Thursday, December 6, 2007
At the start of the Romantic period, novels were very popular especially among women who comprised the larger population of both readers and novel writers. Critics tended to view the genre as an inferior form of writing requiring fewer skills than genres with literary prestige like drama and poetry. Many also viewed its popularity among women as an indicator of its inferior quality.
This variety of criticism reinforces Wollstonecraft's concern with man's treatment of women as "subordinate beings," by undermining their faculty for reason (Norton, 171).
Around 1814 owing to positive reviews for a series of historical novels and the publication of Jane Austen’s Emma deemed “a new style of novel,” the genre gains recognition as an esteemed literary form.
In Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen satirizes the inferior style of the gothic genre—primitive forerunners of the modern novel—as she establishes new standards for the developing and still ridiculed novel form. Gothic novels like Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho could be up to 900 pages long full of tedious descriptions, unnatural events, and based in unrealistic or far-away places. Northanger Abbey’s heroine fancies herself to be the protagonist of a gothic romance but is continually confronted by the normalness of reality such as in the scene with the lanundry bill.
Austen reinforces the need for the novel to reflect realistic events in her digression at the end of chapter 5. Describing the novel as she understands it she writes:
“work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties…effusions of wit…are conveyed in the best-chosen language.”
Not only does she emphasize the importance of the integration of human-nature or naturalness in characterization and plot development, she calls for the use of the “best-chosen language.” Austen demonstrates her own model of quality by providing necessary information in a matter-of-fact voice. Ironically referencing her method and satirizing the romance’s tendency for verbosity, the narrator says, “This brief account of the family is intended to supersede the necessity of a long and minute detail…of her past adventures and sufferings, which might otherwise be expected to occupy the three or four following chapters.”
Her rhetorical approach places her in the Neoclassical era but her insistence on using a conversational narration recalls Wordsworth's Preface in which he asserts, "describe...in a selection of language really used by men."
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Please do the following:
1) Offer a brief definition of the term in context of course.
2) Identify at least one author and work associated with this term.
- Include other associated authors as needed.
Include authors who oppose, or are antagonistic to, the term or what it means.
3) Discuss the significance of this term to your cited works and authors.
4) Discuss the significance of this term to the overall issues taken up in English 10B.
5) Use grammatically and mechanically correct standard written English.
Understand that this is not a simple memorize/regurgitate terms list. Effective responses will engage the "big picture" issues discussed over the quarter, and will illuminate terms in ways that will help you work through possible essay prompts.
Reminder: this is your study guide. The more you contribute, the more you all get out of it.
Samuel Johnson constructed “Rasselas” as an apologue about happiness. In the story, the young prince begins in the valley of happiness, a place that seems like paradise to most readers. However, this oasis does not content Rasselas and he ventures out in search of happiness. The modes of life he experiences in his quest outline a moral path for the reader. Each failed occupation or existence teaches the audience a lesson about the nature of happiness. In the end, the characters do not reach their goal. In this way, the story of Rasselas acts as an apologue about happiness.
This work exemplifies the neoclassical model of literature. As an apologue, it uses rhetoric to prove a central idea to the audience. Most other neoclassical works had this same goal in mind. From Dryden to Swift, writers in this time period used rhetoric to convince others of their ideas. However, this concept lost popularity with the Romantic writers. This new generation of poets did not create apologues because they did not have the same goals as the neoclassical generation. In the context of this literary history, an apologue acts as an indicator of a neoclassical work.
An apostrophe is a rhetorical device that directly addresses an absent person or an abstract entity. When used to address inanimate objects, it oftentimes personifies the object, personification being an idea that Wordsworth mentions as a poetic technique in his Preface to the Lyrical Ballads. The apostrophe is often used by romantic poets, especially in odes.
Keats uses this device in the opening lines of “Ode on a Grecian Urn”: “Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,/Thou foster-child of silence and slow time.” Keats addresses the Grecian urn directly by saying “thou,” despite the fact that it cannot respond. In doing so, Keats personifies an inanimate object.
Another poet that uses apostrophes is Shelley in “Ode to the West Wind” (Line 1) and “Mont Blanc” (Line 12).
In "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell", William Blake begins with an argument. However, conventional poems like "Essay on Man" present arguments in prose and the rest of the work is in poetry- Blake,on the other hand, begins with an argument written in poetry and the rest of the poem is in prose.
This is significant because it demonstrates Blake's eccentricity as a writer and also his use of every literary and visual device possible to express his ideas through his works. In presenting the argument and poem in opposite forms from the conventional method, Blake presents opposition, which is what "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" is about. He even uses different colors on each of his covers, which go against conventional norms.
William Blake is significant because although he was a neoclassical writer, he also represents the shift from conventional norms in writing to bending the rules. In doing so, he helps bridge the gap between Neoclassicism and Romanticism. In "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell", he is attacking anyone who buys into his conventional distinctions between good and evil. In writing in such a eccentric manner, Blake is setting an example of himself that he is thinking outside of the conventional way of thinking.
One example of a ballad that we've covered in the course is Expostulation and Reply, by William Wordsworth.
His use of the ballad is important because the ballad, before Wordsworth, was generally associated with only rustic or common writers. Wordsworth paved the way for the ballad to become a way to express serious poetry while receiving proper respect as a literary work.
