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18th Century English Literature

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									18th   Century English
            Age of Reason
Historical Background
comparatively peaceful development
• In politics: A constitutional monarchy;
               The Parliament and the cabinet
                ministers has the power.
          Parliament → the Whigs & the Tories
                unbearable conditions of life,
                numerous uprisings
                 the Enclosure Movement, expropriation,
                   the landless peasants, workers in cities,
                    new industrial proletariat无产阶级
• In industry: Newton’s scientific discovery
               Industrial Revolution, which
               influenced the way of social life.
 Originated in France: to use critical reason to free
  minds from prejudice, authority, oppression.
 In religion: Deism: the universe is set in motion by a
  God as a self-regulating mechanism; everything was
  operated according to natural laws, which could be
  understood by the human mind. 自然神教派
 In art and literature: neo-classicism great respect for
  the classical artists. Harmony, proportion, balance
  and restraint
 In economic thought: state inference did violate to
  the law of nature; favored laissez-faire policies.放任
 Features of English Enlightenment
 English enlighteners believed in the power of
  reason. “the age of reason” or “the kingdom of
 Most of the enlighteners believed that social
  problems could be solved by human intelligence.
 English Enlighteners criticized different aspects
  of contemporary England, discussed social life
  according to a more reasonable principle.
 The literature of the Enlightenment in England
  mainly appealed to the middle class readers.
Three Stages

 1688---the end of the 1730s
  neo-classicism in poetry of Alexander Pope,
  a new prose literature in the essays of Addison and Steele
  the first realistic fiction of Defoe and Swift.
 1740s-1780s
  the realistic novels of Richardson, Fielding and Smollett.
  Samuel Johnson
 The last decades
  decline of the Enlightenment,
  the appearance of sentimentalism and pre-romanticism.
  An Overview of the 18th Literature
the Development of Poetry
  Alexander Pope (1688-1744) Thomas Gray (1716-1771)
   William Blake (1757-1827) Robert Burns (1759-1796)
the Prosperity of Prose
 Joseph Addison(1672-1719) Richard Steele(1672—1729)
 Jonathan Swift(1667—1745) Samuel Johnson(1709—1784)
the Rising of Novels
 Daniel Defoe (1661-1731) Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)
 Henry Fielding(1707—1754)Tobias Smollett (1721-1771)
 Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774)
the Decline of Drama
 Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751—1816)
the Development of Poetry
                      the (Neo)classicism—
  the first half of
  the 18th century
                      Pope—heroic couplet
               the middle of
               the 18th century

                            the latter half of
            pre-romanticism the 18th century
the Development of Poetry

---Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison, Richard
   Steele, Samuel Johnson
---artistic models: classical literature
---fixed rules: rhymed couplet, the unities
---primary subject:human beings
---didactic and moralizing, satire
Alexander Pope

      a classical poet
His life

At the age of 12, he contracted得病
 tuberculosis结核 of the spine脊骨 that
 left him dwarfed变矮小, twisted and
His Works

(1) Pastorals《田园组诗》1709
(2) Essay on Criticism《论批评》1711
 a didactic poem in heroic couplets
(3) The Rape of the Lock《夺发记》1712,
 the masterpiece,
 description and satire of the dull court
 life of England of that time.
His Works
 (4) Translations, in heroic couplet
 The Iliad of Homer《荷马的伊里亚特》1715-1720
 The Odyssey of Homer 《荷马的奥德赛》1725-26
 (5)The Works of Shakespeare 1725
 (6) “The Dunciad” 1728
 “愚人志”, a satirical poem.
 (7) “Moral Essays” 1731-1733
  “道德论”, a philosophic poem.
 (8) “An Essay on Men” 1732-1734
  “人论”, a philosophic poem.
His Ideas
   Pope asserts that the chief requirement of a good
  poet is
 natural genius coupled with
 a knowledge of the classics and
 an understanding of the rules of poetry (literature).
 Heroic couplet: consists of two lines of rhymed
  iambic pentameter.
 An appropriate form for the classical rhetoric and
  logical development of the ideas.
 Pope was an outstanding enlightener and the
  greatest English poet of the classical school
  in the first half of the 18th century.
 He became so perfect in using heroic couplet.
 His style depends upon his patience in
  elaborating his art.
 He was at his best in satire and epigram (警句).

