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And their languages laid the foundation of the English language and their literature was the beginning of English one.



The Renaissance

 

Historical situation

The "dark" middle ages were followed by the period of Renaissance (re- birth) a series of events which changed the intellectual and moral attitudes of people around the world. The literature of the Renaissance started to teach that men were not evil beings they had a right to live and enjoy themselves as well as develop their talents. The men's happiness was finally here on earth. And it depended on their own strength and mental abilities to achieve it. Men were to be their own guide to truth and happiness. The period of Reniassanse is comprised of three sub periods:

1. First period lasted from the end of the 15 to the beginning of the 16th century (Pre-renaissance)

2. Second period is called Elisabethan Age ( the second half of the 16th - the beginning of the 17th century) - the best period of the English renaissance. Literature was at its peak. This period is connected with the name Shakespeare.

3. Third period 1616 to the 40s of the 17th century. The period of decay of English humanism.

 

Pre- renaissance

Many of new ideas were popularized by the so-called humanists. The major of which is Thomas More (1478-1535). He began his careeras a lawyer but eventually proceeded to a member of a parliament. In 1529 he was even made Lord Chancellor. But the problem was Thomas More was completely against the King's absolute power. He was accused of treason and beheaded. The work by which he is best remembered is "Utopia" (1560). It is a name of non-existent island. This book is represented by two parts. In the first the author gIves a profound (deep) image of the people's sufferings and points out the social evils existing in England at that time. The second part presents his ideal of what the future society should be like. "utopia" was the first literarry work in which the ideas of communism appeared. (no private property, the people own everything in common and enjoy complete economic equality. Everyone cares for their neighbors and each has a clean and healthy house to live in. Labour is the most essential feature of life in utopia but no one is overworked. After More a tendency began in literature to write fantastic novels on social reforms.

 

2. Elizabethan age. It was characterized by the splendour its poetry and drama lyrical poetry became wide spread in England and (the major influence had the italian sonnet. It consisted of 14 lines. They were divided into two groups: 1. 8 lines - the octave; 2. Of 6th lines - sestet.) the foremost poet of the time was Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) descended from a noble house but his parents were poor. He was taught Hebrew, Greek, Latin and French at Cambrige while at college he acted in the theatre which inspired him to write poetry. The most famous of his poems are: "Shepherd's Calendar" and "Fairy Queen".

The Calender is a poem about ideal Shefferd's life. It consits of 12parts each dedicated the one of the month of the year the whole making up the calendar.

The Fairy Queen is an allegorical poem representing the court of Queen Elizabeth. Prince Authur is the hero of the poem in a vision he sees a GlorIana - a fairy queen. He falls in love with her and armed by Merlin strts seeking her in Faireland.

The most prominent representative of the drama art of this period was Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593). He studied at Cambridge and was greatly influenced by the ideas of Reneiccanse. After Cambridge he went to London started an acting career but after an accident in theatre he obtained some problems with his leg and took to writing place. His major plays are "Doctor Faustus", "The Jew of Malta" and "Edward the Second". He showed through all of his plays the fascination of power.

Doctor Faustus is based on the story of the power given by knowledge.

The Jew of Malta represents the power of money.

Edward II is based on the problem of losing power.

 

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) little can be told about his life with certainty. His native town is supposed to be Straford on Avon. His father was engaged in wool industry. He was married to Ann Hathaway and he moved to London to earn money. His creative activity is divided into three periods: 1. 1590-1600 (comedies) the emotional coloring of the comedies is witty and optimistic. The heroes are creators of their own fate. The virtues bring them happiness. Even Romeo and Juliette (1594) doesn't have the note of grief. The mood full of promise dominates since the death of the heroes reconciliate unites the two hostile families. 1593 - taming of the shrew. 1595 - a midsummer night dream. 1600 - the twelveth night. Shakespeare's poems and 154 sonnets were also written during this period.

2. 1601- 1608 ( tragedies) this period presents great human problems. The author understood that human happiness depended not only on cleverness and virtues but also on social situation. Shakespeare showed that social injustice flourishing in the period led to the nessecity to change the world the laws if men and his morals. 1601 hamlet, 1604 - othello, 1605 - king leer and Macbeth

3. 1609 - 1612 (tragicomedies) in spite of their genre there is no tragic tension in this place. The emotional and ideological conflicts are less strong the author transports to a world of fantasy and allegory. They are full of mood of resignation. 1609- Cymbeline, 1612 Henry VIII.

