. Appealing to Homer and Aristotle as authorities for the new genre. a poor clergyman. Fielding was prompted into novel-writing by the furore caused by the publication of Richardson’s Pamela in 1740. Fielding followed up the same idea with his first novel. This “comic epic” would take its subjects from life and would “follow Nature”.4. and travels homewards. events and characters should be presented not as examples of life. Henry Fielding (1707-54) and the omniscient narrator Henry Fielding was the other dominant figure of the mid-eighteenth century English novel. Moreover. in order to provide the readers with models of ethical behaviour. The episodic narrative.
but can intervene. to imagine he endeavours to mimic some obscure little fellow. if they should return to life . could you receive such an idea of surprise as would have entered in at your eyes had they beheld the Lady Booby when those last words issued out from the lips of Joseph. and thus by suffering private mortification may avoid public shame. but a moralist who believes that through fiction (a fabricated tale which resembles the historian’s narrative. quietly describing what is going on. or some other of ghostly appearance. nor from Phidias or Praxiteles. and endeavour to reduce it. You have seen the faces. as if inviting him to engage in a deeply serious game.but from none of these. now the narrator acts as commentator. now narrator and reader confront one another talking about the game and its implications. explain. still less an entertainer. Mr William Mills. hath ascended. the narrative. that they may contemplate their deformity. how Surprise made one of the sons of Croesus speak. through the trap-door. an omniscient and intrusive narrator who not only controls the lives and destinies of his characters. but goes beyond it to trace permanent features of human nature) can make recommendations about how people should behave: It is therefore doing him [the novelist] little honour. whereas his [the novelist’s] appearance in the world is calculated for much more general and noble purposes. Mr Bridgewater. ‘I shall never survive it!’ Ioana Mohor-Ivan .no. recovering after a silence of two minutes. not to expose one pitiful wretch to the small and contemptible circle of his acquaintance. ‘Your virtue!’ said the lady. the novelist becomes an active shaper and manipulator of the narrative. you have heard likewise. and a shirt all bloody with ribbons . move away from the detail of the story to the general truths which it was intended to illustrate. in the eighteen-penny gallery. As such. and the reader) is often altered: now the actions of the characters completely occupy the reader’s attention. but to hold the glass to thousands in their closets. to soft or no music. though he was dumb. because he happens to resemble him in one particular feature. like in the following fragment where the reader is challenged to visualise Lady Booby’s surprise at Joseph’s recoil from her advances by following the narrator’s instructions: You have heard. or perhaps in his profession. not from the inimitable pencil of my friend Hogarth. In order to achieve this end. poets talk of the statue of Surprise. when.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 60 novelist becomes not simply a chronicler. with a face all pale with powder. reader. Fielding places his novel before the reader. or else you have heard very little. where the distance between its three participants (the narrator.
As can be seen from the above examples. The story of William Booth. the young army officer who has married the virtuous and beautiful Amelia against her mother’s wishes is less exuberant than Fielding’s other fiction. it was her design which succeeded. having relationships with women. A Foundling (1749). from freedom to responsibility. playing a great part in directing the spicing the course of the story. since. despite his faults or yieldings to temptation: Though she behaved at last with all decent reluctance. intending his heroes to be types representative of their sex. Fielding’s last novel. who is virtually a character in his own right. The novel. although some minor characters like Dr Harrison. These omniscient and frequently intrusive authorial utterances invite the reader to sympathise with the hero. or the brave Colonel Bath enliven the representations of human behaviour. As such Tom is eventually rewarded with a happy marriage to Sophia Western. structured in eighteen books. Tom Jones is thus both a vital and fallible hero. But in the course of the journey that he is forced to undertake from the security of Mr Allworthy’s country home to the rickety of London is also a journey from innocence to experience. while pouring scorn on the innocent Heartfree. in fact. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . the woman he has ‘always’ loved and with financial security. for his true origins as Mr Allworthy’s proper heir are promptly discovered. Fielding focuses more on male characters and manners than Richardson. both generous and imprudent. ready instincts and an inability to say no. an ironical contemporary fable that pretends to equate goodness with greatness and concerns the ‘heroic’ character of the century’s most notorious criminal and scoundrel (hanged in 1725). is also distinguished by the way in which the fortunes of the hero are described by a separate narrator. The same holds true for The History of Tom Jones. travelling. part three comprised The life of Jonathan Wild the Great. an honest clergyman. and in its depiction of social evil and legal injustice is generally gloomy. enjoying his freedom in various ways: hunting. yet I rather choose to attribute the triumph to her. Amelia (1751).English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 61 In 1743 Fielding published the three volumes of his Miscellanies. during which the hero matures and learns prudence. is a domestic novel which mirrors its author’s own grim experience of social hardships in the metropolis. where the title character is the model of the male rake reduced to good looks.
Peregrine Pickle (1751). and base indifference to mankind. in his low state. Smollett’s expects his reader to be sympathetic rather than merely curious. As such. malice. and the whimsical peculiarities of disposition appear as nature has implanted them. I hope. like Roderick Random (1748). engage the ingenious more warmly in his behalf. where the humours and passions are undisguised by affectation. or The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves (1762). I persuade myself the judicious will not only perceive the necessity of describing those situations. as the novelist was careful to acknowledge in his preface to Roderick Random: I have attempted to represent modest merit struggling with every difficulty to which a friendless orphan is exposed. in the series of his misfortunes. serves as a frame for the life histories of many of the men and women he meets on his travels. Alain René Le Sage adapted the tradition of the picaresque novel in his Gil Blas (1715). envy. Tobias Smollett (1721 . but also find entertainment in viewing those parts of life.5. to which he must of course be confined. I have allowed him the advantage of birth and education. Smollett has taken a decisive step away from the picaresque tradition by making him a man of good birth. The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom (1753). These novels partly belong to the tradition of picaresque fiction.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 62 5. or education. ceremony. To secure a favourable prepossession. a much more ambitious narrative in which the story of the title hero. and which originated in 16th century Spain. sails to the Ioana Mohor-Ivan . and though I foresee that some people will be offended at the mean scenes in which he is involved. from his own want of experience. but openminded enough to look dispassionately on the raw scenes of low life in which his chosen form of the picaresque novel compels him to place his hero. the earliest example being the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes (1553). which. This is the formula which Smollett himself drew upon. appealing to a much wider range of interests than Le Sage did. Smollett also aimed to charge it with a human warmth that he found lacking in his admired Gil Blas. will.during which he is press-ganged in London. Though his hero’s surname (Random) hints at the chances to which he will be subject. which deals with the lives of thieves and vagabonds. as well as from the selfishness. a respectable young man who falls among thieves. while the circumstances in which Roderick finds himself are due to the ill-will of his grandfather as much as to chance. Roderick will be saved from his surroundings and an incredible series of adventures .71) and the picaresque tradition Tobias Smollett followed Fielding in writing life-stories of high-spirited young men. And like Tom Jones. Nevertheless.
the readers find out the story of the Brambles. . and these driving under their bare poles. a number of officers and sailors ran backward and forward with distraction in their looks. It also bears witness to the cult of sensibility. halloing to one another. and tumbled overboard with a hideous crash! Nor was the prospect in our own ship much more agreeable. indulgence and display of the emotional life. a family who tries to achieve health and social harmony as they travel round Britain. the cracking of cabins. as if they would have shivered into innumerable splinters! [. from the young Oxford student Jery to the young and impressionable Lydia. and threatened. the pipes of the boatswain and his mates. the Smollett’s “realism” finds expression in the slices of documentary or non-fictional matter which are roughly inserted. . the farthest Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Some clung to the yards. bent and quivered like twigs. by his innate good breeding. scarce twelve appeared. and undetermined what they should attend to first. the howling of the wind through the shrouds. Though the plot lacks in plausibility. the confused noise of the ship’s crew. like the following description of a storm at sea which the novelist could have experienced first-hand while a surgeon’s mate in the navy: [ . the trumpets of the lieutenants. . . ] I was wakened by a most terrible din. Through the interplay of several letter-writers’ outlook. And. occasioned by the play of the gun-carriages upon the deck above. Matthew Bramble. but of the nation and of all society.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 63 West Indies. which had already entered fiction several decades earlier. Humphry Clinker (1771) differs from the rambling narratives of his other fictions by adopting the old-fashioned form of the epistolary novel. and the clanking of the chain pumps.] Smollett’s last novel. from the semi-literate servant Win to the frustrated spinster aunt Tabitha. prompting a real flowering and display of humanitarian ideals and philanthropic action. other tried to furl those who which were yet whole. As such. a benevolent elderly hypochondriac. on the top of which our ship sometimes hung as if it was about to be precipitated to the abyss below! Sometimes we sunk between two waves that rose on each side higher than our top-mast head. to overwhelm us in a moment! Of all our fleet. while the masts. and had brought about an interest in the analysis. and will finally be rewarded by a happy marriage to the beautiful Narcissa. . consisting of a hundred and fifty sail. at every pitch. endeavouring to unbend the sails that were split into a thousand pieces flapping in the wind. [. is kidnapped and taken to France by smugglers -. at the mercy of the tempest. significantly. At length the mast of one of them gave way.] The sea was swelled into billows mountain high. by dashing together. . the health in question is not just the health of the principal character.
for a moment or two as we pass along. for his narrator’s thoughts ramble forward. 5. Influenced by John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) . and tell my own story my own way: . but does not allow its character to be born until the fourth volume. which is narrated in the first person. becoming thus a parody of the autobiographical novel. Laurence Sterne (1713-68) and the anti-novel The tradition of the English novel. covering every subject under the sun. or laugh at me. Sterne was addressing his readers even at the outset of his work pointing up the absurdities. not far from Smollett’s own birthplace. with the narrator being led from one topic to another in an Ioana Mohor-Ivan . backward. do anything. a middle and an end. having thus a beginning. contradictions and impossibilities of relating time-space-reality relationship in a linear form: Nothing which has touched me will be thought trifling in its nature. or in short. describing a wide range of characters and their peculiarities. beyond a mere observation of human actions with moral overtones. begins on the night of Tristram’s conception. As such. If plot was supposed to follow the natural order of things.6. to finally end some four years before his birth. only keep your temper.the novel attempts to imitate “what passes in a man’s own mind”. the novel. at Dumbarton. or tedious in its telling. after less than a century of existence. and as we jog on. The author deliberately hinders all movement. with the story of Tristram’s life never getting told.don’t fly off.where the family finally reach a kind of utopia . either laugh with me. . if I should seem now and then to trifle upon the road.is a “Scottish paradise” at Loch Lomond. -r should sometimes put on a fool’s cap with a bell to it. is the first to parody the existing conventions of the form.and let me go on. . The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. a highly original 8-volume novel published between 1760 and 1767.which viewed mental life as a stream of ideas. but never able to carry a story to its end. linked together by chance and flowing on beyond the control of the human being which were its hosts .Or. Therefore. place and action and extending thus the boundaries of what fiction meant. if you should think me somewhat sparing of my narrative on my first setting out – bear with me. my dear friend and companion. .but rather courteously give me credit for a little more wisdom than appears upon my outside.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 64 point of the journey . sideways. upsetting previous notions of time. started to lend itself to subversive experimentation once Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy made its entrance onto the literary scene.
the local clergyman named after the jester in Hamlet. as the consciousness of every individual is conditioned by his private train of associations.I anticipate matters. . episodes going off at a tangent from the ‘main’ line of the plot. lines and curves to display the difficulty of keeping to one single line of his story. a page with a marbled design on it. With no declared ideological or moral position other than to be a unique. only because the story. his uncle Toby’s “hobby horse” is the theory and practice of fortification and siege warfare.or to drop my metaphor.or else in the middle of his and my uncle Toby’s campaigns on the bowling-green. “civil. explaining the problems he confronts as an author: . Walter Shandy. (for there is nothing more dishonest in an historian than the use of one. and the retired military man who has fought on the Continental wars spends much of his time attempting to reconstruct the battle of Namur on the bowling green. . in one sense.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 65 apparently random way. . such as a blank sheet. The characters themselves are further illustrations of Locke’s theory. which leads to the accidental mis-naming of the child. though much against my will. I must give you some account of an adventure of Trim’s. The same effect is achieved by Sterne’s use of graphological means.) . Ioana Mohor-Ivan . in which Corporal Trim was no mean actor. For example. either among the anecdotes of my uncle Toby’s amours with widow Wadman.I fear I must give you an exact account of the road which led to it.and if I tell it here . . is the theory of names. Trismegistus. I say much against my will. with his private obsessions. a collection of asteriks. to understand how my Uncle Toby could mistake the bridge . . Thus.for it will do very well in either place.in order to conceive the probability of this error in my Uncle Toby aright. in a conversational manner that rustles on headlong.e. or an unfinished tale of the King of Bohemia. .I ruin the story I’m upon. but then if I reserve it for either of those parts of my story. . i. with no regard for consistency or coherence. non-sensical and good-humoured Shandean book”. if the obsession of Tristram’s father. Slop when delivering the baby) prompts the narrator intervene with a long digression on noses. such as illustrated by the following excerpt in which the narrator enters into a direct dialogue with his imaginary audience. or “hobby-horses”. corrupting the Greek name of the Egyptian god of wisdom. who proves fully aware of the artificiality of his form and the fact that he is engaging in an intricate game with the reader. the accident on Tristram’s nose (flattened with the forceps by Dr. a solemn and extensive oath of excommunication in Latin. is certainly out of its place here. Other digressions are provided by a sermon delivered by Yorrick. interrupting the narrative with frequent digressions. proving that each man lives in a world of his own. for by right it should come in. much of the appeal of Tristram Shandy is to be sought for in its selfconscious narrator. with the translation given on the opposite page.
