Chapter 7 The 18th century

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Chapter 7 The 18th century Powered By Docstoc
					  Chapter Seven

The Eighteenth Century
        Historical Background
Parliament set up the constitutional monarchy in 1688
Monarchy became a compromise between the
bourgeoisie and the aristocrats.
The monarch was deprived of ruling power by
 England became a powerful naval country.
The war of Spanish
                     The war of Austrian
                     (1740– 1748)

 The Seven Years’
 War with France
 (1756 – 1763)           Powerful Navy
The remarkable changes in bourgeoisie cultural life

1. Political writings
2. Newspapers and journals
3. Coffeehouses     Men of all classes met in coffeehouses.

4. The new morality      reason ﹥emotion

5. Science and technology       Newton, John Locke

6. The French influence
In the precious ages,
authors depend on
the patrons.


Writing became
an independent     →    Patrons depends
job.                    on writers.
A new mass media appeared:

    1.Both parties printed newspapers.

    2. The middle class rose.
            ↙          ↘
entertainment     express their
and education     opinions on political
                  and moral problems
Prose -- predominant writing genre
  The same profession gather at certain coffeehouse.

 Will’s in Covent Garden
                              Spectator Club
                                                 Pickwick Club

Dryden and literary men
                           Addison and friends Dickens in 19th Cen.
         The great scientist profound significance in
         the history of thought --- Law of gravitation.

                John Locke
                 The father of a new theory of knowledge

                     The Age of Reason
The influence of Neo – classicism from France

 The classicists believed that those Roman writers
 had established the perfect art and rules of art for
 future generations to follow.

 Such as: heroic couplet instead of blank verse,

           the three unities of time, place and action.
    The characteristics of Neo-classicism

• ---emphasized reason rather than emotion,
    form rather than content.
•    ---stress reason, most of the writings of
    the age were didactic and satirical.
•    ---poet prefer closed couplet for elegance,
    correctness, appropriateness and restraint
•    ---cater to the interests of the society in
    great cities instead of town.
•    --- lack in those elements related with the
The outline of the Literature in the 18th century

 Essayists: Addison and Steele---- start the periodical essay
           Samuel Johnson---- the man of letter and the
                               composer of dictionary

 Poets:   Alexander Pope--- neo-classicism
          Thomas Gray---- derived from neo-classicism,
                          sentimentalism, elegy
          Robert Burns---- Scottish folk songs
          William Blake---break with neo-classicism but
                          with more romantic elements
Dramatist: Sheridan--- the most important English playwright
                      of the 18th century

 Novelist: Daniel Defoe--- Robinson Crusoe
           Fielding---playwright novelist Joseph Andrews
           Swift--- prose and novel, esp. for satire
     Daniel Defoe

  • Born in London in 1661
  • His father was a poor and hard-working
    Presbyterian butcher.
  • His father wanted Defoe to be a clergyman.
In fact, Defoe is a pioneer novelist of England
                 a prolific writer of books and pamphlets
                       A versatile man

merchant                                                        novelist
           economist                 journalist
                        politician                pamphleteer

                                                                6 novels
           principle      spy                        articles
     Defoe’s two important novels
• Robinson Crusoe (1720)   • Moll Flanders (1722)
--- The Life and Strange   ---The Fortunes and
   Surprising Adventures      Misfortunes of the
   of Robinson Crusoe         Famous Moll Flanders
 a real incident in 1704            interview                embellish

Alexander Selkirk was thrown onto a desolate island by the
mutinous crew of his ship because of the conflict with captain.

       adventurous story             Robinson Crusoe
                Go abroad for business          accident on the sea
                Caught Moor
Robinson’s                                  desolated island for 28 years
experience      Escaped to Brazil
                                             met ―Friday‖ – his slave
                Became a planter
                                          helped captain to get the ship back
                Bought slaves in Africa
                                              go back home
the daughter of a woman (theft)

was born in prison

was brought up by a stranger           Moll Flanders
became a maid

was seduced

married for five times

steal and cheat

was caught to prison                  Her prospect
met her cared husband

got a plantation left by her mother      the function of her mother
Jonathan Swift    (1667—1745)
           1. Born in Dublin, English parents

           2. Worked as a private secretary

           3. Political pamphlets

           4. The Dean of St. Patrick’s
Two satirical essays during the 2nd period

The Battle of Books ----- a satire or the controversy
concerning the values of ancients and moderns

                            Mock ---heroic epic

 A Tale of the Tub ----- a satire on the various
 churches of the time                     Roman Catholic

                     Allegory:3sons   {   dissenter

                                          England church
Two political pamphlets in the 3rd period

The Drapier’s Letter
      ----- under the pseudonym of Mr. Drapier

A Modest Proposal ----- bitter satire on the
policy of the English government toward Irish
In 1726, his masterpiece was published :
                 ----- Gulliver’s Travels

Four parts: about the four voyages of its hero
to strange places

Writing style: travel literature
The Comparison between Defoe and Swift

Defoe                    Swift
*businessman             *churchman
*have little knowledge   *university graduate

*a dissenter             *a member of the
                         Anglican Church

*aimed to improve the    *viewed human society,
morals of his time       cynic , misanthropic
Joseph Addison   Richard Steele
(1672--- 1719)   (1672---1729)
Periodical essays: started by Joseph Addison and
Richard Steele during the early 18th century and were
the most characteristic genre of the 18th century.

Similarities of two essayists
*born in the same year, study in the same school and university

*both are the periodical essayists and educators

*similar topics: light topics--- fashions, head dresses

*writing style: wit humor, satire
*describe lively pictures of men and manners in the
ordinary society of the time
  The Tatler
Three times a week

                     The Spectator

The same purposes

To educate the newly risen middle class the
morals and modes

To bridge the gap between the small circle of
London and the large Puritan middle class

To interest the general reader, to guide and
develop their tastes
Alexander Pope            (1688--- 1744)

•   Family----- London draper
•   Religion ----- Roman Catholics
•   Health ----- handicapped, less than 5 feet
•   Marriage ----- never
•   Education ----- self-educated
Pope’s three creative periods
1st period (1709--- 1720):

  Pastorals--- a collection of poems

  Essay on Criticism --- a number of quotable lines

 The Rape of the Lock --- attract public attention

  The Windsor Forest --- a patriotic poem
 the 2nd period (1720--- 1726) :

Translation --- Homer’s epic Iliad and Odyssey
                            in free manner

Comedy --- Three Hours After Marriage

Edition of Shakespeare
The 3rd period (1728 --- 1735):

The Dunciad --- three books of long poem

 Four Epistles --- moral and philosophical nature

An Essay on Man --- a collection of poems

Imitations of Horace --- a collection of poems
 Quotable lines in Pope’s poem
• To err is human, to forgive is divine.
• For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
• The proper study of mankind is man.
• A little learning is a dangerous thing.

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