 

24.11.2011

 

3. The period of English Bougrous revolution and restavraration of Monarchy. (2nd half of the 17 century)

The English b. Revolution was caused by different social and political events major of which was the struggle between the monarchy and the parliament for power. It began in 1628 when Charles I dismissed the parliament for 11 years. In 1639 Scotland started a war against England. So the king had to summon parliament again and sign the parliamentary act. This act put the King's ministers under the pariament's control. The king eventually disliked this state of things and started a riot after two great battles against parliamentary forces Charles was taken to prison and beheaded in 1649. England was proclaimed a common wealth. The major force in the society became the so called puritans. They proclaimed modest life, economy and labour as major major virtues. They also considered all types of Intertainments a great sin. When they came to power, theaters were closed. Theatre buildings were destroyed and actors were proclaimed tramps. The literature of the period is interesting for two facts:

The political struggle laid the foundation of journalism.

The literature of the period was to a great extend over shadowed by catholic reaction and Puritan movement.

The first representative of this period was John Milton (1608-1674). He is considered to be greatest publicist during the Puritan revolution. His works and pamphlets gave theoretical foundation to the struggle of Bourgousee against the monarchy. He was born in London educated at Cambridge and after graduating he retired to the country side where he took up writing poetry.

The periods of Milton's creative activity:

1625 - 1640 Italian. It is characterized by humanistic ideals in the Puritan society.

1640 - 1660 English. Milton worked as Latin secretary of the council of state and was made ton write political pamphlets on revolutionary England.

E.g. "Defense of the people of England", "the tenure of King's and madgestrettes. Milton made Europe understand that the revolution in England was not just the great rebellion but the only force which could give the people rights and freedoms.

1660 - 1674. The death Cromwell was followed by the restavration of Monarchy. Milton was discharged from his office. His works were burned. He had to move to small village where he created his best works: "paradise lost" and "paradise regained"

"paradise lost" was written at the time when the revolution ended unsuccessfully but the spirit of it was nit yet broken. In this poem the place of action is the Universe. The characters are Satan, God, three guardian angels - Raphael, Gabriel and Michael and the first man and woman. The revolutionary spirit is shown in Satan who revoltes against God. Down into hell he falls. But Satan is not tone overcome. He is to fight against God who is a tyran and despotic to the free mind. Though banished from heaven Satan is glad to have gained freedom. We see throughout the whole poem that Satan posseses human qualities. He pities th rebel angels who have lost heavenly life for his own sake. Hi is determined to go on with his war against god.that is why he decides to sedduce people to do wrong. The poem can be divided into three logical parts: 1. The rise of Satan against god. 2. The life of Adam and Eve in paradise and their fall.

3. The life of Adam and Eve after the fall.

 

The second prominent writer of the period whose creativity belongs to the restavration mainly is John Bunyan (1629-1688). The restavration of the monarchy brought new tendencies and ideas into the social life and literature. Charles II brought from France different morals which were excidingly against Puritan society. Theaters were reopened. New plays staged in them were indecent and light minded. Showing the immorality of the upper classes. The progressive writers (Bunyan) were against the new tendencies. They criticized the aristocracy and the court.

Bunyan represented a democratic layer of the puritans. He was closely connected with the life of common people as he himself was from a ery poor family. He was not educated and the only book he read was the bible. When he was young he joined th army after that he was imprisoned and spent there 12 years. It was in prison where he strted to write. His greatest work is "pilgrim's progress" (путь паломника) it is an allegorical novel by means of allegory Bunyan satirically describes the social life of his time. The novel describes the way which the main character undertakes the trip to the Eternal City (regular metaphor to Rome). On his way he visits different places the City of Morality, the city Distruction, the city of Vanity. These cities are considered to be the symbols of the rising Bourgousee. The novel exposes the corruption of the restavration nobility which is opposed to Bunyan's Puritan ideal of simple and pure life. Bunyan is considered to be one of the greatest writers of the 17th century as his works paved the way for the 18th century novelists Thackeray and his "Vanity Fair" to be more precised.

 

1.12.11

The period of enlightenment

 

Took place in the 18th century. This century saw Great Britain rapidly growing into a capital country. It was an age of intensive industrial development. New machinery was invented that turned Britain into the first capitalist power of the world. In spite of the I austral progress and vast innovations in culture, the majority of English people were still very ignorant. That is why one of the most important problems that faced the country was the problem of education. The 18th century is known in history of Europe as the period of enlightenment. The enlightenment defended the interests of common people. The central problem of the enlightenment ideology was "man and his nature". The enlighteners believed in reason and in mens' inborn goodness. The contrary of the middle ages ideoly. The miserable living conditions were the only obstruction to the universal health. The enlighteners also believed in educational value of art. The major English enlighteners of the period were: Daniel Defo, Alexander Pope, Samuel Richardson. These writers believed that a few reforms were enough to improve the situation in society. Some of the writers openly protested against the inferiority of the social order. They were: Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, Richard Sheridan. The period of enlightenment can be divided into three stages:

1688 (Glorious Revolution)- 30s of the 18th century.