The novel is an improbable fairy-tale about Dr. and great ones too) . to all these the vicar responds with gentle resignation and fortitude. Mr. published his Rousseauisque fable on the antithesis between the goodness and innocence of man’s natural emotions and the corrupting power of society. as they have done just here . The Vicar of Wakefield. Tristram. . .You are a fool. in 1766.7. Oliver Goldsmith.Tell it. and see how many scrapes and plunges your subjects hourly fall into. as well as a number of accidents. which eventually. exemplified by authors like Samuel Beckett.will you do one thing? I beg and beseech you (in case you will do nothing better for us) that wherever in any part of your dominions it so falls out. in mere charity to direct an uncertain devil which of the three he is to take. Vladimir Nabokov or John Fowles. the novel is finally huddled to a happy ending. came to be associated with emotions. successful as a poet and comic dramatist. by all means. The first truly experimental English novel. in reaction to the ideas of the Enlightment placing their emphasis on reason and order. that three several roads meet in one point. finding his greatest happiness by the domestic hearth with his wife and children) who is led by the activities of the wordly and the vicious.which enable mortal man to tell a story worth hearing . by implausible contrivance. who preside over this vast empire of biographical freebooters.and what he is to leave out how much of it he is to cast into the shade. 5. there became more and more prevalent the belief that sentiment could influence social development more powerfully. the literary atmosphere started to witness the replacement of the neoclassical calm detachment and mocking attitude by the compassionate note meant to rouse the reader’s sympathy for their fellow men. himself is cheated and deceived in numerous ways until he finds himself in the local jail. As such. where he is to begin it . Nevertheless. accused of severely injuring a man in a duel.that at least you set up a guide-post in the centre of them.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 66 and ruin it there. his elder daughter is apparently seduced and ‘ruined’ by the local squire. his eldest son becomes a fellow prisoner. and. Shandy. Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy has become the model for the 20th-century anti-novel. . O ye POWERS! (for powers ye are.and whereabouts he is to throw his light! . from one misfortune to another: his fortune is lost. Primrose (the vicar of the title and a person who combines learning with innocence. under the influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau’s philosophy.Ye.what he is to put into it . if you do.that kindly shew him. law and civilisation. where the lost fortune is Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Oliver Goldsmith (1730-74) and the sentimental novel During the second half of the 18th century. .What would your worships have me to do in this case? .
who had been reading romances. a concept from classical Greek which entered English thought through the French of Boileau and found its definitive explanation in Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful. . but a rich relation taking a fancy to stand god-mother.] My children. after an interval of twelve years. so they were at once well-formed and healthy. though I had but six. the son is freed and able thus to marry his first love. and consequently looked upon it as my debtor. a new shift in sensibility occurred toward what came to be called “the sublime”. which promised to be the supports of my declining age. as the most valuable offering he had to bestow. and properly speaking. for him. insisted upon her being called Olivia.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 67 restored. but my wife. we had two sons more. or ‘terror’. but I solemnly protest I had no hand in it. the ‘ruined’ daughter is discovered alive and married to her seducer. credulous. simple and inoffensive 5. when other countries came with their treasures. When I stood in the midst of the little circle. and presented them to his sovereign. . who left us ten thousand pounds. In less than another year we had another daughter. who. The Gothic novel In the last decades of the century. brought his thirty-two children. the offspring of temperance. Published between 1757-9. Our second child. the girl was by her direction called Sophia: so that we had two romantic names in the family. because. Burke’s essay was to become a key text of the times. displaying an emphasis on feelings and on imagination. the sublime is Ioana Mohor-Ivan .8. I considered them as a very valuable present made to my country. in the slight but effective differentiations in character between the various members of the family. as they were educated without softness. Nevertheless. and. . the real achievements of Goldsith’s novel are to be found in the way in which the tale is told in the firstperson point of view. they had but one character. I intended to call after her aunt Grissel. after his uncle. . my sons hardy and active. and the comprehensive picture of provincial. in Henry the Second’s progress through Germany. ] a family likeness prevailed through all. Moses was our next. a girl. and now I was determined that Grissel should be her name. In this manner. my daughters beautiful and blooming. Burke’s idea of the sublime goes beyond natural beauty into the realms of awe. family life that it provides: [ . [. in stark contrast to the neoclassicist insistence on form and reason. that of being all equally generous. Our eldest son was named George. I could not avoid repeating the famous story of Count Abensberg. In spite of the deliberate naivities of the story and the moralising and sentimental exhibitions of feeling.
Theodore. But in a series of novels written from the 1760s to the 1790s. vaults. to the castle of her new husband. such as Ann Radcliffe and Clara Reeve. Manfred engineers the marriage of Conrad. which featured haunted castles. Alonso. initiating this sub-genre in English literature. is forced to follow her tyrannical aunt. the young heroine. his son. forest caves. Madame Cheron. But the series of sinister and frightening occurrences Ioana Mohor-Ivan . The term “Gothic” has medieval and architectural connotations. emotion and feeling. after allowing the novelist extract maximum of suspense and excitement. the term came to be associated with mystery. is in fact the offspring of a usurper who had poisoned the rightful heir. For example. at the end of the novel. The immediate widespread popularity of the Gothic novel was also helped at the hands of several accomplished women writers. which moves between the unlikely and the totally incredible. But his plans are thwarted by a peasant boy. who helps Isabella escape and who. with castles. It is a story of medieval times. vaults. to the beautiful Isabella and then attempts to enforce himself on the maiden once his son gets mysteriously killed. The Castle of Otranto. old manuscripts unexpectedly discovered. Emily.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 68 ‘productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling”. The novels of Ann Radcliffee (1764-1822) are typical in this respect. statues which come to life. in The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794). Manfred. the cruel Montoni. which grows enormous and overthrows the castle burring a terrified Manfred with it. are always explained in the end as produced by natural causes. spectres rising from the grave and wild landscapes. sudden violent death. is proclaimed the true price of Otranto by a suddenly enlivened statue of Alonso. ivy-covered and owl-haunted ruins. The link between the sublime and terror is most clearly seen in the “Gothic novel”. acquiring the generic meaning of “horror fantasy”. a form which concentrated on the fantastic. ghosts. romance. sliding panels. the actual prince of Otranto. the novel published by Horace Walpole (1717-97) in 1764 is the first of this kind. Passion. being generally held to refer to the kind of European building characterised by its use of pointed arches which had flourished in the Middle Ages. such as secret passages. and the supernatural incidents. set in south Italy. Radciffe’s most successful novel. who combined Gothic sensationalism with the cult of feeling. their emphasis falls on romance. Haunted by the prophecy foretelling the end of his male line and the return of the rightful heir. Linking it thus with terror. and the whole paraphernalia of horror. grief and terror are the mainstrays of the plot. the macabre and the supernatural. Though they still employ standard Gothic properties.
gives birth to a monster. her first and faithful lover. childbirth and responsibility. such as is the case in the following fragment in which the monster utters his first words to another human being: My heart beat quick. an eight-foot hideous creature who will become responsible for the death of his family. one may often cite the creature’s own point of view. with a corresponding emphasis on the creature as an outcast .English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 69 which the two face at Udolpho and which eventually lead to the aunt’s death are proven to have been engineered by Montoni himself. ‘I am a traveller in want of a little rest. turned his attentions to Emily. and. as well as his own eventual destruction. fiancee. Nevertheless. instead of creating a perfect human being.an innocent who has had human life thrust upon him and who is destined to roam the icy waters (a vision of 20th-century wastelands) in solitude. Again I rose. in the meantime. while its title is liable of giving a new word to the language. All was silent in and around the cottage. ‘Who is there?’ said the old man . During the 20th century. the subject of Mary Shelley’s novel was raised to the level of universal myth. this was the hour and moment of trial which would decide my hopes or realise my fears. exerting all the firmness of which I was master. I entered. when I proceeded to execute my plan. with renewed determination I approached the door of their cottage. with Emily’s return to her native Gascony where she is happily reunited with the Chevalier de Valancour. I knocked. Nevertheless. yet. my limbs failed me. many modern readings have reacted against the cinematic image of the monster. you would greatly oblige. in the nick of time the heroine manages to escape and the resolution seals the triumph of good. if you would allow me to remain a few minutes before the fire.’ Ioana Mohor-Ivan . removed the planks which I had placed before my hovel to conceal my retreat.’ said I. it was an excellent opportunity. Here the ‘horror’ element of the story is related to the unsuccessful experiment of the hero. The servants were gone to a neighbouring fair. Frankenstein. ‘Pardon this intrusion. who. To support this view.‘Come in’. the novel published by Mary Shelley (1797-1851) in 1818. and. who has. is not properly Gothic if compared to The Castle of Otranto and The Mysteries of Udolpho. and I sunk to the ground. balancing with pathos the horror which other narrative voices describe. which is given full voice in the epistolary form of the novel. the young doctor Victor Frankenstein. The fresh air revived me. mostly due to the Hollywood film industry. preferring to read the tale as a psychological exploration of creation. where the virginal female victim is subjected to increasingly exaggerated horrors.