He lacked the lyrical gift.
He sometimes becomes artificial and
 obscure (difficult to understand).
His satire was not always just, often
 caused by personal grudge (resent).
The development of Poetry

---a reaction against commercialism and
---appeal to sentiments, the human heart
---turn to countryside for materials
Leslie Stephens

Features of Sentimental Writings
discontent with the social reality
struggle against feudalism
sense the contradictions             1) sentiment
dissatisfied with reason
                     2) countryside for the material

          3) sympathy for the poverty-stricken,
             expropriated peasants
             simple annals(历史记载)of the poor,
             still in a classical style
Representatives of Sentimentalism

Thomas Gray 托马斯·格雷
William Cowper 威廉·柯伯
George Crabbe 乔治·格拉伯
Thomas Gray (1716-1771)
Graveyard poet
 Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Stoke Pogis Buckingham shire

a mode of sentimentalist poetry
a keen interest in the English countryside
and a sincere feeling for the life of common people
The   curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The   lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The   plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And   leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Thomas Gray’s “Elegy”

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

    晚钟响起来一阵阵给白昼报丧,                白日已尽,
     牛鸣    牛群 v. 迂回               白昼的丧钟。
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,

    牛群在草原上迂回,吼声起落,              grassland草地
Thomas Gray’s “Elegy”

                  walk with heavy steps
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
   谓   耕地人累了,回家走,脚步踉跄,

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
 Study of Gray “Elegy”

Theme: a sentimental meditation upon life
 and death, esp. of the common rural
 people, whose life, though simple and
 crude, has been full of real happiness and
Poetic pattern: quatrains of iambic
 pentameter lines rhyming ABAB
Mood: melancholy, calm
Style: neoclassic

 ---vivid visual painting,
 ---controlled and restrained,
 ---polished language
Other Sentimentalist Poets

James Thompson 汤姆逊
Edward Young 扬格
 Night Thoughts 《夜思》
William Collins 科林斯
 To Simplicity《致纯朴》,
 The Passions《致情感》,
 To Evening《夜颂》
The development of Poetry
Romantic Revival arose in the latter
 half of the 18th century, against
The pre-romantic poetry was ushered
 (introduced) by Percy, Macpherson and
 Chatterton and represented by Blake
 and Burns.
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
              ---Auguries of Innocence

 从一朵花看天堂,               一花一世界,
 把永恒纳进一个时辰,             一沙一天国,
 把无限握在自己手心。             君掌盛无边,
       ——王佐良            刹那含永劫。
William Blake (1757—1827)
His Life

14 engrave
21 married
His works

Songs of Innocence 1789
Songs of Experience 1794
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell 1790
Songs of Innocence
A lovely volume of poems,
Presenting a happy and
  innocent world, though
  not without its evils and
Through the mouth of
   children, the poet
   expresses his love for
   the beauty of the world.
Songs of Experience
 A contrast to "Songs
  of Innocence"
 marks a progress in
  the poet's outlook
  on life.
 Paints a world of
  misery, poverty,
  disease, war and
  repression with a
  melancholy tone.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

The prose work shows Blake’s spirit of
 revolt against oppression.
He maintains liberty against the law of
 bourgeois society.
One central idea is his denial of the
 authority of injustice.
London I wandered thro’ each charter’d streets,
             Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,
             And mark in every face I meet
             Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

             In every cry of every Man,
             In every Infant’s cry of fear,
             In every voice, in every ban,
             The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.

             How the Chimney-sweeper’s cry
             Every black’ning Church appalls;
             And the hapless Soldier’s sigh
             Runs in blood down Palace wall.

             But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
             How the youthful Harlot’s curse
             Blasts the new-born Infant’s tear,
             And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.