40-50s of the 18th century

Late enlightenment - the end of the 18th century.

 

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) he was a catholic and is why he was several times expelled from schools and universities. Most of his knowledge he got from books and he never received any official degree. His poetic career started with a selection of poems "four pastorals" published in 1709. They were short poems on seasons. Then in quick succession came three major poems after which he was clearly recognized as the greatest living poet. He is also known as a major translator of Homer's Iliad after which he became famous among all the people in England. This success didn't satisfied Pope and he turned to another sort of writing- satiric and didactic poetry. First came "the Dunciad" which was a mock-heroic-epic in which the author ridicules his literary opponents. The major theme of the poem is a fight of the reason against ignorance and barbarity. The next didactic poem was "the essay of men" (1733). The satire which the poem contains has behind it Pope's antipathy against the corruption of false taste and avarice which were undermined the social and political order of the country he loved.

 

Daniel Defo (1661-1731) he is regarded as the founder of realistic novel in english. He was from a wealthy family and received a good education. His father wanted him to be a priest but chose a sailor's profession. He travelled in euro Ken countries, spoke a lot of languages and was generally considered as a man of wide learning. He took active part in political life and started his literary career as a pamphlet writer (an essay on political situation). In 1697 he published his famous "Essay upon projects" in which he suggested all kinds of reforms (establishment of saving banks, construction of railways, wider education for women). In 1701 appeared his "True born Englishman" a vigorous satire in verse. The idea of which was the English as a mixed race should not object to the foreign birth of king William III. His pamphlet is the shortest way with Dissenteurs enraged the officials so much that he was given three day pillory. It was not until Defo was nearly sixty that he discover a great desire to write. The first book of fiction was "Robinson Cruso" (1719) then followed a series of other novels "Captain Singelton" (1720), "Moll Flanders' and etc. The main theme of his major work is that Bourgous initiative entepreneurship are the best ways to success and self-fulfillment.

 

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) is regarded as a major prose satirist of the enlightenment. Unlike Defo Swift didn't believe in the all mighty power of Bourgousee. The main feature of his creative activity is merciless criticism og Bourgous society. His major method was satire. Swift comes from Dublin graduated from Trinity college, became a statesman when he moved to England. After being a minister of the Anglican church he got the position of a head clergyman of st.Patrick's cathedral in Dublin and spent there in this position the rest of his life. Swift wrote "Gulliver's travels" in 1726. And became immediately famous. The travels described four voyages that Lemuel Gulliver makes to strange lands. The first "lilliputia", the second "brobdingnang". The third voyage takes Gulliver's to several strange kingdoms (lagado - where scientists extract sun beams from cucumbers, laputa- a flying island with different unknown creatures). the forth voyage is to the land of gentle wise horses Houyhnhnms which are eaten by the evil human beings which are called Yahoos.

The novel is of adventure type but only in for its assents is social criticism. It is an attack against all attempts to justify Bourgous order. In the end we understand that Gulliver is a kind of Robinson found himself on an uninhabited island while Guliver visited civilized countries and got acquainted with different social systems. Apart from Robison who ended with acknowledging bougrouis way of civilization while Guliver denied it all together.

 

8.12.11

Romanticism

 

It is connected with the first half if the 19th century. The period of enlightenment was eventually succeeded by romanticism. The writers of the period turned away from the values and ideas of the "age of reason"(разум) toward what they perceived as a more individual and imaginative approach to both literature and life. In general the romantic writers placed the individual rather than society at the centre of their vision. They tended to be optimistic about the possibility of progress of humanity. Thus supporting the development of democratic values. Whereas the writers of the age of reason tended to regard evil as a basic part of human nature, the romantic writers generally saw humanity as naturally good, but corrupted by the institutions of religion, education and government. The literature of this period has the sense of uniqueness of any human being and inerest in mysterious and mystical laws by which the inner world of a human being is organized.

Romanticism as a literary current can be regarded as a result of two historical events: The Industrial Revolution, the French Bourgous Revolution (1789). Romanticists were dissatisfied with the present state of things. Some of the writers were really revolutionary ( George Gordon Bayron, P.B. Shelly) they denied the existing order forced upon people to struggle for a better future. These writers shared the people's desire for liberty and personal freedom. They also supported the national liberation wars on the continent.