In relation to the course, William Wordsworth's Expostulation and Reply, along with his other ballads, is significant because it's an example of the shift from the Neoclassical format of "upperclass" writing to the Romantic emphasis on writing in the language of "common man." In the neoclassical era, the subject of poems covered elevated life, and stressed Reason. After the Romantic Revolution, writers like Wordsworth began covering common life and imagination. The ballad, in reverting poetry back to simpler diction and syntax, represents the shift between these two eras, from complex ideas back to simplicity.
According to the OED online a ballad is a simple spirited poem in short stanza in which some popular story is grammatically narrated. Another definition of a ballad from the OED is one celebrating or scurrilously attacking persons or institutions.
William Wordsworth wrote many ballads. His ballads are introduced after the preface to the Lyrical Ballads. The ballads we read from him are “Expostulation and Reply”, The Tables Turned”, “The world is too much with us”, and “Tintern Abby”.
In Wordsworth’s ballad “The Tables Turned” Wordsworth attacks and celebrates humanity. He celebrates his theory that humans should learn from nature, “Let nature be your teacher”(16). In addition, Wordsworth proposes humans should quit reading books, instead he suggests that humans should “Come hear the woodland linnet…There is more of wisdom in it”(10) Thus, nature will educate one more than a book can. The “woodland linnet” is an example of one of nature’s teacher’s that will offer more “wisdom” than “Books!”(9) In addition to Wordsworth rejoicing over his transcendentalist theory, he is also “attacking” academic institutions within the ballad as he mentions, “Books! ‘tis a dull and endless strife”, for Wordsworth “Books!” are tedious and a boring struggle.
Ballad’s can associate with any satirical literary works we have discussed in class. A satire can function as an attack on a person or an institution. Seemingly, ballads need victims just as a satire does. Don Juan by Byron is an example of romantic poetic satire and Dryden’s “Mac Flecknoe” is an example of a neoclassical poetic satire. Byron and Dryden’s satirical literary works are relevant to the ballad form that Wordsworth illustrates.
According to the Norton Anthology, the conversation poem is a “sustained blank verse lyric of description and meditation, in the mood of conversation addressed to a silent auditor” (426). The conversation poem allows the poets to mold their respective conversational partners into representatives of particular groups in order to reveal their own theories and ideologies.
William Wordsworth’s Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey is a conversation poem. Although he addresses his sister as “my dear, dear Friend” and “my dear, dear Sister”, the sister’s response is not included in the poem (116, 121). Only the speaker’s part of the conversation is in the poem; the reader must guess the other half. The conversation poem enables Wordsworth to establish his sister as a representative of people who have not matured in experiencing nature and only recognize the beauty rather than perceiving God in nature.
Samuel Coleridge’s Frost at Midnight is also a conversation poem. Coleridge addresses his infant son, his “dear Babe” in line 44. Following the nature of the conversation poem, the response of the son is not written. Without his son’s response, Coleridge can uninterruptedly explain his hopes for the future of his infant.
Another example of a conversation poem is Coleridge’s Eolian Harp, in which he addresses his lover Sarah. More so than in the other poems, the other half of the conversation almost emerges. Though Coleridge does not write Sarah’s response, his own reaction indicates that she does not agree with his theory that God is in nature. The use of conversation in this poem establishes Sarah as a representative of Christianity and Coleridge as a neo-pantheist. Through this, Coleridge brings into question religious perspective.
For Romantic poets, particularly first-generation Romantics, the harp functioned as a most, if not the most, important metaphor or puzzle. They questioned what produced the music: the harp? The wind? No: the interchange of wind and harp produces the music.
Coleridge uses the harp as the controlling metaphor for the poem of the same name: "The Eolian Harp". He asks where thoughts originate, focusing on their uncontrollable nature. Music is not the real subject, but the apparent subject. The real subject is the harp, or all organic nature -- and ultimately, the human mind. He draws the following analogies:
Harp : Wind => Music
Mind : Nature => Thoughts
where Mind is the subject(ive), while Nature is the object(ive).
Note: Comments/corrections welcome, please!
Deborah Kim, 1B
William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, and Robert Southey are the most famous First Generation Romantic poets. The first generation romantics are characterized by their shift in style and subject manner from the Neo Classicalist. The use of satire is rare and the Romantics tend to focus on particular aspects of objects, people, and events instead of the essence of objects, people and events.
One of the most important works pertaining to the change of style during this time was William Wordsworth’s Preface to Lyrical Ballads, which demonstrates Wordsworth’s particular motivations for how he writes the Lyrical Ballads. Notably the subjects of these poems, are “incidents and situations from common life” verses the normal neoclassical subject of incidents and situations from elevated life, like Alexander Pope’s “Rape of the Lock”, which is about the aristocracy and not the common people (Norton 266). Wordsworth also changes the style of his poetry he states, “The reader will find that personifications of abstract ideas rarely occur in these volumes; and, I hope, are utterly rejected as ordinary device to elevate the style, and rise it above prose”, and “there will also be found in these volumes little of what is usually called poetic diction; I have take as much pains to avoid it as others ordinarily talk to produce it; this I have done for the reason already alleged, to bring my language near to the language of men, and further, because the pleasure which I have proposed to myself to impart is of a kind very different from what is supposed by many person to be the proper object of poetry” (Norton 267). Wordsworth and other first generation poets take a notable step away from their Neo Classical predecessors by embracing the common people and the common language.