“The Tyger”

    Tyger, Tyger, burning bright,
    In the forests of the night:
    What immortal hand or eye
    Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
              The Tiger
Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Blake was opposed to the classicism of
 the 18th century.
His poems were full of romantic spirit,
 imagery symbolism and revolutionary
He was a Pre-Romanticist or forerunner
 of the romantic poetry of the 19th
Robert Burns (1759—1796)
 He was born in a poor peasant family and only received two and a
  half years of regular schooling.
 He has been a poor peasant for nearly half of his life.
 He had an intimate knowledge of Scottish folk songs and ballads.
 He decided to go to Jamaica to make a living. He published his
  poem collection for passage money. The collection called Poems
  Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect became popular soon so Burns
  cancelled his plan.
 He has been a lower rank official in the rest of his life. And he
  collected and published lots of Scottish folk songs and ballads but
  refused any payment.
 He died when he was 37. All his life he lived in poverty and
His works

1786 Poems chiefly in the Scottish dialect
Three Types:

1793 Scots Wha Hae 苏格兰人
1794 The Tree of Liberty 自由树
1795 For a’That and a’That 不管那一套

 1785 Holy Willie’s Prayer 威利长老的祈祷
 1785 Holy Fair 圣集
 1786 The Two Dogs 两只狗

About 370
1794 A Red,Red Rose 一朵红红的玫瑰
1796 John Anderson, My Jo
1788 Auld Lang Syne 往昔时光
    A Red,Red Rose
   O, my luve is like a red, red rose,     Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
   That's newly sprung in June.            And the rocks melt wi the sun!
   O, my luve is like a melodie,           And I will luve thee still, my
   That's sweetly play'd in tune.           dear,
                                            While the sands o life shall run.
   -
                                            -
   As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
                                            And fare thee weel, my only
   So deep in luve am I,                    luve!
   And I will luve thee still, my dear,    And fare thee weel, a while!
   Till a' the seas gang dry.              And I will come again, my luve,
   -                                       Tho it were ten thousand mile!
 啊,我的爱人象朵红红的玫瑰,
 我的好姑娘,多么美丽的人儿!
 纵使大海千涸水流尽,
 珍重吧,我唯一的爱人,
 吾爱吾爱玫瑰红,
  六月初开韵晓风;   颖颖赤墙靡,首夏初发苞。
  吾爱吾爱如管弦,   恻恻清商曲,眇音何远姚。

 吾爱吾爱美而殊,    予美谅夭绍,幽情申自持。
 我心爱你永不渝,    沧海会流枯,相爱无绝期。
 直到四海海水枯;    沧海会流枯,顽石烂炎熹。
 岩石融化变成泥,    掺祛别予美,离隔在须臾。
 只要我还有口气,    阿阳早日归,万里莫踟蹰。

 暂时告别我心肝,      ---苏曼殊 译
 请你不要把心耽!    苏曼殊:(1884-1918),
 纵使相隔十万里,    颖颖(红光闪耀的样子)、墙靡(蔷薇)、
 踏穿地皮也要还。    恻恻(悲伤)、夭绍(女子体态轻盈)、
     郭沫若     掺(持)、祛(袖口)。
John Anderson My Jo
 John Anderson my jo, John,
    When we were first acquent;
  Your locks were like the raven,
    Your bony brow was brent;
  But now your brow is beld, John,
    Your locks are like the snow;
  But blessings on your frosty pow,
    John Anderson my Jo.
 John Anderson my jo, John,
    We clamb the hill thegither;
  And mony a canty day, John,
    We've had wi' ane anither:
  Now we maun totter down, John,
    And hand in hand we'll go;
  And sleep thegither at the foot,
    John Anderson my Jo.
   My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
   My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
   A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe –
   My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

   Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North
   The birth place of Valour, the country of Worth;
   Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
   The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

   Farewell to the mountains high cover'd with snow;
   Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;
   Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods;
   Farwell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

   My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
   My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer
   Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
   My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.
    Comments on Burns & His Poems
   one of the most famous poets of the peasants in the world.
   a poet of the laboring people, he pours out the sentiment
    of the people.
   obtained the characteristic of all old Scottish songs:
    simplicity, vividness, humor, directness and optimism,
    with a new spirit of romanticism.
   sings of his hometown and his people, love and friendship,
    nature, dignity, revolution, sympathy for the miseries of
    the poor, the Negro slaves.
   vivid dialects advanced colloquial language expression of
    his new poems.
   created a kind of symphonic meter(交响乐格律) of all his
    own, and lots of his poems have been set to music.
The Prosperity of Prose

 Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
Richard Steele (1672—1729)
Jonathan Swift (1667—1745)
Samuel Johnson (1709—1784)
Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

               a distinguished
               secretary of State,
               a prosperous life,
               peaceful life in politics
               and in literature
His Life