 

Revolutionary romanticsits

 

G. G. Bayron (1788-1824) was born London and inherrited the title of lord. He studied at Cambridge but left it because he was dissatisfied with his studies. His first book of poems "Hours of idleness" was severely criticized and as a reaction he wrote a verse satire "English bards and scotch reviewers" and dropped writing for a time. From 1809 to 1811 he travelled through Southern Europe. In 1812 he published the first two parts of his famous " Childe Harold's pilgrimage". Between 1813 and 1816 he mostly composed his "Oriental tales" which embody his romantic individualism. The hero is usually a rebel against society, a man of strong will and passionate. He is also proud and conceited, that is why he rises against tyranny and injustice to gain his personal freedom and happiness. This revault is too individualistic and therefore it is doomed to failure. In 1815 Bayron had to leave England for ever. He went Switzerland where he finished his "pilgrimage" (the book) and lyrical drama "Manfred". In 1817 he went to Italy to take part in a civil war there. Italian period is greatly influenced by revolutionary ideas. The most prominent work of the period is the poem "Don Juan". In 1823 Bayron went to Greece to join the struggle for national independence and died there of fever.

Percy Bysshe биш Shelly (1792-1822) was born in Sussex in a wealthy family. He was educated in Iton from which he was expelled for writing a pamphlet "the necessaty of atheism". Shelly was interested in relationship between England and her parts (Ireland and Wales) he believed that the Irish were oppressed by the English rulers and tried to rouse the Irish to rebel against England. He wrote "Queen Mab" (1813) - a revolutionary poem which attacked both political tyranny and christianity. After 1818 Shelly into permanent exile in Italy where he wrote his most important works of which "Prometheus Unbound" is the most prominent. Shelly's poems are emotionally direct but difficult to understand intellectually. His spiritual attitudes were intensely personal and tended to oppose traditional Christian views. Shelly felt that's spiritual truth was not based on either supernatural revelation (откровение) or natural experience, instead he thought the truth could be understood by the imagination only.

 

Term 2

Peaceful romanticsits

 

Other writers of the period of romanticism represented quite a different approach to the situation. Though they had welcomed the French Bourgous revolution and the slogan of "liberty, fraternity, equality" they eventually abandoned revolutionary ideas. Their turned their attention to nature and to simple problems of life. They turned to ideas of the feudal past by way of protest of capitalist reality. Among these writers the most prominent were: Robert Burns, William Wordsworth Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, Walter Scott, John Keats. Legends, tales, songs and ballads became crucial of the creative method of the romanticists.

 

7.02.12

 

Robert Burns (1759-1796) was of scottish origin his father was a farmer. He spend all his life in a deep solitude. The farmer's hard way of life taught Burns to take joy in all small pleasures and to be skeptical of the moral codes of the wel-to-do. These attitudes along with his capacity for love, friendship and hearty tavern fellowship provide the chief themes of his poetry. Burns had only few years of formal education and educated himself mostly by reading. In 1796 he published his first volume which became popular with the society. In1788 his literary success helped him to get an appointment as a tax official which helped him to get a steady income for the rest of his life. In 1791 he moved into a small village to completely devote himself to his literary work. His health was already undermined by hard labor and he died at the age of 37.

Burns was interested in authentic folk songs. He wrote many poems to be sung to Scottish folk tunes.( Auld Lang Syne ). He also wrote brilliant narrative poems such as Tam O'shanter and clever satires, e.g. Address to the devil and Holly Willy's prayer. Burns wrote in both the Scotts dialect and standard English. He wrote in English when he wanted to express respectable ideas as in "a prayer in the prospect of death". When he wished to express ideas that conflicted with custom or less respectable aspects he adopted the language of an uneducated Scottish pasens "the joly beggers".

 

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was born and bred in Wales went to a good school and to Cambridge university, he left it after about three years because he began to write poetry under the Influence of French Boergouous Revolution and even spent a few months in France. Eventually Ww became disappointed in its theory and practice and sought consolation in country life and nature. Ww's first poems were published in 1793 and were considered indictment (accusation) of the whole social order in his joint publication with Coleridge (lyrical ballads) he was more active and wrote numerous poems about village life and wild beautiful nature. He was also the author of several philosophical poems "the excurtion" (1814), "the prelude" (1814). Ww is at his best in descriptions of natural scenery in conveying delight with all that is part of nature and analyzing nature's influence upon the shaping of the mind of men. Heis common effort was to bring the language of poetry into close proximity (близость) with the colloquial speech this effort was greatly criticized by his contemporaries but I spite of this influenced to great extent a 19th cent English poets.