First Generation romantics also believe in the possible ability of dreams to clarify reality, as seen in Coleridge’s “Kubla Kahn.” Also “Kubla Kahn,” presents a different kind of characterization of the poet. The narrator states, “I would build that dome in air,” which shows the narrator’s desire to use his words combined with his imagination to create a poem, which is unlike the characterization of the poet in Rassles (Norton 448). In Biographia Literaria, Coleridge distinguishes imagination from fancy and even separates imagination further by distinguishing between primary and secondary imagination.
The First Generation Romantics, (mostly Wordsworth and Coleridge) glorify the pantheistic god of nature. Wordsworth demonstrates the greatness of Nature as a teacher in most of his poems, notably “Tintern Abbey.” Coleridge also does this in his poems, notably “The Eolian Harp”.William Blake is also an interesting First Generation Romantic poet. He follows the Romantic tendency to turn against tradition as seen in his “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, where Blake presents the opposite of many parables to demonstrate how “opposition is true friendship” and moderation is the key (Norton 119). However, since “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” is a satire Blake also demonstrates some Neo Classical traits.
Definition= [Batten] Character that invites comparison and makes main character more intelligible; [M-W.com] someone or something that serves as a contrast to another
Isabella serves as a foil to Catherine in Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey." Her insensitivity and ability to manipulate others highlight Catherine's naivety and innocence. In the same story, James Morland (who is dull and of moderate wealth) serves as a foil to Frederick Tilney (who is charming and of a higher social status, a rake).
The presence of a character foil allows the reader to think more in depth about the main characters intentions and personality, as well as about the overarching themes of the story, rather than to gloss them over. The foil draws attention to its opposite.
Many romantic authors beckon this sense of equilibrium and truth in their perceptions of beauty. Keats states explicitly in “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” that “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
This term is relevant to the overall course of English 10B because it concerns the perception and recognition of aesthetics, a topic extensively explored by nearly all of the authors in the course. It serves as an alternative explanation, or even extended explanation, of to the notion that beauty is the product of a wholly divine being, an idea endorsed by authors such as Pope and even Wordsworth and Coleridge.
Golden Mean: Everything in moderation; the golden mean refers to the desirable middle between two extremes (usually one of excess and one of deficiency).
In "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," William Blake mentions as one of his "Proverbs of Hell" that:
"The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom" (Plate 7, line 3). These proverbs are Hell's version of the proverbs found in the Bible and this one refers to the "Golden Mean" or the mean between two extremes: between excess and shortage.
In "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," Blake is trying to give the reader an alternate way of looking at the world as opposed to the one we received while growing up: the "Christian" way of looking at the world. There is tension between the proverbs of hell and the proverbs of heaven, but Blake is showing the reader that the "Marriage" of these two extremes is an alternate way of viewing the world: the Golden Mean.
Gothic Architecture: a type of architecture in
Gothic Literature: a type of literature written during the 1700s that had elements of both horror and comedy worked in it to create a romantic story and setting.
Both Gothic architecture and Gothic literature are associated with Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey. She does not write in the Gothic style however and in her novel mocks the idea of Gothic literature and shows how it creates an unreal view of life. She uses the architecture as a device in her book to show the flaw of Gothic literature and her main character Catherine who believes the books she reads and lets them convince her of a romantic world that does not exist.
These relate to 10B as a whole because they deal with the idea of realism verse romanticism. Jane Austen uses realism to reflect human nature and the way that people really are. Her novel demonstrates this while the Gothic elements she incorporates show the lack of this realism in this style.
An Ode is a long lyrics poem that is serious in subject and treatment, elevated in style and elaborate in its stanzaic structure. There are many subdivisions of Odes such as regular ode, irregular ode, Pindaric ode and Horation ode.
Percy Shelly's "Ode to the West Wind"
This is a great example of how Romantics used the personal ode of description and passionate meditation, stimulated by an aspect of the general which turns on the attempt to solve either a personal emotional problem (particular) or a general social issue (sometimes commenting on the general through the Poet's particular).
In the course, this displays a common difference between Neoclassical poets and Romantics. Romantics used nature, the landscape, together with its flora and fauna as a subject of poetry. Neoclassical poems were about other people, but Romantics invited the reader to identify the protagonist with the poet themselves, either directly (Wordsworth's Prelude) or in another recognizable form.
In “Tintern Abbey” Wordsworth’s pantheistic views come forth in lines 93-99:
And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man.
In this passage Wordsworth discusses the third phase of man’s response to Nature (as Prof. Batten outlined in lecture) where man sees God in Nature, and ultimately everywhere. God, or the “presence,” is described as dwelling in the sun, the ocean, the sky, the air, and in man. The repitition of “and” emphasizes the multiplicity of the divine dwelling-place.