The novel displays a lively awareness of the Irish scene as well as that of the moral and psychological problems arising out of an impinging new social order. ‘provincial’ novels. was one of the best-known literary figures of the time. where the particular detail and the humour and sense of character enlists the sympathetic participation of the reader. Her fictional work established Edgeworth as a writer of small-scale. who has witnessed their excesses and improvidence for the past three generations.9. Jason. for Thaddy’s son. especially in view of his son’s eventual possession of the estate. predatory middle-class. Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849) and the regional novel Maria Edgeworth. writing of the Irish social scene at the time when the Act of Union passed in 1801 had brought Ireland fully into he United Kingdom. In the same order of ideas. The novel is set in 1782. Sir Condy. who educated himself and managed to become a lawyer. these novels proved to become an acknowledged influence on Walter Scott. who praised Edgeworth’s innovations in his praface to Waverley (1814) and followed their model in his own depictions of the Scottish provincial scene. The present landlord.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 70 5. while the use of Hiberno-English (a term applied to those varieties of English spoken and sometimes written in Ireland) in Thaddy’s narrative. published in 1800. The addition to the text of a preface. It focuses on the history of a family of Irish landlords. the retainer’s selfprofessed loyalty to the Reckrents becomes ambiguous. aiming to provide a vivid picture of the Irish social conditions preceding the Union. is intended as a representative of a rising. Sir Kit. such as the following fragment illustrates: Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Jason. Castle Reckrent. Sir Murtagh. the next Rackrent. reveals an interest in regional varieties of language. eventually loses the estate by loans and litigations to Thaddy’s own son. Thady’s narrative starts with the story of the lavish entertainer Sir Patrick Rackrent. or ‘the great Maria’ – as she came to be known -. is a gambler who fares no better. who dies in a rage against the enemies whom he continually sues.s. and the Rackrents’ line is ended when Condy himself dies trying to emulate one of his grandfather’s drinking feats. At the same time. being killed in a duel.emts of antiquarian and sociological commentary. footnotes and a glossary introduces s. who drinks himself to death. is the first of these. Then it goes on to that of Sir Patrick’s eldest son. in both a political and legal sense. their steward. whose path to ruin is narrated by Thady Quirk.
they proved even more active in producing a different type of novel. -So the house was quite bare.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 71 Then we were all bustle in the house. down to the very knife cloths. Of her later novels. The novel of social and domestic life If women took an active part in producing the gothic novel. I had been so used to my late master and mistress. on the cars to Dublin.1. Castle Reckrent was followed by Belinda (1810). Edgeworth’s keen. Fanny Burney (1752-1840) is the author of a series of novels which portray how a young woman grows up and develops as she enters and experiences the society of her day. 1834. for my late lady had sent all the featherbeds off before her.Sir Murtagh. had no children.a young dashing officer . while Ormond (1817) is innovative in its exploration of the effect of reading on the titlehero. For my part. I forgot to notice. whose tortured life has elements of gothic mystery. but the house was all hurry-skurry. all was upside down with me. with another spark along with him. lawfully plaid for out of her own money. and my young master. or. which were all her own. or he in a public-house. in a gig or some of them things. and if it had not been for my pipe and tobacco should.10. and household linen. The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World. in a fever. a satiric novel in which the wicked Lady Delacour. preparing for my new master. Here the chief interest lies in the delineation of manners and the detail and intimacy with which the behaviour of characters in a specific and limited social environment is described. I verily believe. 5. namely the one of contemporary social and domestic life. the moment ever he set foot in it out of his gig. for he never looked after any thing at all. at the other end of the scale. and servants. Helen (1834) presents a depressing view of the prospects for Irish society. I had nobody to talk to. and dogs. and the new servants in the servants’ hall were quite out of my way.” 5. I believe. and blankets. thought all those things must come of themselves. I could not bestir myself any how.10. but disillusioned love of Ireland which her work records is also acknowledged in a letter dated the same year. The Absentee (1812) deals with the ill-effects of landlord absenteeism in Ireland. and scarce a place to put any Christian of them into. . for I walk slow and hate a bustle. is reformed by the title-character. and led horses. so the Rackrent estate went to his younger brother . Ioana Mohor-Ivan . but harum-scarum called for every thing as if we were conjurers. which made me keep out of the way. have broke my heart for poor Sir Murtagh. in which the novelist declared it impossible to write fiction about the post-Union Ireland: “The people would only break the glass and curse the fool who held the mirror up to nature – distorted nature.who came amongst us before I knew for the life of me whereabouts I was. The first of them and the one which established her reputation is Evelina.
brought up in rural seclusion until the age of 17 when she is sent to see the world and also enters the world of fashion. the novel traces the story of the title-heroine. Austen’s novels portray small groups of people in a limited.10. who are middle-class and provincial. like in Richardson. developed around innocent heroines like Evelina and Cecilia. Memoirs of an Heiress. a girl of humble education. have as their most urgent preoccupations courtship. Her characters. concerns the fortunes of Cecilia Beverley. Jane Austen (1775-1817) ranks as the greatest of these women novelists. 5. perhaps confining environment. turning her fictions into representations of universal patterns of behaviour. in seven months (and three volumes) tutor her education in selfknowledge. is probably the first. but completed in 1798. published in 1818. who is victimised by her three unscrupulous guardians. Northanger Abbey. nor any pretentiously announced didactic purpose. There she suffers a series of frustrations and humiliations until she meets the right people. blended with vivid observation. Her second novel. Though one finds no exhibitionist critical apparatus. The novel gently satirises the 1790s enthusiasm for Ioana Mohor-Ivan . while their greatest ambition proves to be marriage. who. In both of them the tone is gently satirical. herself. Austen’s novels remain arresting because she managed to apply the microscope to human motivation and character. published in 1782. prudence and discretion and eventually turn her into a right match for Lord Orville himself. like in Fielding. as well as the ironic awareness of the tensions between spontaneity and convention. Briggs and the Hon. Harrel. Their strength lies in comedy and the comedy of domestic life. Cecilia.2. the one who raised the genre to a new level of art by applying the techniques of the novel to the acute observation of the provincial society of her time. where a gentle irony is deployed in order to point to the underlying moral commentary. in the persons of the aristocratic Lady Howard and Lord Orville. Burney inherited the form from Richardson and Fielding.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 72 published in 1778. or between the claims of personal morality and those of social and economic propriety. but handled it in such a way that would prove useful to Jane Austen. Compton Delville until she is eventually allowed to find a modicum of happiness with her lover Mortimer Delville. The apparently trivial incidents of their life are moulded by the author into a poised comedyof-manners. while society and the aspirations to be part of it are their main concerns. Employing an epistolary form. As a novelist. or. which display the vision of man as a social animal.
if hard pressed. Consider. and charming even as were the works of all her imitators. the opening of Pride and Prejudice: It is a truth generally acknowledged. who remain quite the same throughout the novel. who humiliates herself in the eyes of her fiancé’s father when she misconstrues the atmosphere and events occurring at the Tilneys’ home (the rebuilt old abbey of the title) as part of a gothic novel situation: Charming as were all Mrs. and irony determines something of the point of view shared between an invisible third person narrator and the reader. it was not in them perhaps that human nature. for example. It is this development which allows them a happy marriage. published in 1813. In the novels which followed. less obviously intended to ridicule and more concerned with the acute depiction of character and interaction. while the other characters. Their closely worked out plots usually involve the twists and turns of emotion in search for love. might be as fruitful in horrors as they were there represented.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 73 the gothic sub-genre. while Marianne stands for sensibility and impulsive emotions. by contrasting day-to-day life with the imagined horrors of Ann Radcliffe’s novels. was to be looked for. and the South of France. published in 1811. settle back at the end into their accustomed modes of behaviour. The author’s distanced and slightly ironic observation of the heroine and of the love-intrigues in fashionable Bath already displays the tone and point of view which Austen was to refine in her later works. Radcliffe’s works. that a single man in possession of a good fortune. at least in the midland counties of England. must be in want of a wife. would have yielded the northern and western extremities. Austen continues to focus on young heroines. Catherine Morland. Catherine dared not doubt beyond her own country. Sisters are often contrasted. the explicit manipulation of the reader which characterised Fielding’s narrators dissapears. like in Sense and Sensibility. and Italy. Of the Alps and Pyrenees. and even of that. with their pine forests and their vices. where Elizabeth Bennett and Darcy have first to discover themselves and then each other in their loss of pride and prejudice. like in Pride and Prejudice. Austen’s use of point of view also becomes more sophisticated. in which Elinor represents sense and self-control. happiness and social status. These have had a considerable effect on the impressionable heroine. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on this first entering a neighbourhood. Switzerland. this truth is so well fixed in Ioana Mohor-Ivan . they might give a faithful delineation. marriage. Though she employs the omniscient point of view.
and thus colludes with the author/narrator in the telling of the tale. manages. Austen uses free indirect speech or adjectives that represent her characters’ own opinions and attitudes rather than those of the author/narrator. and rich. Sixteen years had Miss Taylor been in Mr Woodhouse’s family. Emma Woodhouse. The real evils indeed of Emma’s situation were the power of having rather too much her own way. Between them it was more the intimacy of sisters. indulgent father. less as a governess than a friend. but directed chiefly by her own.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 74 the minds of the surrounding families. in consequence of her sister’s marriage. and Emma doing just what she liked. they had been living together as friend and friend mutually attached. The reader is invited to share it before proceeding with the reading of what subsequently happens to the members of the Bennett family once their interest in the new tenants at Netherfield is aroused. “My dear Mr. Bennet. At other times. She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate. very fond of both daughters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of governess. highly esteeming Miss Taylor’s judgement. and her place had been supplied by an excellent woman as governess. clever. but particularly fond of Emma. that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters. with a comfortable home and happy disposition. seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence. without explicitely interpellating the reader with the address “dear reader”. and a disposition to think a little too well of herself. and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her. been mistress of his house from a very early period. and the shadow of authority being now long passed away. whose confidence in her own understanding of people and her well-meaning desire to manipulate the lives of her social inferiors as well as some of her equals will involve her in a number of delusions: . the mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint. “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?” The first sentence. In this case the reader is silently manipulated into a situation of plural points of view. these were the disadvantages which threatened ally to Ioana Mohor-Ivan .” said his lady to him one day. The following excerpt represents the beginning of Emma. nevertheless. represented by the interplay of that of the author/narrator and character. who had fallen little short of a mother in affection. and had. or an explicit and implicit one. to effectively give him the premise on which the author will work. handsome. Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses. the novel published in 1816 which tells the story of a rich and clever girl. like in Fielding.
the exact nature of Emma’s relationship with Miss Taylor. Choose a text for illustration Ioana Mohor-Ivan . in which the narrative is carried by author and character together. is the one which Jane Austen refined. Susannah Centlivre and the comedy-of-manners Novelists: Ann Radcliffe. This narrative strategy.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 75 her many projects. The danger. however. The 18th . while still providing readers with her own (often ironic) view of character. the narrator rapidly summarises the circumstances likely to breed her arrogance: deprived of her mother’s guidance at an early age.century novel Definition of the novel Conditions for the rise of the novel in the 18th century Characteristics of the 18th-century novel Representative authors and narrative techniques Choose a text for illustration 2. enabling her to reveal a character’s feelings more directly. the governess. The Gothic novel. is rendered more emphatic by means of a shift of point of view between the author/narrator and the heroine herself. Task Consider the following topics to defend in oral or written form: 1.a gentle sorrow . that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her. Women writers of the 17th-. 18th – and early 19th – centuries Playwrights: Aphra Behn. was at present so unperceived. Fanny Burney. Maria Edgeworth and the regional novel.but not at all in the shape of any disagreeable consciousness. In the third paragraph. Choose a text for illustration and analysis 3. though the latter is not allowed to appear entirely in the light of her own point of view because the reports of her thinking are still in the third person. Sorrow came . she had assumed the role of mistress of the house due to an indulgent father and a governess who had supplied her with a mother’s affection and not discipline. After subtly setting the heroine for a fall in the first sentence by means of the series of three epithets which encapsulate the deceptiveness of Emma’s seeming “contentment”. . Jane Austen and the novel of manners.Miss Taylor married. Pre-romantic attitudes in prose Cultural context: the Age of Sensibility The sentimental novel. Mary Shelley and the Gothic novel.
Thomas Gray. but to distinct ways of seeing and experiencing life: The Augustans stressed the importance of reason and order. to their own soul and the life of the imagination. The Augustans looked outward to society. The Augustans developed a formal and ordered way of writing. Strong feelings and flights of imagination had to be controlled. others. or Robert Burns become pointers to the English Romantic age. poetry began to explore new themes. While some voices. because they trusted intellect and the head. Between Reason and Sensibility 6.4. and being critical of society and what they consider to be its injustices. Neoclassical Vs. In contradistinction. Proto-Romantics 6. still pay tribute to the waning neo-classical ideals.1. Romantic Paradigms 6. the beginnings of which are marked by the publication of Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads in 1798. Romantic Poetry: William Blake 6. The following comparison between the Classical/Augustan Age and Romanticism might reveal that the two periods refer not only to two different attitudes to literature. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . characterised by the balance and symmetry of the heroic couplet (in poetry) and by an adherence to the conventions of a special poetic diction. celebrating a social order in which everyone knew his or her place. Between Sensibility and Romanticism 6.5.2. like those of John Thomson. Neoclassical Vs. Romantic Paradigms During the second half of the eighteenth century. which attempts to capture the ebb and flow of individual experience in forms and language intended to be closer to everyday speech. reacting thus against the formal. Samuel Johnson. self-consciously heightened.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 76 Chapter 6 – The Movement from Neo-Classicism to Romanticism in Poetry 6. The Romantics employ a different kind of writing.3. In their turn.1. like that of Dr. mystical and the supernatural. the Romantics are attracted by the irrational. handled in more low-key language and forms which often lacked the bite of satire. the Romantics look inward. celebrating the freedom of nature and of individual experience. and satirically self-referential poetry of the Augustans. paralleling developments in the novel.