Cambridge University
19 master of Arts
1699-1702 Travelling in Europe
1719 Westminster Abbey
Joseph Addison’s Works

A Letter from Italy《意大利来鸿》1701
“The Campaign” “出征”, 1704
  his best-known poem in heroic
Rosamond, 《罗沙蒙》1705
The Spectator《旁观者》, a daily paper,
 1711.3—1712.12 1714.6-12
Cato 《卡托》1713, a tragedy
 Addison’s The Spectator
   a daily newspaper, one essay a day

dealing with the customs, manners,
literature and other current topics of the
In a light and pleasant manner
the general purpose: aiming at social
 developed the form of letter writing to the verge of
  the epistolary novel(书信体小说).
 created a perfect style: lucid (clear), colloquial, full of
  individuality and yet refined by the choice of words.
 Spectator essay were looked upon as the model
  of English composition by British authors all
  through the 18th century.
 Humor, intimacy and elegance are the striking
  features of the English familiar essay(小品文,随笔).
Richard Steele (1672—1729)

               solider, captain, poet,
               playwright, essayist,
               member of Parliament,
               manager of a theatre
               publisher of a newspaper

Cambridge University
1729 Wales
Steele’s Works

 The Christian Hero, 《基督教英雄》, 1701,
  a pamphlet, moralizing spirit
 Comedies
  The Funeral, 《葬礼》,1701
 The Lying Lover, 《撒谎的人》,1703
 The Tender Husband, 《温存的丈夫》,1705
 The Conscious Lover, 《有良心的情人》 /《自觉
Richard Steele’s Works

The Tatlar 《闲谈者》 1709.4—1711.1
3 times a week several essays for each
contents: diversified in a conversational
The Spectator 《旁观者》1711.3-1712.12
The English 《英国人》1713-1714
Steele’s and Addison’s

 a new code of social morality
 a true picture of the social life of the
  18th century
 a form of character sketching and
Jonathan Swift (1667—1745)

                  “Proper words in proper
                  places make the true
                  definition of a style.”

           child (遗腹子)

 brain      Life story    at war with
 disease                  authorities
                           “special favor”
           help for the
           young man
 Swift’s Works

The Battle of Books 《书的战争》《书战》1697
an attack on pedantry(卖弄学问)
A Tale of a Tub        《一个木桶的故事》1704
in the form of a parable(寓言故事)
a satire upon all religious sects
an attack on Christianity itself
 a satire on             a satire on English
the Tories(托利党)          lords and ladies
& the Whigs(辉格党)
  Lilliput (小人国)         Brobdingnag(大人国)

    (5) Gulliver’s Travels《格林佛游记》1726

country of horses(马岛)     Flying Island(飞岛)
   a satire on
                        a satire on corrupted
  the conflicts of
                        philosophers & projectors
  English society
Swift’s Works
      Pamphlets on Ireland: Irish Series

       (6) The Drapier’s Letters
       (7) A Modest Proposal
         《一个小小的建议》 (1729)

      Denounce the cruel and unjust
    treatment of Ireland by the English
 government and stir up the Irish people to fight.
Selected Reading

A Modest Proposal
Swift’s Style

One of the greatest masters of English
simple, clear, vigorous language;
simple, direct and precise prose;
a master satirist;
 deadly(非常有效的) irony;
 powerful satire.
Fair LIBERTY was all his cry;
For her he stood prepar’d to die.
          --- On the Death of Dr. Swift
Samuel Johnson (1709—1784)
His Life

19 Cambridge
Wife: Elizabeth Jervis Porter 21 older
Westminster Abbey
   Johnson’s Works
The Vanity of Human Wishes《人类欲望之虚幻》1749
two satire in heroic couplets of Juvenal, the Roman poet

  Irene《艾琳》1736            a tragedy

  Rasselas《阿比西尼王子·拉赛拉斯》1759 novel
 Johnson’s Works                       the two most
                                     important literary
Two periodicals:
The Rambler 《漫游者》
The Idler《闲散者》