Second-Generation Romantics display the pantheism theme in their poems as well. In Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind” and “Mount Blanc,” he uses the wind and the mountain and arve, respectively, to explore pantheistic ideas. Shelley describes “the everlasting universe of things” in the first line of “Mount Blanc. This phrase sums up Nature, God, and man’s thoughts into one “everlasting universe.” Shelley uses the river to represent the “flowing” nature of divinity in this poem, and uses the wind for the same purpose in “Ode to the West Wind.” The wind, a manifestation of the divine, affects all things from the leaves to the sea, also affects Shelley. In line 52, Shelley actually refers to praying to the wind, which again reaffirms the pantheistic idea that God is everywhere, and everything deserves, in essence, a “prayer.”
Remember, it’s easy to find examples of pantheism in Romantic poetry. Since the Romantics stress the “one with Nature” theme so frequently, this theme is often extended to include the divine with Nature, and thus man with the divine.
[alyssa linn, sec 1b]
Parable – a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle.
“Rassalas” by Samual Johnson
It is a parable in the case that it is a short story with a simple theme: happiness. In the story, the characters of Rassalas, Nekayah, and Pekulah each leave the aptly named Happy Valley and embark on their own journey to find lasting happiness. They experiment with all sorts of lifestyle ranging from the merchant life, to the pastoral, to the hermit. And about 60 pages later, they discover through trial and error that happiness is not meant to long lasting (if it was, it wouldn’t be happiness). It is the process in trying to attain goals that one can find joy.
This story is an indicator of Neoclassical principles because it is not concerned with the individual characters. Rather, the development and description of the characters are forfeited to make way for the social commentary, a common occurrence in Neoclassical works. In this piece, the commentary deals with all those obsessed with material goods and believing that certain objects will be the key to their happiness, not realizing that happiness is brief.
Other works: "Oroonoko” by Aphra Behn.
This particular short story also sacrifices character development (making Oroonoko into an almost perfect God-like figure) to make way for social commentary. In this case, the theme is that of honor and the importance of upholding personal honor. This serves as a commentary against Christian and Britons who saw themselves as superior yet resorted to lying and trickery to achieve their means.
-Diep Tran, Section 1B
-Diep Tran, Section 1B
Parody is the imitation of a victim's style/mannerism in order to make fun of this style/manneris.
Ex: Byron writes Don Juan in stilted, redundant poetry in order to make fun of Robert Southey, a bad poet. By veining his criticism of bad poetry in an imitation thereof, Byron adds a layer of irony to his art.
Wordsworth rejects personification as a mechanical device, stating in his “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” that “such personifications do not make any natural or regular part” of the “language of men.” The romantic poets attempted to use language that was commonly used in England as opposed to writing in the elevated style of neoclassical poets.
John Keat's applies this to his poem, "Ode on a Grecian Urn." The poem tells the story of an unchanging world through elaborate imagery. Keat's describes nature and young love as unchanging, in the same way that it has been etched onto the urn. The young lovers will always share the anticipation of their first kiss, winter will never come, and overall the world seems to be an idealistic place.
Mont Blanc; Percy Shelley
Ghastly, and scarred, and riven.--Is this the scene
Where the old Earthquake-daemon taught her young
Ruin? Where these their toys? or did a sea
Of fire, enveolope once this silent snow?
Shelley poses a series of rhetorical questions inteded to telegraph images of destruction and dark power to attribute to Mont Blanc. Though the mountain itself is not on fire or inhabited by demons, the rhetorical questions imply that the effect of the mountain in its natural form is as intense as if it was, in fact, home to the Earthquake child. Unlike the calming pastoral setting tamed by man's hand in Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey, Shelley describes nature that invokes fear and is at odds or is independent of man's appreciation for it.
The second generation romantics tend to portray nature as a subject that is less subjective to the viewer. The overwhelming power of Shelley's Mont Blanc will not be presented in variable lights according to the viewer whereas Blake writes in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell that "a fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees."
1) Romantic Question: a question raised but never directly answered
- Coleridge/“The Eolian Harp”
- Shelley/“Mont Blanc” – Verse Paragraph 3 lines 54 & 57; Verse Paragraph 5 line 145
- Keats/“Ode on a Grecian Urn” – second half of first stanza
- At the end of Coleridge’s poem, he seems to take back what he originally states at the start of his poem. But if he really changed his mind, this poem would not exist. Through raising the romantic question, however, Coleridge tells us what he thinks/perceives.
- Shelley uses romantic questions in his “Mont Blanc” to show the reader what he’s looking at; this is effective to the observer.
- In Keats, we learn more about the urn and are invited to engage in the observations of the poet through his romantic questions.
4) The strategies in using Romantic questions in poems are important because they help the readers understand the poet and his ideas/perceptions more thoroughly but in a rather subtle manner.
Byron's "Don "Juan is a particular satire of Robert Southey, the poet laureate to George III, and first generation romantic poet. When Byron uses "I" it is as the persona of Southey. This persona is incompetent with the narrative: he mispronounces foreign words (Don JU-an instead of Don w-on), he uses forced rhyme ("Most epic poets plunge in 'medias res'/[...]And then your hero tells, whene'er you please"). "Res" and "please" hardly rhyme. Byron's persona also uses the wrong verse form in what is his "epic poem." The verse form being used is Ottava rima. To Byron, Southey is a bad poet because 1) he is a political renegade, who abandons his personal views for his career to the king and 2) he is a 1st generation romantic poet. Byron extends his victimization to Wordsworth in stanza 90 where he says, "unless, like Wordsworth, they prove unintelligible."