6. 6. Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies. Samuel Johnson (1704-84) is the major author of the period who is still strongly anchored in the neoclassical tradition. flattery and fashion to the dangers of wishful thinking. exemplifies the transition between neo-classical and romantic writing with two long poems written in heroic couplets.2. a solitary guest.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 77 The transition between the two aesthetic matrices is linked to the specific historical contexts of the agrarian and industrial revolutions which occurred at that same time. . London (1739) and The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749) he tried to modernise the Roman poet Juvenal in order to attack various evils of “the thoughtless age” he lived in: from courtiers. mechanised society where individuals lost their identity. Johnson was also a poet who used the heroic couplet mainly for moralising purposes.] How often have I blessed the coming day. taking the form of a pastoral elegy which contrasts an idyllic rural past with the harsh reality of the present. Between Reason and Sensibility 6. The Traveller (1764) and The Deserted Village (1770). Ioana Mohor-Ivan . In the two verse satires that he wrote. As the small towns and villages were replaced by s more impersonal.2. consciousness and freedom. represented by the Enclosure Acts and the depopulation of agrarian communities triggered by the Industrial Revolotion. Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all. nature and individual sensibility. [. 1755) and literary critic (The Lives of the Poets. When toil remitting lent its turn to play. Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774). leading to the decay of such a previously happy place: Along thy glades. where Goldsmith had grown up. from labour free. the writers often sought to correct this imbalance by giving greater value to the countryside. The latter is the most famous of the two. Dr. .1.2. And the long grass o’ertops the mould’ring wall. And tires their echoes with unvaried cries. though not primarily a poet. And all the village train. The Deserted Village is the imaginary and idealised Auburn. The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest. 1779-81). Best remembered as a lexicographer (author of the Dictionary of the English Language.2. recreated in part from his childhood memories of the Irish Westmeath. and the poem laments the vanishing of traditions and that of the romantic pleasures of rural life brought by the fact that money and progress have become more important than human destinies.
in which the writer offered a precise and detailed view of his native Aldeburgh in Suffolk. Who. On which. but his sad emblem now. and as Bards will not”. he climbed the loftiest bough. attempting to show that country life was not idyllic. propped on that rude staff. not a romantic dream. stresses the ‘pure pleasures of rural life’. Almost a quarter of a century later.1748) is the first poet of the age who chose to reject the heroic couplet and use. 6. a poem in 24 ‘letters’ sent to a friend. And many a gambol frolicked o’er the ground. that offspring round their feeble fire. Thomson’s vision of nature as harsh. While many a pastime circled in the shade. James Thomson (1700 . 6. a boy. with no denial of the Ioana Mohor-Ivan . who dream of rural ease. especially in winter. published season by season between 1726 and 1730.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 78 Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree. Then his first joy. The Seasons aim to describe the countryside at different times of the year. but bountiful. Go. The young contending as the old surveyed. “as Truth will paint it. due respect and ease. Go! If the peaceful cot your praises share. Nor yet can time itself obtain for these Life’s latest comforts. that matron pale. whose trmbling hand Turns on the wretched hearth th’expiring brand. a quasi-Miltonian blank verse in his four long poems. Or theirs. By vividly painting the squalor and poverty of the lives of humble farmers.that drooping weary sire. whose age Can with no cares except its own engage. instead. rejecting thus both the idealisation of rural life and the oversentimental identification with it (in which city fashion often indulged). look within. often interlarding the descriptive passages with meditations on man. agricultural laborious.2. and ask if peace be there: If peace be his . Crabbe was attacking both the Arcadian ideal as well as the complacency with which towndwellers viewed their lot: Ye gentle souls. Or hers.3. And sleights of art and feats of strength went round. but a continual trial. For yonder see that hoary swain. fishermen.3. George Crabbe (1754 .1832) in The Village (1783) reacted against the view of rurality as that of a lost golden age.1. Crabbe continued his bleak descriptions of country life in The Borough (1810).3. Between Sensibility And Romanticism 6. Whom the smooth stream and smoother sonnet please. looks up to see The bare arms broken from the withering tree.
While the neoclassical authors regarded melancholia as a weakness. Wide flush the fields. where natural description prompted moral reflections on the human situation.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 79 pain these pleasures can involve. . tempest o’er tempest rolled. Thomson diverged thus from the neoclassical writers in many important ways: through sweeping vistas and specific details in contrast to circumscribed. And all so forming an harmonious whole That. Such beauty and beneficence combines. they ravish still. Majestic darkness! . the pervasive mood of the Complaint is a sentimental and pensive contemplation of loss. In his treatment of nature.1765). so softening into shade. the melancholy meditations against a backdrop of tombs and death indicate a major departure from the conventions and convictions of the preceding generation. exuberance instead of balance. Deep felt in these appear! A simple train. these Are but the varied God! The rolling year Is full of Thee. Yet so delightful mixed. so that the tone of his Seasons is far removed from that of the classical idyll: These. in carefully wrought gloomy context of night.2. Then comes Thy glory in the Summer months. Death and Immortality (1742-46). as they change. The last of these was also the major concern of the so-called poets of the “Graveyard School”. generalised landscapes. Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined. and a hailing of philosophic melancholy. as they still succeed. is joy. broods over his sorrow. In Winter awful Thou! With clouds and storms Around Thee thrown. The foremost of them was Edward Young (1683 . as the speaker. Nevertheless. with such kind art. unperceived. With light and heat refulgent . 3. and every heart. exemplifying the strain of descriptive and meditative poetry. . . And every sense. Thy tenderness and love. Shade. the softening air is balm. Almighty Father. meditating on mortality and immortality: Ioana Mohor-Ivan . the forest smiles. what force divine. of hard work and harsh landscapes. Forth in the pleasing Spring Thy beauty walks. Echo the mountains round. And spreads a common feast for all that lives. or Night Thoughts on Life. whose early verses were in the Augustan tradition. . developing throughout the 18th century. 6. Mysterious round! What skill. His celebration of nature is thus closely allied with a sense of desolation. . in his The Complaint.
concerns the consideration of “loss” in the village’s lack of ambition. Gray’s Elegy opens with a contemplation of the landscape. how dead! And darkness. in some senses. becoming. Having thus introduced the poet’s considerations of the “rude forefathers” of the village and “the short and simple annals of the poor”. however. for The Elegy is given an unexpected turn at the end.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 80 Night. In rayless majesty now stretches forth Her leaden sceptre o’er a slumbering world. though the poem is considerably different in emphasis. The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. revealing the poet’s own epitaph: Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown. The plowman homeward plods his weary way. Each in his narrow cell forever laid. Where heaves the turf in many a moldering heap. sable goddess! From her ebon throne. Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such.1771) Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751) is often considered the central text in this tradition. Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . that yew tree’s shade. Silence. how profound! Nor eye nor listening ear an object finds. And all the air a solemn stillness holds. Thomas Gray’s (1716 . And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds. Beneath those rugged elms. And Melancholy marked him for her own. And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight. and the passing of the poet’s own life. Molest her ancient solitary reign. the poem alternates then between generalised abstractions and individual examples that turn it into an affirmation of simple lives and their values. Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth. Creation sleeps. The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea. The elegiac element. a life-affirming reconsideration of rural values. as wandering near her secret bower. which is gradually emptied of both sights and sounds as dusk descends and the meditative tone is thus set: The curfew tolls the knell of parting day.
the vaulted shrine around. often connected to a remoter and more magical world related to the mythical past. Collected in the Highlands of Scotland and Translated from the Gaelic or Erse Language (1760) and Poems. thou rich-haired Youth of Morn. And she. from out the veiling cloud. and forests tall.4. William Collins (1721 .1. a committee of inquiry concluded that he had treated the Gaelic material in a free and selective fashion. which is the poet himself: The band. i. Now sublimest trimph swelling. Among these. the strange and the mysterious. Was wove on that creating day. Supposed to Have Been Written at Bristol. adding much verse of Ioana Mohor-Ivan . And poured the main engirting all. And placed her on his sapphire throne. which are visionary and intensely lyrical.4. Collin’s Ode on the Poetical Character ranks as an early dramatic engagement with one of the central topics of the Romantic age. a Gaelic warrior and poet appearing in the old Irish tales included in the Cycle of Leinster. He gained from Heaven (‘twas all he wished) a friend. 6. Though critics like Samuel Johnson challenged the authenticity of Macpherson’s Ossianic poems and. Long by the loved Enthusiast wooed.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 81 Large was his bounty. a tear. The whiles.1759) foreshadows the concerns of the Romantic poets in his Odes on Several Descriptive and Allegorical Subjects (1746). Fragments of Ancient Poetry. Heaven did a recompense as largely send: He gave to Misery all he had. in the Fifteenth Century (1778). the origin and role of the creative imagination.2. Seraphic wires were heard to sound. Now on love and mercy dwelling. James Macpherson (1736-96) and Thomas Chatterton (1752-70) are noteworthy for two literary fabrications. And all thy subject life was born! 6. When He.e. by Thomas Rowley and Others. Himself in some diviner mood.4. Breathed her magic notes aloud: And thou. and his soul sincere. sate with her alone. Retiring. after the poet’s death. And dressed with springs. Proto-Romantics 6. who called with thought to birth Yon tented sky. as fairy legends say. Another poetical movement heralding Romanticism found expression in a yearning for the unknown. The first of them purported to be Macpherson’s recovery (through translation) of the poems written by the legendary Ossian. this laughing earth.
their popularity and success was immense. To a Louse is a humorous dramatic poem written in Scots: To a Louse Ha! Whare ye gaun. Till ye've got on it --The vera tapmost. the mythic past and folk culture. His poetry blends influences from classical. the Ploughman Poet. the Bard of Ayrshire and. spreading beyond Britain to include Napoleon. jumping cattle. In shoals and nations. Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle Your thick plantations. ye crowlan ferlie! Your impudence protects you sairly: I canna say but ye strunt rarely. Sae fine a Lady! Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner. concision and "quickness" of expression.3. 1 15th century poets writing in Scots and combining skilful artifice with natural diction. Macpherson’s poems played a crucial role in the emergence of Romanticism. Ioana Mohor-Ivan .4. Owre gauze and lace. 6. snug an' tight. I fear ye dine but sparely. Included in his Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786). faith ye yet! ye'll no be right. biblical. How daur ye set your fit upon her. in Scotland. and English literature with the Scottish Makar tradition 1 . Burns wrote both in Scots and in English and some of his works. creepan. Scotland's Favourite Son. Below the fatt'rils. By turning attention to wild nature. Detested. On some poor body. Ye ugly. Herder and Goethe among their admirers. as well as providing an interesting comment on the way in which certain minds were trying to escape the hard sunlight of the Age of Reason. tow'ring height O' miss's bonnet. shunn’d. Tho’ faith. Now haud you there! ye're out o' sight. and sprawl. as simply the Bard) is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. Swith! in some beggar's hauffet squattle: There you may creep. such as Love and Liberty (also known as the Jolly Beggars). blastit wonner. Na. by saunt an’ sinner. are written in both languages for various effects.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 82 his own inventions. Robert Burns (1759 – 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns. On sic a place. and spr Wi' ither kindred.
But Miss's fine Lunardi! fye! How daur ye do't. complementary and contrastive poems appear in the two series: e. "Holy Thursday". Wad dress your droddum! I wad na been surpris'd to spy You on an auld wife's flainen toy: Or aiblins some bit duddie boy.g. Milton. consciously repudiating the major ideas of the Enlightenment. "Introduction". An' ev'n devotion! 6. Are notice takin'! O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us. Romantic Poetry: William Blake (1757 . The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-93) Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794) The Four Zoas. "Lamb" and "Tyger". where he created an idiosyncratic visionary universe. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . An' foolish notion: What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us. His main collections of poetry consist of: Poetical Sketches (1783) The Book of Thel (1789-91). An' set your beauties a' abread! You little ken what cursed speed The blastie's makin! Thae winks an' finger-ends. "The Divine Image". Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1791-93).4. I dread.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 83 My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose ou As plump an' grey as onie grozet: O for some rank. dinna toss your head. Despite its horrors. Jerusalmen (1804-20) In his Songs of Innocence and Experience.1832) Almost completely unknown in his age (he was discovered 50 years after his death). his impressive erudition is evident in the poetry he wrote. Or fell. Hence parallel. Though he had no systematic schooling. mercurial rozet. red smeddum. the two states are not opposites but contrasts which complement each other. On's wyliecoat. I'd gie ye sic a hearty dose o't. Blake was trained to be and made his living as an engraver. O Jenny. "The Echoing Green" and "Nurse's Song".