The Preface of Shakespeare critic
Lives of Poets 《诗人传》 1779-1781
Life of Richard Savage 1744《理查德·沙维之传》
affectionate biography of a literary poor friend
A Dictionary of English Language《英语辞典》1755
                 7 years’ enormous work
   some: his own personality or prejudice
   but a great work

purpose:            letter to
fixed pronunciation Lord Chesterfield
preserved(保持的) purity a declaration of
   the end of writers’ reliance on
   the patronage of noblemen for support
the Rising of Novels
Daniel Defoe (1661-1731)
Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)
Henry Fielding(1707—1754)
Tobias Smollett (1721-1771)
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)
Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774)
Daniel Defoe (1661-1731)

 A pioneer novelist of England, a prolific writer of
  books and pamphlets.
Defoe’s versatility

 a merchant, economist, politician, journalist,
  pamphleteer, and a novelist.
 Robinson Crusoe 1719
  The hero is typical of the rising English
  bourgeois class, practical and diligent.
  Defoe beautifies colonialism and Negro
 Moll Flanders 1722 摩尔 弗兰德斯
  It is written in an autobiographical form
  called memoir. Defoe introduces, for the
  first time, a lowly woman as the subject of
Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)
His works

Pamela 帕米拉
 Virtue Rewarded 贞洁得报 1740
Clarissa 克拉丽莎 1748 547letters
Sir Charles Grandison 1753-1754
 查尔斯 格兰迪森爵士的历史

---epistolary novel
---domestic novel
---psychological novel
Henry Fielding(1707—1754 )

an English novelist
known for his rich earthy humour and
 satirical prowess
His life

11 mother died
13 Eton
20 Leiden University
31 Law
1754 died
His works

Drama 1728-1737
 The Welsh Opera 1731 威尔斯歌剧
  Don Quixonte in England 1734
  Pasquin 1736 巴斯昆
  The Historical Register for the Year 1736,
His works

 Joseph Andrews 1742
 Jonathan Wild the Great 1743
 The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling 1749
 Amelia 1751
Joseph Andrews 1742

 a burlesque of Richardson’s Pamela
 In the Preface, Fielding describes the novel “a
     comic epic poem in prose”(“散文体滑稽史诗”).
 The novel talks mainly about the adventures of
     Joseph and Parson Adams. (路上小说)
--- “the true ridiculous” in human nature
---furnish instruction as well as entertainment
Jonathan Wild the Great 1743

A satire on English bourgeois-aristocratic
  society and the political system
A satire of a particular “great man” of the ruling
 Tom Jones (1749)

A love story between Tom and Sophia.
A comprehensive, all-embracing picture
 (panorama 全景图)of the life of the mid-
 18th century England, …,
together with full-blooded characters, in
 brilliant, witty and highly artistic language,
 a masterpiece of English literature.
Tobias Smollett (1721-1771)

The Adventures of Roderick Random
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
 1759-1767 《项狄传》
A sentimental Journey 1768
Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774)
   Goldsmith’s Works

Poems: 1) The Traveller 《旅游人》1764
        2)The Deserted Village《荒村》1770
Novel: The Vicar of Wakefield
Comedies: The Good-Natured Man《好心人》1768
           She Stoops to Conquer《屈身求爱》1773
Collection of essays: The Citizen of the World
             Goldsmith’s Poems

The Traveller and The Deserted Village
 are written in the heroic couplet.
The Traveller:
 personal observation in Europe
 simple and striking plan
 Human happiness depends less on
 political institution than on our own
The Deserted Village

charming description of village life;
lament(痛惜) on a state of society
“wealth accumulates and men decay”;
the depopulation(人口减少) in the
owing to the inroad(损害) of
 monopolizing(垄断) riches;
The Citizen of the World
Goldsmith’s place as one of the greatest
 English essayists is mainly founded on
 The Citizen of the World, a collection of
Following Montesquieu ’s example,
 Goldsmith comments on English life by
Also named Chinese Letters
Comments on Goldsmith
He was a poet, novelist, dramatist and
He was concerned with social problems
 and depicted the social and economic
 evils in England.
He wrote poems in the form of heroic
He was one of the representatives of
the Decline of Drama
Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751—1816)
His Works
The Rivals 1774
The School for Scandal 1777
Sheridan’s The School for Scandal

(1) a great comedy of manners(风俗喜剧);
(2) a brilliant portrayal and a biting satire
    of English high society
       (vanity, greed and hypocrisy);
(3) the best English comedy since

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