 

Walter Scott (1771-1832) was born in the family of a lawyer after passing through the university of Edinburg he was apprenticed to his father and in 1792 was called to bar (to pass a special examination in jurisdiction). Apart from his professional work he found time for wide miscellaneous reading and for long rembles in the highlands thus storing his mind (packing) with ancient knowledge and legendary folklore. His literary career began in 1796 when he published translations of German ballads by Bürger and Goethe in 1802 he prepared a collection of ballads under the title "the minstrel sy of the Scottish border". In 1804 he gave up the law entirely in hunting for ballads he also hit upon "the goblin story" out of which he developed his first verse tale "the day of the last minstrel". It was followed by 7 other tales of which "the lady of the lake" is the most famous. They are full of battle scenes, vivid images of chevalry of feudal times and nature. By blending historical facts with romantic fancies Walter Scott created anew genre "the historical novel".Walter Scott realized that it was the ordinary people who were the makers of history and he also thought that the past was not cut off from the present but influenced it. The romantic love of the past made him create rich historical canvases with landscape and nature descriptions as well as picturesque details of passed ages. Scott was the first author to depict personalities typical of the period and the country described.

 

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was born in a small village in Hampshire where her father was a rector (the local clergyman) her formal education began at home but in 1792 she and two other sisters Austen were sent to Oxford. In 1784 they were sent to Abbey school in reading where they remained until 1787. After that their education continued at home again. Jane began to write early but it was only for her family entertainment. Interesting that she started writing short parodies on contemporary authors. Her days were usually quiet and the area she lived in was not full of new people and various types of entertainments, but she was able to catch enough knowledge about middle class provincial society and local morals. She also was honest enough to gave a truthful representation of the life she knew best. Austen's earliest writings date back to 1797 and after that she wrote a large body of material that was collected in 3 manuscript notebooks. In all these there are twenty one items of different genres:

Plays, verses, short novels and parodies. In 1793 she wrote a short novel "Lady Susan". The novel was written in letters. "sence and sensibillity" was began in 1795 as a novel in letters as well. Epistole genre. It contrasted two sisters Elinore who is rational and self-controlled. And Mary-Anne who is more emotional. In October 1796 she started the first version of "Pride and Prejudice". Two of the major late works were "Northanger Abbey" (1799) and "Mansfield Park" (1811). Her novels were brilliant studies of the world notable for the authors deep insight into human phsychology. Her interest was in commonplace perplexities of emotion and conduct. Throughout of the novels her gaze was steadily humorous and ironical to other gifts of a prose writer she added a perfect sence of dramatic progression and an admirably transparent style of writing. Austen's analyses of her characters motives, thir silliness and shallowness are sharp and sensitive. She depicts the incongruity between generally admitted high social values and standards and the people who do not display these standards.she makes fun of those people who look down upon their neighbors for no better reason than comparative lack of money or rank.

 

The critical realism

 

Critical realism flourished in the 40-50s of the 19th century. The cr realists set themselves at a task of criticizing capitalist society exposing the crying social contradictions. Their strong point was their true reflection of life andthier sharp disregard for the existing injustice. The merit of English realism lies in its profound humanism its sympathy for the working people is boundless and earnest. The greatest english realist of the time was Charles Dickens with striking force and truthfulness he described the sufferings of common people another critical realist prominent for his creative activity was William Makepeace Thackery. His novels contain a satirical portrayal of the upper straighter of society. Here also belong Charlotte and Emily Brontë. Elisabeth Gaskell and George Eliot. All these writers showed a realistic picture of their contemporary written. Their portrayed every day life with a little man as a central character.

 

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was born at Landport where his father held clerkship in the navi pay office. He spent his youth at Chatham and London where he had to submit to alive of great hardship. His father being imprisoned for debt. The boy worked as a packer in a warehouse. Later he was placed in a solicitor's office where he acquired the knowledge of legal affairs afterwards displayed in his novels. Dickens' education was mainly achieved by extensive reading and keen observation of people and things around him. In 1831 Dickens obtained an engagement as parliamentary reporter. His literary career began in 1833. First he wrote short descriptive essays on the London scenes familiar to him as a worker under the general title "Scetches by Boz". His next publication "Posthumous (посмертный) Papers of the Pickwick club" (1837) spread his fame all over Europe. The "Papers" is a humorous description of funny adventures and misadventures of the members of the Pickwick club which was founded by mister Pickwick. The purpose of the club was "to observe characters and manners". Dickens created a series of novels notable for critical and comic talent.

The first is "Oliver Twist" (1838). This novel deals with social problems. It is a history of a little boy born in a workhouse and left an orphan. The kind and honest boy by nature finds himself in the environment of thieves, liars and has to live through terrible hardships as Dickens still believes in the inevitable (неизбежный) of good over evil, it is natural that a greater part o Dickens' worked d's happily so "Oliver Twist" does.

His next novel was "Nicholas Nickelby" (1839). This book deals with burning question: education of children in private schools. NN becomes a teacher of a typical english boarding school where half starved children are used by the master of the school and his wife for domestic work.

 

21.02.12

 

Then came “The old Curiosity Shop” (лавка древности) (1841). It is a story of sufferings and hardships of an old man called Trent and his grandaughter Neil who lived in London. They have to overcome a lot of difficulties because of their having lack of money, along with high moral standards.