What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? What dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? [. We are called by his name.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 84 the maturity of experience is needed to come to consciousness. Gave thee clothing of delight. . a "Higher Innocence". The Tiger Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright In the forests of the night. . I a child & thou a lamb. to achieve. by an act of Imagination. naïve Innocence must pass through and assimilate Experience. What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire? And what shoulder. Little Lamb. He became a little child. ] Ioana Mohor-Ivan . He is meek & he is mild. For he calls himself a Lamb. a transcendental state which is a marriage of the former two. Softest clothing wooly bright. Little Lamb God bless thee. Little Lamb God bless thee. who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Gave thee life & bid thee feed. I’ll tell thee! He is called by thy name. Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat. Gave thee such a tender voice. & what art. The Lamb Little Lamb. By the stream & o’er the mead. Making all the vales rejoice! Little Lamb who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb I’ll tell thee.
The Movement from Neo-classicism to Romanticism in Poetry Cultural context: the Age of Sensibility Samuel Johnson and the Neoclassical legacy Nature poetry: Oliver Goldsmith and John Thomson Graveyard poetry: Edward Young. Thomas Gray. Regional poetry: Robert Burns Romantic poetry: William Blake. James MacPherson. Choose a text for illustration Ioana Mohor-Ivan . What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? Task Consider the following topic to defend in oral or written form: 1.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 85 Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright In the forests of the night.
NARRATOR: one who tells. SETTING/SPACE. CHARACTER. INTRODUCTION TO NARRATOLOGY NARRATOLOGY: a term used since 1969 to denote the branch of literary study devoted to the analysis of narration. the novel is frequently classified according to genres and subgenres such as the historical novel. as opposed to religious teaching. often including the psychological development of the central characters and of their relationship with a broader world. in the 20th century. The modern novel took its name and inspiration from the Italian novella. increased wealth. when the stimulus of foreign travel. and Thomas Lodge. the novel rapidly developed from the 18th century to become. the imagined voice transmitting the story.e. NARATEE: the imagined person whom the narrator is assumed to be addressing in a given narrative. It consists of a set of events (the story) recounted in the process of narration (discourse). legends of the past. and. FOCALISATION/POINT OF VIEW. but the 17th century was dominated by the French romances of Gauthier de Costes de la Calprenède (16141663) and Madelaine de Scudéry (1607-1691). or fictional fantasy. Thomas Nash. although William Congreve and Aphra Behn continued the English tradition. and inspired the Elizabethan novelists. of forms of narration and varieties of narrator. DEVELOPMENT: A major period of the novel's development came during the late Italian Renaissance.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 86 APPENDIX 1 THE NOVEL DEFINITION: An extended fictional prose narrative. The works of the Italian writers Boccaccio and Matteo Bandello (1485-1561) were translated into English in such collections as William Painter's Palace of Pleasure 1566-67. recounted by a narrator to a narratee. and science fiction. As the main form of narrative fiction in the 20th century. TIME. Philip Sidney. detective fiction. ELEMENTS OF ANALYSIS: PLOT. and changing social patterns produced a greater interest in the events of everyday life. the events are selected and arranged in a particular order (Plot). Cervantes' Don Quixote 1604 contributed to the development of the novel through its translation into other European languages. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . more specifically. the major literary form. NARRATIVE: a telling of some true or fictitious event or connected sequence of events. including John Lyly. the short tale of varied character which became popular in the late 13th century. or is assumed to be telling the story in a given narrative. With the growth of literacy. In Spain. fantasy. i.
in which none of the component part (incidents) is unnecessary. directed towards the intended effect.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 87 1. have held the interest of the readers for centuries with such an episodic plot structure. The order of a unified plot. The concept of plot was first developed by the Greek philosopher.a second story that is complete and interesting in its own right . it arouses expectations in the reader about the future course of events and how characters will respond to them. middle. His formulation introduced concepts such as the protagonist. rather than telling a tale. the tradition that the Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Many picaresque narratives. where a subplot . James Joyce and Virginia Woolf wrote novels that explore the minutiae of a character's experience.) A simpler definition would be: the author’s design for a novel. or hero. the recognition by the protagonist of something of great importance hitherto unknown to him or to her.is introduced to broaden our perspective on the main plot and to enhance rather than diffuse the overall effect. amplification. Novelists in particular have at times tried to subvert or ignore the reader's expectation of a causally linked story with a clear beginning. A successful development which Aristotle did not foresee is the type of structural unity that can be achieved with double plots. such as Defoe’s Moll Flanders. The subplot may have either the relationship of analogy to the main plot. is a continuous sequence of beginning. climax. in which the ‘story’ plays a part. However. as Aristotle pointed out. middle. nevertheless. to describe the properties of drama. A plot has unity of action if it is perceived by the reader as a complete and ordered structure of actions. as selected and arranged both to emphasise relationships (usually cause and effect) between incidents and to elicit a particular kind of interest in the reader (through surprise or suspense. it is known as surprise. If what in fact happens violates the readers’ expectations. which frequently depends on a discovery. The hero may be in conflict with an antagonist in the form of a human opponent or of some abstract concept such as fate. and end. i. whose fate is the focus of the audience’s attention.e. Aristotle claimed that it does not constitute a unified plot to present a series of episodes which are strung together because they happen to a single character. In many plots the denouement involves a reversal in the hero’s fortunes. Aristotle. A concerned uncertainty about what is going to happen is known as suspense. as well as the author’s choice of language and imagery. and develops through the stages of exposition. or the conflict may be in his own mind. As the plot progresses. PLOT The pattern of events and situations in a narrative. denouement. with no loose ends. or of counterpoint against it. and end.
the relations between setting on the one hand and character and events on the other. a whole generation. it underlines or enhances the nature of the action or the qualities of the characters which form the substance of the novels. or. more by way of reinforcement and symbolic congruence. One must distinguish here between the moment in history when the story is supposed to take place.g. TIME The amount of time which is allotted in the narrative to the various elements of the story is determined with respect to the amount of time which these elements take up in the story. i. or analogical: features of the setting may be either cause and effect of how characters are and behave. The first is the beginning of a series of events. defined it thus: The king died and then the queen died. Setting may be a means of placing a character in society which allows scope for the action his nature is capable of. They naturally divide into flashbacks and flashforwards. While the examples above tend towards the broadly personifactory.e. so that a chronologically earlier incident is related later in the text.) Any departures in the order of presentation in the text from the order in which events evidently occurred in the story are termed anachronies. 3. This is most commonly a reflective or supporting role. any chunk of text that is told at a point which is earlier or later than its natural or logical position in the event sequence. may be causal. The king died and then the queen died of grief at the king's death. the second is the beginning of a plot. whatever else it may do.e. a single day. the more conventional. or it may generate an atmosphere which has a significant function in the plot. who isolates three aspects of temporal manipulation or articulation in the movement from story to narrative/text: a) order (refers to the relations between the assumed sequence of events in the story and their actual order of presentation in the text.) The most influential theorist of fictional time is Gerard Genette. The first (called analepses by Genette) is an achronological movement back in time. ‘undramatised’ settings play an important part in promoting verisimilitude and indirect characterization. the second (prolepses)is an achronological movement forward in time so that a future event is Ioana Mohor-Ivan . survives for the most part intact. in Aspects of the Novel. SETTING/SPACE “Setting” refers to the part which may be played by location or milieu or historical time in the design of the novel.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 88 novel must tell a story. the fictional time taken up by the action (e. English novelist E M Forster. In simple terms. 2. a setting may be like a character or characters in some respects. and the time-span covered by the story. i.
iterative (telling once what happened n times. a) Third-person points of view: 1) the OMNISCIENT point of view: the convention in a work of fiction that the narrator knows everything that needs to be known Ioana Mohor-Ivan . and indirect (or ‘dramatic’) methods inviting the reader to infer qualities from characters’ actions. like the attribution of qualities in description or commentary. purely dialogue passages. speech or appearance. and events that constitute the narrative in a work of fiction. subject to development) and less predictable. It may include direct methods (narrative).English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 89 related textually before its time. intermediate figures. Another classification was advanced by W. the narrator is someone outside the story proper. and the amount of text devoted to presenting those same events. “they”.) 4.) Related terms are summary and scene. story and text duration are conventionally considered identical (e.) c) Frequency (how often something happens in story compared with how often it is narrated in text. CHARACTERIZATION: the representation of persons in narrative and dramatic works. In scene. POINT OF VIEW/ FOCALISATION POINT OF VIEW: The way a story gets told .the mode or perspective established by the author by means of which the reader is presented with the characters. and preferable several characters shown in processes of change and social relationship.e. A broad division is established between THIRD-PERSON and FIRST-PERSON narratives. and is himself a participant in the story.J.) Maximum speed is said to constitute ellipsis (no text space is spent on a piece of story duration).)it may be: singulative (telling n times what happened n times). Harvey (Character and the Novel). who refers to all the characters in the story by name. A distinction was made by Forster made between FLAT and TWO-DIMENSIONAL characters (which are simple and unchanging) and ROUND characters which are complex. “she”. The two types of anachrony entailed by them are called correspondingly: retroversions and anticipations. repetitive (telling n times what happened once). the opposite situation is a descriptive pause (text without story duration. setting. 5. including protagonists. ‘dynamic’ (i. or as “he”. In summary the pace is accelerated through a textual compression of a given story period into a relatively short statement of its main features.g. In a first person narrative. actions. background figures. b) Duration (concerns the relations between the extent of time that events are supposed to have actually taken up. the narrator speaks as “I”. CHARACTER A personage in a narrative (or dramatic work): it is normally expected of a novel that it should have at least one character. In a third-person narrative.
in which we are presented with outer observations only as they impinge on the current of thought. and also that the narrator has privileged access to the characters’ thoughts and feelings and motives. In a number of James’s later works all the events and actions are represented as they unfold before and filter to the reader through the particular awareness of one of his characters. Hemingway.) 2) the LIMITED point of view: the narrator tells the story in the third-person.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 90 about the agents and the events. the orientation is not associable with that of any character within the text. the narrator may be INTRUSIVE (not only reports. or UNINTRUSIVE (IMPERSONAL or OBJECTIVE) (i. feelings. experience. Henry James. felt by a single character (or at the most by very few characters) within the story. and sometimes expresses personal views about human life in general: e. Salinger. who refined this mode. as well as to their overt speech and actions. Virgina Woolf.e. Joyce. thought. to shift from character to character. Mark Twain. Later writers developed this technique into STREAMOF-CONSCIOUSNESS narration.e. or can find out by talking to other characters. Dickens and Hardy). or who is a minor or peripheral participant in the story.g. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . or anchored. memory. or ‘centre of consciousness’. coming from a particular speaker at a particular place at a particular time. External focalisation occurs when the focalisation is from an orientation outside the story (i. describes. Within this mode. and involves a character-focaliser. covering broadly the same semantic sphere as point of view (i. and to report (or conceal) their speech and actions. or ‘shows’ the action in dramatic scenes without introducing his own comments or judgements. infers.) b) First-person points of view: This mode naturally limits the point of view to what the first-person narrator knows. e.)The basic contrast is established between external/internal focalisation. or who is himself or herself the central character in the story (e.g.g. but freely comments on and evaluates the actions and motives of the characters. is free to move at will in time and place. We distinguish between the narrative “I” who is a fortuitous witness of the matters he relates. but within the confines of what is experienced.e.g.) Internal focalisation occurs inside the represented events. described such a selected character as his ‘focus’ or ‘mirror’.) FOCALISATION: Term used in narratology. reports. and associations which constitute the observer’s awareness (e. the interpretation of the text as grounded.