Other examples of this 2nd generation romantic counter-culture is Shelley's "Monte Blanc," where he challenges prior romantic notions that nature is solely good, and focuses on the destructive potentials of nature. Furthermore, the second generation romantic poets tend to disagree with 1st generation poets use of themselves in their own poetry. The younger romantics want to leave the reflections to their audience, not impress their own upon them.
Though structural wit is more common among Neoclassical poets (Dryden, for example), it can be found in romantic poems such as Lord Byron's "Don Juan." Byron satirizes England's poet laureate Robert Southey not only with his mock heroic title character, but also with the intentionally poor style in which the poem is written.
1. the mind is checked by its inadequacy to comprehend as a toatlity the boundlessness or seeming infinity of natural magnitudes
2. the mind is checked by its helplessness before the seeming irresistibility of natural powers.
or as Burke believes: "a great and awful sensation in the mind"
"I seem as in a trance sublime and strange
To muse on my own separate phantasy,
My own, my human mind, which passively
Now renders and receives fast influencings,
Holding an unremitting interchange
With the clear universe of things around;"
- Percy Shelley's "Mont Blanc" lines 35-40
Percy Shelley's "Mont Blanc" reflects sublime in its description of a wild mountain untainted by the hands of man. This poem definately reflects the "boundlessness or seeming [infinite]" nature that exists around the perceiver and how this perceiver's mind may feel "helpless" or "awed" by the Ravine of Arve.
The Ravine of Arve is sublime because it reflects a powerfully "awful" scene of nature that may scare the perceiver. Rather than leaving the perceiver feeling breathless, it evokes choking emotions such as fear or intimidation. What makes the Ravine of Arve sublime is Shelley's belief that we can look and learn from nature and realize that nature may bring life, but it also brings destruction. We must accept this cycle as it is.
However, William Wordsworth also includes sublime in his work "Tintern Abbey."
"...Nor less, I trust,
to them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery..."
-- lines 35-38
Unlike Shelley, Wordsworth usage of sublime refers to the aesthetic beauty of nature. We may achieve sublime (like Shelley) if we have elevated thoughts. Thus, Tintern Abbey briefly mentions sublime in its context, but this conversation poem believes that the perceiver can recognize nature and understand its aesthethic beauty, but must take a final step and learn to achieve elevated thoughts. These elevated thoughts and/or insights are the last steps that the perceiver must take in order to appreciate nature as a whole.
Cristina Khou, 1G
Sunday, October 28, 2007
You are still responsible for reviewing and understanding ALL terms and their overall significance to the class, since the final exam is cumulative.
Example: London 1680 -1682 (Exclusion Crisis)
Is compared to Jeruselem 1000 BCE. In "Absalom and Achitophel"
According to the Norton the novel is a very flexible genre in form and subject matter, giving high priority to narration of events.
Hexameter: the hexameter line (6-stress line) is the meter of classical Latin epic; while not imitated in that form for epic verse in English, some instances of the hexameter exist.
Examples: From Pope's "Essay on Criticism":
(line 3) "But of the two less dangerous is the offense"
(line 357) "That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along."
Not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.
Having no moral standards, restraints, or principles; unaware of or indifferent to questions of right or wrong: a completely amoral person. Denying the existence of morality.
We see amoral behavior throughout "The Country Wife." Mrs Pinchwife and the Fidget ladies all act in an amoral way. All of these characters intend, or are unfaithful to their husbands, and seem to lack any remorse while doing so. Their behavior suggests a complete lack of moral restraint.
Example: Dryden’s Mac Flecknoe
Even though Mac Flecknoe is primarily a mock heroic, it has elements of burlesque within it, such as in Line 139. “Heavens bless my son, from Ireland let him reign/To far Badbadoes on the western main…” They are taking the relatively high subject of reign and royalty, but treating it in a relatively low fashion by essentially saying that the empire Shadwell reigns over is vast but empty. The proclamation, which should be taken seriously, is only used to draw attention to Shadwell’s failings in a humorous way.
Another example of burlesque is in Swift’s A Modest Proposal, where he takes the serious issue of overpopulation and puts it in a satire.
Verb: To make a cuckold of; to dishonor a husband by adultery
We see cuckolds throughout William Wycherly’s “The Country Wife.” Throughout the play, Horner cuckold’s some of the main characters (Mr. Fidget, Mr. Pinchwife) by sleeping with their wives. What makes the play so ironic is the fact that Horner has convinced the husbands in the play that he is a eunuch, and so they all trust him with their wives, so he is able to make cuckold’s of them right under their noses! At the beginning of the play, Horner makes the comment that a “jealous man” makes “the greatest cuckold” (I.1.257-258)—which sets the stage for his actions for the rest of the play!
example: Pope's "Universal Prayer"
The God Pope addresses his prayer to is all-powerful and beyond human comprehension. He is the "Great First Cause," but also "least understood" (ll. 5). Pope confesses himself to be "blind" (ll. 8) to His true designs and does not "presume thy bolts to throw" (ll. 27). But God is nonetheless a rational creator. There is a reason he does the things he does. He has simply chosen not to explain himself and has "Left free the human Will" (ll. 12).