In 1844 Charles Dickens spend some time in the USA and published his famous satire on the American way of life called Chuzzlewit. Between 1843-1848 he published a series of Christmas Tales called “Christmas Books” and in 1846 he began one of his last novels the most prominent for its deep social ground Dombey and Son. The autobiographical novel “David Copperfield” (1850) based on a story of a young man who lives through hardships . Dickens tried to express all his reflexions on the general social situation in England and the ways of obtaining personal happiness in difficult life situations. Through this book how compassionate the author is to the hardships of common people and how strongly he believes in the necessity, and virtues of social justice and financial security.

Dickens is also interested for his attention to the development of human character (especially child's one) when it faces some kinds of problems. “Little Dorrit” (1857) is the most interesting. It is a story of a little girl whose parents are thrown into the debtors prison.

Dickens also tried his hand in historical novels which were also talented and literary perfect. The most important are “Barnaby Rudge” (1841) and “The Tale of Two Cities”.

Dickens is mostly bent on correcting public grievances like the defects of the new outrageous Poor Law and the workhouse system. Dickens was also infuriated by the clumsiness and deep injustice of the governmental and legal systems.

 

The Bronte Sisters

 

There were 3 Bronte novelists in England: Charlotte (1816-1865), Emily (1818-1848), Ann (1820-1849). Their father was a clergyman. They received their education at a charity school and worked as governesses (гувернантки) most of the time. The life of the sisters was very hard and they tried to decorate it by the world of imagination. The decision to become writers was a difficult one for the sisters because at that time a female writer had to suffer a lot of troubles when it came to the publication of her works. Their first volume of verse was published under the masculine pseudonym, Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell (1846).

06.03.12

 

Charlotte Bronte first attempt at prose was “The Professor” (1847). First it was rejected by the publishers but after the publication of her second novel “Jane Eyre” (1847). This book was also admitted by the publisher and the public. In 1849 she published “Shirley” about the life of workers at the time of Luddites movement.

The last novel was “Vilette” (1853), which contains a realistic description of her personal experiences at a boarding school in Brussels.

In her works Charlotte combined scenes from her own life with her far reacher and more romantic imagination. The main subject of her books is a soul of a woman a governess or a teacher. Her heroines are generous, intelligent, modest and gentle. She mostly attacks greed, lack of culture of the bourgeoisie. She also sympathizes with the workers and the peasants.

 

Emily Bronte's “Wuthering Heights” (Грозовой перевал) is a novel of passion. It is considered to be one of the most successful in early psychological novels. The central characters Heathcliff and Cathy live out their passion in the windy countryside of Yorkshire. The landscape in the book is as wild as the relationship between the characters. The novel in general presents a new view of women and their emotions. She skillfully shows the reader the evolution of character, psychology of people, deep moral and social conflicts and human weaknesses.

 

Anne Bronte is known for her “Agnes Grey” and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” (1848). Her works are also prominent for their unusual central female character and involvement of complex relationship between the characters and complicated problems between the classes of society.

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray

the novel presents the peak of Wilde's theory in which he glorifies beauty in perfection. The author also conveys the idea that it's not at all necessary tone realistic and teach morality. But the critics say that Wilde is not always consistent in this attempt. the end of the book is a contradiction of a decadent theory. The fact that the portray acquired its former beauty and the character and his natural ugliness shows the triumph of real beauty, which is a piece of art created by an artist, which is a unity of beauty form

which is a unity of beauty form and content. Besides that the book conveys the idea that real beauty cannot be a part of an immoral human being and life.

 

In the early 20 cent. the traditions of critical realists of the 19th cent were continued and developed further. Three names are prominent among the writers who continued its traditions. They are: George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy and Herbert George Wells. All these possesed remarkable individual talent and developed the trend of critical realism along their own individual paths. They sought for new ways and means of revealing the truth. In their works the critisism of borgous world reaches considerable depth. The narrow mindedness, hypocrisy and stupidity are mercilessly criticized in the works of Bernard Shaw. Galsworthy chooses his phsychological point of view in revealing the characters of his novels. The works of Herbert Wells are of great interest, because he recreated the new type of novel "looking into the future".