fear. or hope about a moment in time (especially historical events) and how that impacts the human condition. but in poems that show some degree of verbal control it is usually safest to assume that the poet chose each word carefully. Poems often deal with contradictions and uncertainties. Poets do make mistakes. The Editors of the Norton Introduction to Literature state the following about poetry: 10. our analyses of them must remain objective and thoughtful (not "touchy feely"). Craftsmanship obliges us to try to account for the specific choices and only settle for conclusions of ineptitude if no hypothetical explanation will make sense. "The Flea"!) Keep in mind that paraphrasing or summarizing a poem will not capture its full meaning since that rests in the words and HOW the author manipulates those words. Assume there is a reason for everything. Poems often try to make abstract concepts concrete.). although poems often deal with feelings. criticism. please do not confuse the two. you can use any of the following poetic techniques discussed below. important. What to consider when trying to analyze HOW the poet manipulates the speaker to arrive at meaning: describe the human voice. (John Donne even wrote a poem entitled. pessimism. Poems often try to express the inexpressible: what the mind can't rationalize. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . it is usually we who are missing something. if the choice seems peculiar to us. Furthermore.ucea. Here.courses/outlines/introd. joy etc. death. To analyze a poem objectively. Poems often try to make the seemingly unimportant experience. (390) The Speaker as a Poetic HOW The poem's speaker is NOT necessarily the poet! So.poetry) Poems often try to capture a feeling (love. Poems often try to answer the deepest questions about the human experience. Poems often try to express their anger. you must learn to ask "HOW DOES THIS POEM CREATE MEANING?" To do so. form (HOW) creates meaning as much as the content.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 91 APPENDIX 2 POETRY: GENERAL CONCEPTS (ADAPTED from www.
what might the inappropriateness in itself reveal? When: time of day (dusk. we expect S-V-DO." How does it sound? How does the speaker speak about him (her) self? What selfportait does s/he create? Do you believe the speaker? Is s/he reliable? If not. o What evidence in the poem helps you to identify the speaker's personality? o Read this poem aloud in that person's "voice. what makes you doubt him/her? In understanding the speaker. = usually have symbolic connotations) seasons are often significant a historical moment/ event a specific year. sunset etc. Why might a poet have in mind with the nonstandard order? Does the poet use a series of abstract words? Why? Ioana Mohor-Ivan .)? Situation and Setting Where: setting may influence meaning. conflict. memory. death etc. every word contains meaning. etc. Does the poet use any unusual words? Why? Does the poet disrupt expected word order? For example. theme. Does the speaker choose a setting appropriate for the poem? If not.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 92 What does the speaker say? How does the speaker say it? What type of person is s/he? o likable? dislikeable? despicable? lovable? vengeful? funny? honest? dishonest? cruel? shocked? dismissive? angry? sorry? grieving? aloof? etc. what else do you understand in the poem (in terms of the message. Why does the event take place? What prompts the speaker to make the poetic statement? love. Who does the speaker address? Word Choice as Poetic HOW Since poems often have so few words. sunrise.
flag = patriotism) Form as Poetic HOW The Sonnet: structure : 14 lines Italian / Petrarchan: 1 octave : abbaabba 1 sestet: cdecde OR cdcdcd OR cdccdc English / Shakespearean 3 quatrains: abab cdcd efef 1 couplet: gg quatrain: 4 line stanza Ioana Mohor-Ivan . word economic device to compress a complex idea usually the poet uses a conventional image that has wife-range recognition (cross = suffering. colloquial. slang ) Metaphors & Similes as Poetic HOW Metaphor: compare 2 unlike things. red. image. rose" Allusions & Symbols as Poetic HOW Allusion: reference that enriches shorthand for meaning you must understand (or look it up!) the allusion for it to mean anything.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 93 What's the general "level" of the poetic diction? (high: sophisticated. low: informal. middle: standard English. the comparison is implicit (unstated. the reader has to THINK to make the connection!) implied metaphor extended metaphor= ranges over part or whole of poem controlling metaphor Simile: explicit comparison that uses like / as usually the 2 things are very different "My love is like a red. object. "SAT" language. Symbol: person.
English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 94 sestet: 6 line stanza octave: 8 line stanza o structure and purpose octave. MEANING parallelism o o parallel structure (grammatical structure) repetition of words Ioana Mohor-Ivan . situation. lack rhyme or is sporadic rejects the formal elements of traditional poetry in an attempt to express different elements/ issues Sound (Rhyme) as Poetic How Why do poets use rhyme/ sounds? How does it add to meaning? end rhyme / near rhyme (some ways to create it) alliteration: lovely lashes repetition of same CONSONANT sound in a sequence of words o usually at the beginning of the word o assonance o repetition of internal VOWEL sounds (they do not have to rhyme) consonance o identical consonant sounds preceded by different vowel sounds other ways to create rhyme / rhythm and therefore. and stanza irregular feet.often presents the problem. conflict sestet. line length.comments on or resolves the problem Blank verse unrhymed iambic pentameter (natural speech) 5 iambic feet / line: U / U / U / U / U / regular rhythm Free verse (open form) reject poetic meter. rhyme.
o Why does the poet break with expectations? punctuation punctuation can also shape how one reads a poem and therefore. PAY ATTENTION TO PUNCTUATION!) end stopped period at the end one complete unit of thought (Shakespeare.) pay attention when a poem starts out as "end stopped" but then switches to enjambment (or vice versa). Many commas may suggest parallelism or equality Dashed suggest rupture.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 95 onomatopoeia o o word resembles the sound it makes sound helps to convey meaning Sight as a Poetic HOW enjambment 1 line runs into the next to create meaning o (Influences how one reads the poem. etc. shape its meaning. long pauses spacing Does the poet leave space between stanzas to mark units of thought or meaning? What happens when the meaning in the subsequent stanza directly hinges upon the last line of a previous stanza? Ioana Mohor-Ivan .
while Thomson. Burns decided to emigrate to Jamaica with Mary Campbell. and in order to get the necessary Ioana Mohor-Ivan . The poet was born at Alloway. the melancholy and musing attitudes and. Scotland as the eldest among the seven children of a poor Scottish cotter. 1999) The significant transition through which the Age of Reason modulated gradually into the Age of Sensibility continued throughout the last decades of the eighteenth century. he was well read not only in the Bible. Richardson and Sterne. On the other hand. Burns holds a place apart. He worked on his father’s farm from an early age becoming a skilled ploughman by the age of fifteen. Generally placed among the English pre-Romantic poets. his debt also extends to the literature south of the Border. Ayrshire. ROBERT BURNS (1759-1796). Far from being an unlettered peasant. THE TWA DOGS. the need to reveal the inner self. In Burns the influence of a half-foreign nationality and the vigour of a son of the Scottish soil quickened the germ of originality. but also in the SPECTATOR essays. He came in the wake of remarkable predecessors (Allan Ramsay and Robert Fergusson) who gave him a lesson in realism. humour and lyricism which never loses sight of reality. Revered as a national poet by the Scottish nation. THE JOLLY BEGGARS. he received little schooling but he reaped the benefit of the literary traditions of his country. he is a considerable lyric poet whose talents were largely based on a native ballad tradition. His affair with Jean Armour resulted in a child but. the haunting love of ruins and the past. The work on the farm being meagrely successful. His inclination for literature developed early and at sixteen he wrote his first song and embarked upon his first love affair. Shakespeare and Pope. His father dying from tuberculosis in 1784. During this period he wrote some of his best work: THE COTTER’S SATURDAY’S NIGHT. A Course in English Literature Galati.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 96 APPENDIX 3 The Movement from Neo-classicism to Romanticism in Poetry (2) PRE-ROMANTIC POETRY: Robert Burns and William Blake (excerpted from Eugenia Gavriliu. Educated by his father and the local schoolmaster. Gray and Young taught him the discipline necessary to check and direct the spontaneous expression of his poetry. the two separated and Robert turned to Mary Campbell. TO A MOUSE. Robert and his brother Gilbert salvaged what they could to buy the farm of Mossgiel. at her family’s insistence. TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY. HALLOWEEN. became the prevailing features in the poetry of the preRomantics in which tradition and the new trends are closely intermingled. The feeling for nature. and of England. above all.
hence the irresistible temptation to sentimentalise over an idealised country-life. enabled him to settle down on a small farm at Ellisland and to marry Jean Armour. 1787 and 1793. All the elements of Romanticism: sensibility. homely virtues and praise of unaffected rural life. wealth of imagination. he has none of the romantic pangs of the mind and soul. to the wild bravado song in THE JOLLY BEGGARS. to culminate in the pathetic cry for equality in FOR A’THAT AND A’THAT. A classification according to the major themes adopted here for didactic purposes causes the poetry of Burns to fall into the following divisions: a) Social poetry. His enthusiasm with the French Revolution brought him in conflict with the authorities and nearly cost him his place when he brought two cannons and sent them as a present to the French Republic. SCOTS WHO HAE. Burns died at the age of thirty-seven broken in health and fortune. His strong. through the vivacious mock-heroic animal tale in THE TWA DOGS. he secured the office of excise man at the Dumfries customs in 1791. Most of Burns’s verse appeared in POEMS. of which three gradually expanding editions appeared successively in 1786. sympathetic interest in the humblest things in nature are to be found in the work of Burns. Burns is deeply aware of the dignity and equality of men and voices the conviction that social rank does not determine man’s real worth. A RED. the socalled “Kilmarnock” edition made him famous and took him to Edinburgh where his modesty and conviviality made him very popular. personal effusion. among which the famous AULD LANG SYNE. No other single poet in literature produced so many lyrics that compulsively sing themselves. THE COTTER’S SATURDAY NIGHT follows the current taste for sentimentalism in its pictures of rural simplicity. leaving behind him a literary work of unique value. Burns reveals himself as a rustic poet who wrote when Scotland was on the verge of the Industrial Revolution. robust self renders him immune from any excesses either of melancholy or ecstasy. The poet’s attitude varies from the glorification of the simple and humble life in THE COTTER’S SATURDAY NIGHT. CHIEFLY IN THE SCOTTISH DIALECT. Meanwhile he contributed some 200 songs to James Johnson’s SCOTS MUSICAL MUSEUM. Thus. Farming proving unsuccessful again. Any attempt at analysing Burns’s poetry has to face the abundance and variety of his poetic achievements. A sense of liberty is the animating force of his poetic genius which ranks Burns in the same line with such proletarian writers as William Langland and John Bunyan5. However. The principle that inherent worth determines the Ioana Mohor-Ivan .English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 97 money he printed the first edition of his poems in 1786. love of nature. RED ROSE. The appreciation of literary Edinburgh helped Burns forget the death of his dear Mary while the second edition of his poems brought him £ 500.
All institutions./ An’ e’en Devotion!” Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Her airs and graces are stripped away in a tone of kind amusement and the poem concludes with a simple.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 98 rank of man is voiced in the often quoted line: “An honest man’s the noblest work of God”. Willie’s filthy soul and his hypocritical religion are laid bare in solemn. on the social inequality in the country. a gentleman’s Newfoundland dog. HOLY WILLIE’S PRAYER. The lady’s aristocratic airs are confronted with the vulgar louse which reveals pretence and hypocrisy in their true light. anything that limits the freely chosen human intercourse. b) Satirical poems. epigrammatic note: “O wad some low’r the giftie gie us/ To see oursels as others see us!/ It wad frae monie a blunder free us/ An’ foolish notion. and Luath. Burns’s poetry breathes a spirit of irreverence which spares neither church nor clergy. This dog’s eye view of man’s world is carefully handled so as to make the latter appear the more contemptuous and abusive. a poor man’s mongrel. is a monologue in which Willie. ordinary experience. as the poem proceeds. The target of Burns’s satire here is again the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and of salvation of predestined grace regardless of man’s behaviour but./ Wat airs in dress an’ gait wad lae’e us. looking forward to the days when class discriminations will end and all men will be brothers. TO A LOUSE. ON SEEING ONE ON A LADY’S BONNET AT CHURCH is another satirical approach to the old theme of social inequity. biblical rhythms6. With peculiar verve he pokes fun at the devil. makes free with the theme of eternal damnation and laughs at the secret troubles which haunt the Puritan conscience. in the manner of a beast mediaeval fable. but dogs. one of Burns’s greatest satirical poems. published after the poet’s death in 1799. Brief descriptive moments are linked together in challenging songs resounding with revolutionary motifs. THE TWA DOGS relates. FOR A’THAT AND A’THAT voices the equalitarian cry of the French Revolution. depicts the sturdy independence and courageous defiance of all social conventions of a group of beggars carousing in an ale-house. The poem is a fine example of Burns’s technique of criticising theological dogmas by translating them into the realities of daily. The two dogs part in the end “rejoic’d they were na men. ADDRESS TO THE DEIL reduces Milton’s Satan to the folklore devil in an attack against the rigid Calvinism of the Scottish church. is overheard at his prayers. a parish elder. it acquires generalising force. a conversation between Caesar. Willie standing for universal religious hypocrisy and selfishness. all conventions. Willie is convinced that he is one of God’s elect and that his salvation is assured regardless of his moral conduct.” THE JOLLY BEGGARS. are abandoned in roaring professions of anarchist independence.