Pope expresses a certain optimistic faith here in the natural order of the world that can be likened to Dryden's faith in the Great Chain of Being.
Epic (synonym, herioc poetry): an extended narrative poem celebrating marital heroes, invoking divine inspiration, beginning in media res, written in a high style, and divided into long narrative sequences.
The burlesque form of the epic is known as the mock epic. Pope's The Rape of the Lock is a mock epic recalling the style, diction, and imagery of Homer's Odyssey and Milton's Paradise Lost (nymphs, hell, goddesses).
The term essay was used more generally in the early 18th century than it is now. An essay is a piece of prose that comments on a particular subject. One example of an essay is Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man. This essay is organized differently than most essays today. For instance, the work is divided into four verse epistles, followed by the thesis of the essay at the end. The general form of the essay enables Pope to test philosophical ideas.
In Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift uses the fable's elements to show us that human nature is neither purely reason-based nor instinct-based. He presents the Houyhnhnms as an example of creatures driven wholly by reason and, in contrast, the Yahoos as creatures driven wholly by instinct. Swift points out the ridiculousness of Gulliver's thinking: Gulliver believes that the Houyhnhnms are perfect in their emotionless logic, but in striving for rationality, Gulliver degrades himself into a prime example of irrationality. The Houyhnhnms, in line with Aesop's tradition, are actually talking horses -- and Gulliver tries to imitate them by mimicking their speech patterns, etc. which are all undeniably horse-like; he has lost all sense of what constitutes logic.
Further, Swift's purpose is to attack an over-reliance on reason, by portraying the consequences. The Houyhnhnms lack passion whatsoever. For marriage prospects, they check teeth, giving no consideration to love but only to good physical breeding, and they commit genocide for the greater good.
- Deborah Kim, 1B
The loose hierarchy is as follows:
Each level of the hierarchy has sub-hierarchical systems within it. For example, types of rocks are higher than others within the Earth state, such as gold or silver being of a more agreeable nature than other sediments. Likewise, within the level of man, kings are higher in rank than slaves. The levels are categorized in order of highest perfection and are built on top of each other. Vegetation lies above earth because it contains life. Animals are above vegetation because they contain life AND movement. Man lies above animals because they possess life, movement, AND reason, as well as a soul. Angels lie above man because of their immortality, and God presides at the top of the Chain as perfection.
The author perhaps most concerned with The Great Chain of Being was John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester (who we’ll further call simply Rochester). His “Satire against Reason and Mankind” attacks and criticizes reason and human nature. Rochester does this by inverting a portion of the Great Chain of Being. Rochester says:
Were I (who to my cost already am
One of those strange prodigious creatures, man)
A spirit free to choose, for my own share,
What case of flesh and blood I pleased to wear,
I’d be a dog, a monkey, or a bear;
Or anything but that vain animal
Who is so proud of being rational.
Rochester attempts to invert the chain between animals and man, saying that reason is the downfall of man and causes us to ignore our instincts. Instinct, which Rochester calls “natural reason” is what we should base our lives on, and since all humans are knaves, we shouldn’t bother acting hypocritical, but give into our impulses. Animals don’t have a pride that inflates their consciousness, but act out of survival and instincts, and simple desire, while humans “merely for safety after fame we thirst…men must be knaves, ‘tis in their own defense.” Thus, reason, that which supposedly places man above animal, is debunked according to Rochester, and animals assume the superior species.
Say first, of God above, or man below
What can we reason, but from what we know?
The heroic couplet was utilized by the likes of John Dryden, Alexander Poe, and occasionally Johnathon Swift. As the Norton puts it, Dryden fashioned the heroic couplet as an instrument suitable for every sort of discourse. Likewise Poe utilized the heroic couplet for its union of maximum conciseness with maximum complexity. By fashioning much of their verse in these stanzas, these authors were able to convey their statements in a manner that was concise, and neat, seemingly simple, yet allowed deeper meanings of the text to be concealed.
On Page 43 in Austen's Northanger Abbey, Mr. Thorpe states: "Upon my soul, you might shake it to pieces yourself with a touch. It is the most devilish little ricketty business I ever beheld!"
Thorpe overemphasizes the fact that the carriage behind them would fall at a slight touch. He gives an impression of the carriage as a withering object...and at the same time, devaluing the carriage behind him uplifts his stature as a man who rides his well-built carriage. He is thoroughly trying to impress--or perhaps vainly trying to persuade--Charlotte in believing that he is a man of importance, wealth, stability, and power.
Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel was written in iambic pentameter; each line consists of 5 iambs. Iambic pentameter with each line ending in rhyme is a common characteristic of the heroic couplet.
Here is the first line of Absalom and Achitophel. The correct way to read it would be with a pattern of stresses that alternates each syllable, and goes low high low high, IE: _/_/_/_/_/.
In pious times, ere priestcraft did begin
A knave is a trickster, someone who is amoral and subject to crafty practices.