 

Bernard Shaw (1856- 1950) was born in Dublin in a middle class family. He traveled from one school to another because studying was dull for him. He educated himself by reading and learning foreign languages. At 15 he went to work as clerk. He moved to London in 1876 and became a successful music critic there. In 1884 he helped to found the so-called Fabian society which was an organization. of socialists who believed that political and economic change could be gained through reform only. Shaw's early plays did not become popular immediately because they had a very radical subject matter for that time. His first play "Widower's houses" (1892) attacked slum landlords. The next one "Mrs. Warren's profession" (1893) dealt with the causes of prostitution. The third one "Arms and the man" (1894) was an entertaining anti war comedy. The author called the addition of his plays "Plays Unpleasant". The next group of plays was published under general title of "Plays Pleasant". They are: "The man of destiny" and "Candida". The title of the second edition is really ironical because through the amusing situations and witty scenes Shaw continued to criticize borgous morals and ideas. The third volume was called "Three plays for puritans", they are "Ceasar and Cleopatra" (1891), "The devil's disciple" (1897) and "Captain Brassbound's conversion" (1899). The title has a double meaning on the one hand the plays turn against English Puritanism, on the other hand, the are also directed against decadent drama.

In 1912 Shaw wrote his "Pygmalion" which scandalized the respectable public by using lots of dialect and slang words which English considered vulgar and insulting. During Ww1 Shaw wrote long dairying articles protesting against the imperialist governments and their war policy. After the war in 1925 Shaw received the international Noble prize for literature. Shawn's plays of the post war period became still even more complex. The most powerful of them are "The Apple Cart" (1929), "Too True To Be Good" (1931). The first one is devoted to the theme of the USA and England rivalry in the political arena and the second dwells on decay of the Bourgous system. Besides Shaw's works depict the birth and growth of new progressive forces the world (socialist society). In generalShaw mocks at general charity. Satirizes businessmen and aristocrats. His way of writing is peculiar and grotesque. He says true things in such a way that at first one is not sure whether to laugh or to be upset. The author chooses satire as a weapon to fight for his ideals and thus he carried on the best traditions of critical realism in English literature.

 

20.03.12

John Galsworthy (1867-1933) was born in Kingston Hill Surey into an upper class wealthy family. His father was a prominent lawyer and a director of several companies. Initially Galsworthy studied law in Harrow College. During this period he gained his fame as a cricket and football player but to as a writer. In 1890 he was called to the bar (to take an examin jurisdiction). However he never settled into practice but chose to travel after an unlucky love affair. Galsworthy's first four books were published at his own expense. Under pseudonym John Sinjohn. The first book "From the four winds" (1897) was a collection of short stories after reading Turgenev Galsworthy felt the necessity to find his own voice in literature and the following book "Villa Rubein" was complete.y focused on the these attempts. Traditionally these early efforts written under the influence of Russian novelists are called by the critics "heavy and .."

the following book "the island Pharisees" (1904) was the first book published under Galsworthy's name. Originally he wrote it in the 1st person sg, then in a third. Then revised it again. The final version was not finished until 1908. with the death of Galsworthy's father in 1904 he became financially independent and could freely devote himself to some period of entertainments and idleness. In 1905 he married the only woman he was connected with for the rest of his life. He had lived with this woman in secret for ten years because his father was against Galsworthy's connection with a devorcee. The most interesting thing about Ada Person was that she inspired most of Galworthy's female characters. Moreover her previous unhappy marriage with Galsworthy's cousin formed the basis of the first famous novel "The Man of Property" (1906). This novel being quite sufficient in literary terms on its own began the novel sequence known as "Forsyte saga". This sequence established Galsworthy's reputation as a major British writer. The first appearance of the Forsyte family was in one of stories in "Man of Devon" (1901). The Saga follows the lives of three generations of the British middle class before the first WW. Soames Forsyte was modelled after Galsworthy's cousin who was wife former husband. Soames is married to beautiful and rebellious Irene. The incident when Soames rapes his wife was supposedly based on Ada Person's experience with her former husband. The second volume "In chancery" (1920) is based on the story of Irene and Soames devorce after which Irene marries Soames cousin Jolyon and bears a son Jon. At the same time Soames marries for the second time and they have a daughter Fleur. In the third volume which is called "To let" (1921) Fleur and Jon fall in love but Jon refuses to marry her. The second part of Forsyte's chronicles contains "the white monkey" (1924) "the silver spoon" (1926) and "swan song" (1928). Galsworthy returned again to the world of Forsyte witha further collection of stories on "Forsyte change". This author is also gained recognition as a dramatist with his plays which dealt directly witha unequal division of wealth and the unfair treatment of the poor.

The first play "the silver box" stated that there is one law for the rich and another one for the poor. The second one is "Stife" depicted a mining strike and the results which poor people achieved in this fight. The results were mostly dissatisfactory for them. The thirs was justice (1910). The story was so striking that it encouraged Winston Churchill (home secretary) to change the situation with the prisons by producing a new prison reform. Later plays include "the skin game" (1920) and "loyalties" (1922). The later one dealt with the theme of anti-semitism. The last one was "escape" which was a story of a law abiding (законопослушный) who met a prostitute and accidentally killed a policeman in defending her. He escaped from prison and met a lot of different before giving himself up. During the 1WW Galsworthy tried to enlist but he was rejected due to some health problems so he started working for the Red Cross in France and Belgium. Galsworthy refused knighthood in 1917 because he believed that writers were not to accept titles but he received the Noble prize for literature in 1932 and he also gave away at least half of his income to humanitarian causes.