His private life. The poetry of Burns is in close touch with all the human element in life. Burns’s hostility at contemporary reactionary forces is obvious in the prose conclusion to the poem: “So may God defend the cause of Truth and Liberty as he did that day!” THE TREE OF LIBERTY echoes the ideals of the French Revolution which are contrasted with the life of the oppressed people: “A scene o’ sorrow mixed wi’ strife”. his marriage and his paternal feelings are all reflected in his lyrical poetry. one that “Melancholy has marked for her own” as Gray whom he thought highly of. This fellow-feeling is conveyed in well-controlled. TO A FIELD MOUSE bridges the gap between the world of men and that of the animal in the similar unexpected misfortune befalling both. Burns has made of his poetry a full and open confession of himself./ An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain/ For promis’d joy. SCOTS WHA HAE also known as BRUCE’S ADDRESS BEFORE BANNOCKBURN celebrates the Scottish victory over the English at Bannockburn in the 14th century. e) Lyrical songs. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . the “wee. The poem bears the stamp of Burns’s complying to the new sensibility since he was here posturing as a man of feeling. which was so alien to his spirit. and muses over the hostile forces that thwart the ideals of both animal and man. had described in his ELEGY. than an attachment to monarchy. his love affairs. d) Nature poems.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 99 c) Patriotic lyrics. The poet of good-natured frankness. his friendships. Burns’s love for his native land calls forth various responses on the part of the poet. HE’S MY DARLING should be interpreted as a longing for the national independence of the by-gone patriarchal days rather. on turning her up with the plough. MY HEART’S IN THE HIGHLANDS voices a Scot’s intense love for his native hills though Burns was a native of the Lowlands. cowrin’. timi’rous beastie”. THE AULD FARMER’S NEW-YEAR MORNING SALUTATION TO HIS AULD MARE MAGGIE recounts a farmer’s thoughts as he brings the traditional extra food to his animal at the start of the new year.” TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY displays a similar disposition towards a flower. The poet’s crushing of the blossom with his plough becomes symbolic of man’s fate in a hostile environment. The poem displays a realistic unsentimental sense of the shared labour of animal and man which remained unequalled in Romantic poetry. The poet expresses his regret to the mouse. proverbial lines: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/ Gang aft a-glay. sleekit. Burns’s devotion to the Stuart pretenders expressed in such poems as CHARLIE. The keen love of nature intermingles with a sympathetic interest in the humblest things in it.
A witch snatches off the mare’s tail.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 100 A huge amount of love lyrics which have rendered Burns the world’s supreme love lyricist from courting in GREEN GROW THE RUSHES to a happy requited love in I LOVE MY HEAN and OF A ‘ THE AIRTS THE WIND CAN BLOW up to the ecstasies in A RED. through rhythm and imagery. the mare. Thus Burns took the whole corpus of Scottish folk song and reshaped it. timeless wisdom. Burns. reveal Burns as a master of narrative poetry. TAM O’SHANTER. while AULD LANG SYNE has become the reunion and parting song of the entire English-speaking world. the use of dialect is discovered to lend greater charm to the work bringing forth a peasant-like atmosphere of shrewd observation and genial good nature. making new songs out of fragmentary remains. RED ROSE and COMING THROUGH THE RYE. an old. AE FOND KISS is a sad lyric of a lost romance. reworking old ones with an assurance and a poetic splendour never matched by any other poet. had a sympathy for rustic superstition which he treated in a mock-serious tone combining the realistic with the imaginary. who had been born and bred among the Scottish legends and folk tales. Found out. The poet seizes upon the personification of barley as the grain from which malt liquor is made. To the foreign and even to the uninitiated Englishman the language of Burns’s Lowland Scots poems offers some difficulty. comes upon a witches’ dance in the ruins of Alloway Kirk. The variations of speed and tone of the octosyllabic couplets. WILLIE BREW’D A PECK O’ MAUT has remained the favourite drinking song of Britain since the days of Burns. The reader finds a glossary indispensable. a humorous knowledge of human nature. “a world of particular characters. the skill in creating the proper atmosphere for each part as the poem develops. the famous narrative of folklore inspiration relates how Tam. Tom is given a wild chase until his mare reaches the middle of the Bridge of Doon beyond which no evil spirit can pass. but Meg. Burns’s comic and satiric poetry creates. Like Chaucer’s CANTERBURY TALES. while TO MARY IN HEAVEN is an elegy upon the death of Mary Campbell JOHN ANDERSON MY JO is a touching piece of loyalty and tenderness in a husband and wife in their old age. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . f) Narrative poems of folk inspiration. to symbolise the invincible spirit of the people which the three mighty kings cannot subdue. behaving. JOHN BARLEYCORN has all the sterling strength and frankness of folk poetry cast into the ballad form. but once the linguistic obstacles surmounted. His language conveys a conscious sense of the complexity of life. having drunk heavily before riding home from Ayr. His poems are poetry made out of the spoken language free from poetic diction and from poetical subject-matter. providing suitable words for song and dance tunes. and her master escape the infernal powers.
Blake immersed himself in readings such as the HEBREW CABBALA * . The mystical writing of William Law asserting the fundamental unity of all existence and the concept of “good” and “evil” as representations of God’s “power” and “love” were also influential upon Blake’s vision. the SONGS OF EXPERIENCE were published in 1794.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 101 talking in particular scenes. Blake’s intellectual background broke violently from the cultural pattern of his age. The extreme originality of his work kept him apart from public recognition. and the later years the so-called prophetic books were printed. an illiterate woman. our age has conferred him great reputation. WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1827). with decorative designs. but to the poet himself talking as eye-witness and commentator on the life he is presenting and of which he is himself a part. What follows is an oversimplified attempt at analysing the work of this difficult poet9. The designs reveal his greatness as an artist. James Joyce has explored the vistas opened by Blake until. the Biblical BOOK OF JOB. In 1783 he published his LYRICAL SKETCHES. as Swineburne put it. * Ioana Mohor-Ivan . a collection of poems which impress through their freshness of feeling. while admitting the enigmatic character of his work. alchemical and astrological writings. Milton’s PARADISE LOST. at last. With the notable exception of Byron’s DON JUAN. Born and bred in London. felt to be Scottish counterparts of Thomas Moore’s IRISH MELODIES. highly praised it. An engraver by profession. His own age dismissed him as a competent engraver with a bent for eccentric verse. to the characters talking. but “about the most perfect wife on record”. freedom of metre and delicate harmony. mysticism and magic (the origination of the world by a series of hierarchically descending radiations from the Godhead through intermediate stages to matter) marked by belief in creation through emanation and a cipher method of interpreting Scripture. his work as a poet was little known in his lifetime. Besides his own poems. The SONGS OF INNOCENCE appeared in 1789. William Blake was early apprenticed to an engraver and earned his livelihood by continuing this trade for himself with the help of his wife. His reputation increased by the turn of the 19th century and William Butler Yeats.”7 We listen not only to dialogues or monologues. Burns’s realistic and satiric vein had but little effect on the English poetry in the 19th century. Blake being a highly discussed poet in the 20th century. that the romantic taste appreciated and “that lyric was what was chiefly needed to melt the eighteenth-century frost”8. He turned to account ideas derived from the Swedish visionary and Cabbala = a mediaeval system of Jewish theosophy. Blair’s GRAVE. It was his lyrical songs. and the DIVINA COMEDIA. Blake’s poems and prophetic books were etched by himself on copper plates. Blake made and engraved designs and illustrations of many works. Except for his first volume of poems. notably Young’s NIGHT THOUGHTS.
to surge upward to Eden.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 102 religious thinker Swedenborg and from the German mystic Boehme. GWIN. We can find in his prose aphorisms. In applying his vision to the universe Blake analyses such events of his day as the American War of Independence or the French Revolution in terms of his own mythology. Beulah. they bear the hall-mark of the strong originality and the innate power of myth-making with which he recreated everything that he set his hand to. the realm of sweet dream-nymphs of the idyllic slumber. Man’s way to psychic salvation plunges him into the depths of the unconscious life in order to release and develop the repressed elements. however. “Four Mighty Ones are in every Man”. There is an Elizabethan freshness and a lyrical touch in such lines as these: “My silks and fine array. displayed but little of the ecstatic and weird fantasy of the “prophetic books”. Luvah (Emotion) and Tharmas (Sensation). anticipating much of Freud’s theory on the danger of repression. Blake observes four functions in each human being which he personifies as Los (Intuition). Every restraint means deformation to Blake while the unchained spirit will achieve true balance and creative harmony. Blake represents this idea symbolically through a great wheel that descends through Beulah. sonorous names. do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained. that takes us directly to the heart of his doctrine: “Those who restrain desire. KING OF NORWAY follows the Scandinavian verse of Gray. a form of which he was master. the sleeping giant. the state of the purified and harmonious psyche. the barren waste of the repressed functions which appear like dream-ghosts. advocates a release of all inhibition imposed by Reason (Urizen). All Blake’s vast mythology is talking exclusively about the tumultuous forces within the individual human being symbolised as Albion./ By love are Ioana Mohor-Ivan ./ My smiles and languished air. Urizen (Reason). says Blake and. TO THE EVENING STAR). Underneath lies Ulro. Generation (the physical world in which we live) and Ulro. The potent influence of OSSIAN can easily be traced in the similarity of the melodious.” The dream world was also explored by Blake. Blake’s literary beginning. and the restrainer or reason usurps its place and governs the unwilling. conveying an image of a world shaken by the momentous conflict between oppressing authority (Urizen) and rebelling. uninhibited forces. But whatever influence may have been at work in shaping Blake’s universe. POETICAL SKETCHES (1783) was Blake’s first work consisting of poems written between the ages of twelve and twenty and representing his apprenticeship. sudden flashes like the following in THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL. In his vision it consists of an upper part. Reminiscences from Shakespeare (MY SILKS AND FINE ARRAY) intermingle with echoes from the Graveyard School (FAIR ELEANOR.
felt through his senses. The nurse contemplates her own ruined life and concludes with the idea that the innocence of childhood is followed by the hypocrisy of mature age. There is a sense of everything in its proper place. and this child is the symbol of the most delicate and courageous intuition of the human mind. There is no road back to innocence./ Brings me yew to deck my grave:/ Such end true lovers have”. The poems display an imaginative picture of the state of innocence derived from the Bible. of content and order and spontaneity ruling together enhanced by the elemental simplicity of the language. The universe in SONGS OF INNOCENCE is seen through the eyes of a child. through experience. but which in modern civilisation cannot be. NURSE’S SONG counters the identical poems in SONGS OF INNOCENCE. just like the soul of a peasant in those moments of sober exaltation which will be with Wordsworth the very source of poetry. The SONGS OF EXPERIENCE (1794) are in a marked contrast with the precious collection. THE TIGER counters THE LAMB. pastoral tradition and the growing Romantic fascination with childhood and a supposed primitive condition of human perfection in innocence. is easily led astray. are a half-ironic. far from being versified moral platitudes. judged through his mind. The theme in these poems is the notion that the conventions of civilisation represented intolerable restrictions on the individual personality and produced every kind of corruption and evil. by its very nature. SONGS OF EXPERIENCE are clearly the product of disillusion and present a sad picture of what man has made of man10. Blake sees in the apparent evil and malevolence of the tiger another manifestation of the Ioana Mohor-Ivan . The brightness of the earlier work gives place to a sense of gloom and mystery and of the power of evil. since innocence. SONGS OF INNOCENCE (1789) represents a poet who is wholly himself seeking his own visions of life. by the regular rhythmic patterns. part of the adult response the world. The poems in SONGS OF INNOCENCE deal with childhood as the symbol of untarnished innocence that ought to be. to a comprehensive vision. They depict the actual world of suffering mankind by means of concrete. if all do their duty.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 103 driv’n away. The tiger is a symbol to the fierce forces in the human soul and in the universe. NURSE’S SONG praises the happiness of the uninhibited childhood freely playing. they need not fear harm”. evocative symbols./ And mournful lean Despair. half-yearning vision of a world in which all men behave as Blake would have them behave. The final lines in THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER: “So. only a road forward. Many of these poems are deliberate responses to the similar pieces in SONGS OF INNOCENCE. THE LAMB sees the innocence in the child as kindred to that of the lamb of Christ.