Works that have knaves:
“A Satire Against Reason & Mankind” by John Wilmot, the Second Earl of Rochestor. Line 160, “men must be knaves, tis in their own defense,” it is human nature to resort to trickery to achieve one’s goals. Because everything is driven by “base fear,” men are inherently cowards and knaves.
“The Country Wife” by William Wycherley. Horner is a classic knave because he is solely focused with sleeping as many women as possible, he is amoral and doesn’t care about social conventions. He also manages to deceive Sir Jasper and Pinchwife, and successfully cuckold without them knowing it, thus showing his cleverness.
The OED defines a libertine is a person who is freely indulgent in sensual pleasures. The ideology of libertinism entered the English scene when Charles II, a Libertine, took the English throne. Libertinism was an imported from France. Charles II was humorized in Dryden’s “Absalom and Achitophel” with the lines stating David (Charles II), “scattered his Maker’s image through the land” (Dryden 2089). Libertinism is an embrace of the sensual and getting the most out of one's only life .One of the trademarks of libertinism was to try and have as much sex and as many offspring as possible. Thus, Charles II being a true libertine was famous for his various bastard children. In our reading a great libertine author is the Earl of Rochester, who distinguished himself as “the man of the most wit and least honor in England” (Norton 2167). He believed that one should be as bad as he could to truely get the most out of life. Libertinism and Reason do not go hand in hand as seen in Rochester's "A Satire agaist Reason and Mankind", Rochester states, "Were I (who to my cost alreadly am one of thoes strange and prodigious creatures, man) a sprit free to choose, for my own share what case of flesh and blood I pleased to wear, I'd be a dog, a monkey, or a bear; or anything but that vain animal who is so proud of being rational" (Norton 2173). With the libertine's praise for the indulgence of pleasure, reason seems to get in the way and makes man seem "proud" and feel he is above other animals. A great libertine character is Horner from “The Country Wife,” who is the ideal rake and also attempts to spread his image throughout the play. Libertinism also conflicts with Natural Religion, which seeks to endorse the existance of God with reason, because Libertinism does not believe in the complete greatness of reason alone.
Definition: Takes a relatively low subject and treats it in a relatively high fashion.
Literary examples (as seen in class):
1. Mac Flecknoe as Augustus in line 3 of Mac Flecknoe
2. "A Modest Proposal" telling readers to do good for Ireland through cannibalism
3. Pope's "Rape of the Lock"
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Alexander Pope, in Essay on Man, seconds the use observation of general nature and to confirm God’s existence and explain God’s ways.
Ex. lines 17-22: “Say first, of God above, or man below, what can we reason, but from what we know…through worlds unnumbered though the god be known, ‘tis ours to trace him only in our own…”
The narrator evokes images of a prelapsarian Paradise in Oronooko to describe the world of the indians. Of their clothing she writes: "apron they wear just before 'em , as Adam and Even did the fig leaves." Of their purity she writes: "though they are all thus naked...there is not to be seen an indecent action or glance." In their simplicity the narrator observes, "so like our first parents before the Fall, it seems as if they had no wishes...these people represented to me an absolute idea of the first state of innocence, before man knew how to sin."
Behn exaggerates the glorification of the naked, ignorant, and simple to victimize the decandent, rational, and--most emphatically--the religious. She writes, "Religion would here but destroy that tranquillity they possess by ignorance, and laws would but teach 'em to know offence of which now they have no notion." In other words, Christianity doesn't bring morality--it merely declares the existence of sin. Like Rochester, she inverts the Great Chain of being by putting slaves or non-whites at the top of the hierarchy to criticize the value vain man puts on reason.
During the restoration period (1660-1688) the term was often shortened to just Rake. A Rake is a man who wastes his (usually inherited) fortune on wine, women and song, incurring lavish debts in the process. They were used regularly as stock characters in novels and plays, characterized as sexually promiscuous spend-alls.
The clearest example of a Rake appears in William Wycherley’s The Country Wife as the protagonist Horner.
During the reign of Charles II the carefree, witty, sexually irresistible aristocratic courtiers; the Earl of Rochester and the Earl of Dorset were admired as real life examples. Following Charles II’s reign however, the term took a dive into squalor becoming the butt of moralistic tales in which a Rake’s typical fate was debtor's prison, venereal disease, or, in the case of William Hogarth's A Rake's Progress, insanity in Bedlam.
William Wycherley’s The Country Wife is one of the most famous examples of a Restoration comedy. The story follows the rakish Mr. Horner as he tricks his way into sexually conquering all of the women in town. Horner’s unabashed libertine qualities and his successful trickery of the husbands in the play make him the quintessential Restoration comedy character. Another fixture of Restoration comedies was the division of the story into a main plot and a subplot. In this case, the tale of Horner and his lasciviousness games are contrasted by his friend Mr. Harcourt's pursual of Alithea. Though Harcourt uses knave-like tricks to break Alithea out of her engagement, he is more interested in love than sexual achievement.
• A real person who is attacked in a fictional account through a person that is meant to represent them
o Thomas Shadwell is the victim in John Dryden’s “Mac Flecknoe” and is represented by Mac Flecknoe
o Arabella Fermar is the victim in Alexander Pope’s “Rape of the Lock” and is represented by Belinda
Savior-faire is a French term that literally translates to “know how to do”. In literature this phrase can be found applicable towards character attributes and actions. Someone who is savior-faire is someone that always knows what to say and what to do. Jane Austin writes a lot of savior-faire characters in her novels. For example, Catherine in Northanger Abbey would be a near antonym for savior-fair. She would not be a true antonym because though she is naïve and a little less cultured she is not completely socially inept. In a way Catherine reminds me of Lindsey Lohan’s character from the movie "Mean Girls". When Catherine first travels to Bathe she is like “the new girl at the lunch table”. Mrs. Allen would be the “plastic” girl that takes Catherine “under her wing”. In Catherine’s eyes Mrs. Allen would at first seem to have a bit of savior-faire, since she knows “the way of the world” around Bathe. In general many of the characters have an air of savior-faire. Henry Tilney for example would be thought of as savior-faire. He is dashing and witty, which are both characteristics associated with being savior-faire. To put it simply to be savior-fair is to be the cool charming popular girl/ guy at school that always knows just what to say, what to do, and what to wear. The non savior-fair kid at school wears sweatpants socks and Birkenstocks, has greasy spitball hair and always spills his lunch tray in front of the jock table along with saying really inappropriate comments at the most inopportune of times leaving an odd wake of awkward silence .
-A part stands for a whole
-An individual stands for a thing
-A material stands for a thing
The use of synecdoche is a common way to emphasize an important aspect of a fictional character; for example, a character might be consistently described by a single body part, such as the eyes, which come to represent the character.
C. Erik Troedsson
Theodicy: (n) defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil
Theodicy is an attempt to reconcile the ways of God to man. Many argue that if God is such a loving, all powerful, and benevolent ruler, then why is there evil and suffering in the world? In theodicy, writers like Milton prove that behind each evil in the world is a reason and purpose. In Paradise Lost, God made everything good in the beginning, but Adam, Eve, and Satan began the tradition of suffering and evil during the Fall.
Two works and authors that take up the issue of theodicy are
1. Alexander Pope, in his "An Essay on Man" and
2. John Milton, "Paradise Lost"
By asserting theodicy, these authors may be critiquing men who want to become god-like (omnipotent, omniscient). Theodicy asserts that men belong in their place and ought to be satisfied with the gifts they were given. Authors like Pope and Milton want to remind all humans to remain in their proper place in the Great Chain of Being.
In 1681, Parliament was very concerned with the possibility of a Catholic king rising to power, since Charles had no legitimate heirs, and his brother James II was a Catholic. John Dryden’s “Absalom and Achitophel” comments on the Popish Plot and the Monmouth rebellion, placing all blame on the Earl of Shaftesbury (he was suspected of inciting the rebellion). In the poem, Dryden satirizes Catholic practices, including transubstantiation. Dryden’s portrayal of the Catholics throughout “Absalom and Achipotphel” can be attributed to his loyalty to Charles II, his poet laureate role, and his conservative Tory beliefs.
Dryden, "Absalom and Achitophel" Lines 120-121
“The Egyptian rites the Jebusites embraced,/ Where gods were recommended by their taste./ Such savory deities must needs be good,/ As served at once for worship and for food,” writes Dryden. The “Egyptians” represent the French (staunch Catholics) and the Jebusites represent the English Catholics.
Line 107 "For 'twas their duty, all the learned think,/ To espouse his cause by whom they eat and drink." Here, Dryden references the doctrine again. This clearly separates the Protestants and Catholics into warring sects, espousing the two separate causes.
Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" also references the doctrine. In the fourth chapter of Part 1, the Lilliputs (who represent the English) and the Blefuscus (the French) are immersed in a war concerning which is the proper way to "break eggs." When it becomes against the law to break your egg on the larger end, rebels find refuge in Blefuscu. The pun on "breaking egg" with the phrase commonly associated with the Eucharist, "breaking bread," clearly reveals the satire's subject. Swift's satire makes fun of the trivial issues that divide the sects.
Alyssa Linn, 1B
Example Absalom and Achitophel, (501-505):
The next for interest sought to embroil the state,
To sell their duty at a dearer rate;
And make their Jewish markets of the throne;
Pretending public good, to serve their own.
Others thought kings a useless heavy load,
Here the word others comprises a trochee. The trochee highlights that the topic is changing, so that the reader doesn't get confused.
Robert Martin, 1B
Another great example is the humorous Country Wife by Wycherley. The entire play is based upon wit in which Hornor will outwit or outsmart the other men of the play by sleeping with their women. The most obvious scene where wit is used is in the china scene when all on stage are talking about china, but Horner, the Lady Fidget, and the audience know it is not really about the china.
Wit was used to show off the mastery of deceiving someone by ridiculing them right in front of their noses and they don’t even knowing it.
That definition may be a little confusing, so basically it is when a single word (usually a verb or adj.) is made to refer to two or more words in a sentence
Example: He arrived in a taxi and a hurry.
- Arrived is used to describe his arrival in a taxi, and that his arrival was in a hurry.
Example: He opened the door and her heart.
- Open is describing the physical action of opening a door while metaphorically describing the opening of ones heart.
[Kyle Litfin. Section 1G]