The roaring of lions.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 104 unity of God displayed here in its power and energy. Harding. political and individual restraint. the absorbing sense of the self. the place of impulse. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God. one can draw a parallel between the prophetic books and Blake’s struggle to understand and harmonise the features of his own personality. and the destructive sword. The personal issues with which he wrestled seemed to him to be also salient problems of human life. the poison of jealousy and the overwhelming importance of forgiveness. cold calculation. too great for the eye of man. emotion. Most of the writings in the prophetic books reflect Blake’s struggles to establish order among apparently conflicting aspects of his own personality expressed as symbolic figures and situations. Rossetti in 1874. That section of THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL entitled PROVERBS OF HELL in which Hell is the symbol of liberty and spontaneous energy provides a clue to the meaning of the symbol of the tiger: “The pride of the peacock is the glory of God. Are portions of eternity. selfishness. personal and political freedom. The poem has Ioana Mohor-Ivan . the howling of wolves. There is both beauty and terror in the elemental forces of nature as later works of Blake proclaim.” These first poems contain such elements of Romanticism as the sense of wonder. Power and energy are necessary to achieve final fulfilment. the raging of the stormy sea. H. The nakedness of woman is the work of God. They included questions of the proper place of intellectual control in the total economy of the personality. D. The lust of the goat is the bounty of God. creative activity. Though the form is still simple and the images often familiar. Inspiration is surrounded by humanitarianism. the relation of the sexes. TIRIEL was the first prophetic book which remained in manuscript until printed by William M. the relations between authority and those it controls. H. As pointed out by the same D. intimate sympathy with the varieties of existence. Reason is surrounded by opposing attitudes. the contemplation of nature through fresh eyes. Harding11 has warned about the danger of missing much of the meaning in those apparently comprehensible poems by ignoring their relation to the obviously esoteric writing in the prophetic books. Blake will continue the conflict in terms of his own mythology in the prophetic books. static rigidity. symbolic and visionary elements are more frequent while the change of rhythms in the last line often provides a note both haunting and sinister. Alongside these traditional trends Blake introduces for the first time the concept of his universe torn between Inspiration and Reason.
THE BOOK OF THEL (1789) presents for the first time the theme that will prevail in all Blake’s subsequent works: the soul is eternal but must pass through the wheel of Destiny. he was also a man of his time who responded characteristically and sometimes violently to the main political and social events of his age. Blake personified the four functions which he identified in each human being as: Los (Intuition). inspiration and revolt.e. abusive authority. i. the great forbidder. notably the French Revolution and the American War of Independence. energy.) EUROPE (1794) figures Orc as the spirit of the French Revolution freeing himself from Asia. Blake sees Milton’s God as Urizen. 1790-95) considers “good” and “evil” as synonymous for “passivity” and “energy”. Blake’s Albion is the sleeping self composed of the harmonious balance of all elements. Urizen (Reason). Luvah (Emotion) and Tharmas (Sensation). and Milton’s Satan as Los. VISIONS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF ALBION (1793) insists that everyone is entitled to the most ideal union that he or she can secure despite such frequent obstacles as jealousy. 1793) considers the current unrest throughout Western Europe. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Self-restraint is considered not strength of will. Los establishes an evolutionary cycle through Revolt personified as Fuzon that will eventually bring the new age of perfection. but weakness of desire. The indebtedness to Macpherson’s OSSIAN can be easily traced in the similarity of names. the state of imaginative power and balanced harmony. both of which must be fully developed to achieve life. hypocrisy.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 105 a full story line and contains Blake’s proclamation that an old age is dying and a new one is coming to birth. the symbol of oppression. THE BOOK OF URIZEN (1794) is Blake’s first attempt at an overall explanation of man’s total psychic problems. through Generation (Blake’s symbol for the physical world we live in) to surge up to Eden. Reason usurps the world of inspiration (Los) and his lack of imaginative power results in terrible errors imposing superstitions and restraint in order to maintain his dominance. Analysing PARADISE LOST in terms of his concepts. Though Blake was a visionary influenced by the main undergrounds of European mystical thought. AMERICA (1793) represents Blake’s vision of the American Revolution as the wild upsurge of Orc (another name for Luvah. THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL (probably printed c. Blake sees the struggle between Urizen and Los as taking place simultaneously within the individual soul and within the entire spirit of mankind. A SONG OF LIBERTY (c. the prelude to the momentous toppling over of all repression by the powers of innate energy. Blake’s personification of Emotion) against Albion’s Angel (the repressive George III.
naked and ruddy as the pride of summer. significantly. starts the constructive process that will carry man to perfection.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 106 THE BOOK OF AHANIA (1789) continues the narrative thread from Urizen. But a new liberating spirit is in the air and. Fuzon is crucified upon the “Tree of Mystery”. and the beat and surge of his prophetic eloquence as in the following lines from THE FOUR ZOAS: “But loss and Enitharmon delighted in the moony spaces of Eno. THE BOOK OF LOS (1795) recounts much of the previous two books from the point of view of Los. weaving mazes of delight. Revolt. Ors is rising against Urizen and the poem concludes with the ecstatic contemplation of the revolutionary explosion. the sleeper. which together with AMERICA and EUROPE form Blake’s tetralogy upon the four continents. Asia is the equivalent of Ulro. Los. the realm of primitive innocence and freedom which is invaded by Urizen who tries to impose wisdom and happiness through reason. Blake sees each Zoa engaged in fearful battle with the other three. The personification of light in the dark world of Urizen. feeding on sweet fruits. i. In the last prophetic books Blake attempted to see all four functions at work through complete development and final harmony. Though full appreciation of Blake’s prophetic books is possible only to these who have worked out in detail his intricate system of myth and symbol. probably written between 1797 and 1804. Snaring the wild goats for their milk. a symbol of youthful energy fettered by the restrictive powers of the laws of Reason. And nine bright spaces wander’d. Nine times they liv’d among the forests.” Ioana Mohor-Ivan . THE FOUR ZOAS. another name for Orc. the redemption of Man through Christ. and Man’s final integration in an apocalyptic vision in which the four Zoas assume their rightful position and responsibility. a counterpart to Edward Young’s NIGHT THOUGHT for which Blake is known to have prepared the illustrations in 1797. hence the title of THE SECOND BOOK OF URIZEN. Blake’s symbol for a nightmarish wasteland where the repressed functions of man erupt in terrifying dream ghosts. Africa is a symbol of Beulah.e. they eat the flesh of lambs And male and female. remained in manuscript form until Yeats printed a revised edition in 1893. the less specialised reader can respond to his unusual combinations of the exotic and the everyday. The work is essentially the dream of Albion revealing the theme of the fall of man in the fearful contest of each function for dominance. THE SONG OF LOS (1795) consists of two parts: AFRICA and ASIA. The word “Zoa” is taken from Greek in the meaning of “living creature”. is the leader of the revolt against his father Urizen. AFRICA concludes with the opening line in AMERICA. the spirit of poetry. Fuzon. The total personality appears as Albion. The work consists of nine Night.
The concluding lines praise the perfect man with the four Zoas properly restored in the human psyche. the kind of which was to be used by Walt Whitman. instinct with unequalled majesty.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 107 MILTON (1808) was meant to parallel PARADISE LOST. Blake introduces the concept of Selfhood in the meaning of what we believe ourselves to be and what we persuade other people that we are. associating a primitive pastoral past with the liberated future. Since man’s nature is essentially good he has only to assert the fullness of his true nature to achieve immortality. written probably in 1804. portrays Milton in Eternity who realises his error of having worshipped Jehovah-Urizen (Reason and Repression). The theme of the poem is the Fall of Man and his regeneration through following the Inspiration. The rhythm of the verse is ample. The Romantic plea for imagination which made up the concluding lines in MILTON is paid full tribute to in JERUSALEM. some based on ballad metres. His rhythms are at the same time forceful and supple. The opening hymn. In the poetry of Blake. “And did these feet in ancient time”. irregular. was the only part of Blake’s prophetic books to become popular. There also runs through his work a strain of protest against tyranny and repression of all kinds and a plea for social and intellectual freedom. In punishment he is separated from his “Sixfold Emanation” (his three wives and three daughters) with whom he will eventually be reunited when he rejects his Selfhood. the Romantic Movement is imaginatively and energetically foreshadowed. demands a reader long training in deciphering it. His style has often a Biblical grandeur. free. he will be rewarded with some of the most exquisite lyrics in English. His language. full of symbolism and specialised terms. shared by all the Romantic poets. was not engraved earlier than 1818. It was sung by the crowds in the London streets during the enthusiasm over the 1945 victory of the Labour party. The plea for casting off the selfhood urges the individual to reveal his genuine personality previously concealed and repressed. The poem. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . THE EMANATION OF THE GIANT ALBION. some metrically free and influenced by the Bible. Blake producing the exquisite illustration for Milton’s poem in the same year. Blake’s unique and exceptional creation links him with the Romantics through his urging plea for Imagination. Blake points forward to Shelley in PROMETHEUS UNBOUND in his insistence on the fact that Man’s weakness and baseness are an illusion produced by hate and selfishness. but once the veil of mystery removed. JERUSALEM. In the prophetic books Blake conforms to no conventional means of artistic expression. but all returning again and again to the rhythm of speech. consisting in two books.
14.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 108 APPENDIX 4 Topics for Final Assessment 1. Alexander Pope. Neoclassicism. the Cult of Sensibility. Neoclassical Satire: John Dryden. The Essay during the 17th. Jonathan Swift 6. The 18th . 12.century Novel: Edgeworth. Alexander Pope 5. Susannah Centlivre. Ann Radcliffe. Women Writers of the 17th. The Lyric Mode during the 17th century: Cavalier poetry 2. John Dryden. Alexander Pope.18th– and early 19th-centuries: Aphra Behn. The Lyric Mode during the 17th century: Metaphysical poetry 3.century Novel: Fielding and Sterne 10. The Movement from Neo-classicism to Romanticism in Poetry. The Aesthetic Matrix Change during the 17th and 18th Century: the late Renaissance. Fanny Burney..centuries: John Dryden. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . Maria Edgeworth. 8. 7. Addison and Steele. the comedy-of manners. Pre-romantic attitudes in prose: the sentimental and the Gothic novel 13. Burney and Austen 11. Mary Shelley. Restoration Drama: the heroic tragedy vs. John Milton and the Lyric 4. The 18th . Jane Austen. the rise of Romanticism. The Epic vs the Mock-epic: John Milton.and 18th. The 18th .century Novel: Defoe and Richardson 9.
Braila.1. Vol. Cynthia (ed. Galati. The Wordsworth Companion to Literature in English. Ioana Mohor-Ivan . English Literature: from the Late Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism. Wordsworth Editions Ltd. W. 1994. Critics and Readings of Late Renaissance to Romantic English Literature. 2006. Holt. New York. Brackett. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Blackwell. Universitatea “Dunarea de Jos”. The Routledge History of Literature in English. Norton & Company.).F. Stephen N.). Zwicker (ed. Editura Evrika. Abrams. Secondary: M. 1994. From Theory to Text: Criticism. Cambridge University Press. 2002. 2004. H.English Literature: From the Later Renaissance to the Rise of Romanticism 109 BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary: Ioana Mohor-Ivan. Clarendon Press. Wall. 5th edition.. The Short Oxford History of English Literature.I. London. Cambridge. London and New York. New York. 1997. British Poetry: 17th and 18th Centuries. 2008. 6th edition..R. Facts on File.). 2005. Routledge. Ian Ousby (ed. 1986. Virginia. Rhineheart. Winston. D. Oxford. Ronald Carter and John McRae. Hare. The Cambridge Companion to English Literature: 1650-1740. A Concise Companion to the Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. A Glossary of Literary Terms.D. Andrew Sanders. W. Ioana Mohor-Ivan. 2002.
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