Galsworthy is known among the writers for his true portrayal of the British upper class and for his social satire. He was a representative of the literary tradition which regarded the novel as an instrument of social debate. It means that his duty as a writer was to examine a problem but not to provide solutions.

 

Angry young men

In the middle of 50s post war disillusionment and devergence between hopes and reality determined the character of fiction created by a group of writers who came collectively to be known as "The angry young men". Among them were Kingsley Amis, John Wain, John Braine, John Osborn, Collin Wilson. It is important to note that they didn't belong to a clearly defined movement. Far from it they attacked one another in the press and some were even reluctant to appear in the same publications. But they had one thing in common - an attitude of non-conformity to the established social order. Through their characters these writers were eager to describe their anger with society, an anger modified by the fact that it was expressed from the point of view of men who were themselves products of "Wellfare state" (is a system of social security for the workers in nationalized industries proved to be a deception because the benefits grantedby this system were largely nullified by a steady increase of indirect taxation). The major characters of Kingsley Amis's book "Lucky Jim", John Wain's book "Hurry on down", John Braine's book "Room at the top", Collin Wilson's "the outsiders" and Osborn's "Look back in anger" no matter how different they are represent the frustrated young generation who defy everybody in authority. They do not seem to fit in very fewes to put up with society's conventions. Their statements express both political sceptisism and disgust with personal in security. Their anger originates in their inability to communicate with others as fully and meaningfully as they would like to. All of them are intelligent young men from the lower or lower middle class families educated at provincial universities, but they are let loose in a society dominated more than ever by ruthless class distinctions which will never let them become successful wealthy and prominent In the society.

 

The working-class novel

 

An important development of late 50s and early 60s having a direct connection with outburst of the Angries was the emergence of the working-class novel. In their vigorous fiction Allan Sillitoe, Sid Chaplin, Stan Barstow and David Storey tried to provide the lower class prospective of the post war situation in Britain. The defiance of authority, the attitude of resentment a working men's constant struggle in a hostile world, all these gave their characters a certain unity of fellow feeling directed against the highest classes exploiting their physical and spiritual powers. Allan Sillitoe who sets his novels against (на фоне) the lowest depths of England's grimy industrial cities makes his reader realize that his young heroes are unable to fulfill themselves within the prison of class-bound system.

And their languages laid the foundation of the English language and their literature was the beginning of English one.

 

3. Anglo- Saxon literature

EL propper begins in the 5th century. It is characterized by its oral nature. And it's represented mostly by songs and legends.

The first great work Anglo-Saxon literature is considered to be: "The Song of Beowulf". This song was composed in the 6th century, but only in the 8th century it was written down.

"Beowulf" tells of a hero of Geats (imaginary tribe) who twice performed his heroic deeds to save people oppressed by supernatural forces. In his youth he performed his first deed in what is now called Danemark. He killed men-eating monster Grendel being unarmed. After that Gremdel's gigantic mother tried to kill Beowulf but he won the struggle by means of the magic sword. Later in his old age after ruling for fifty years as a king of Geats he fought for the 3rd time. It was a dragon which had been eating his people. He successeded in this battle again but died from wounds.

The text contains 3182 lines. It is told in a dignified manner and the descriptions are full of different types of retardation. For example: the description of the attack on Finburg hall.

The style of the poem carries the major elements of epic narration (e.g. a lot of compound nouns and phrases and a lot of verbal stereotypes also called kennings).

England was converted to Christianity in the 7th century AD. With Christianity here appeared a new type of literature: religious poems. One poet of the period is widely known nowadays Cædmon. He was a monk in a dual monastery Whitby. His poems were inspired by the first book of the bible which contained the narration of the world's creation and primeval history. His verses were based on epithets, parallel constructions, interruptions and repetitions.

In christian poetry there was also another type of literature: stories about the saints. They were composed by the person whose name was Cynewulf who lived at the beginning of the 9th century. He is supposed to be the author of two books. The first and major book "The fates of the Apostels" recording of the ends of the lives of the twelve disciples. And the second one which is called "Juliana". It is a story of a girl who was arrested as a Christian, tortured, tempted by the evil and finally crowded with the martyr's death.

 

 

10.11.11

All the literature mentioned above was written in poetical form. Later in the 10 th century two prosaic writers appeared. They were King Alfred The Great and Bede the Reverent.

 

King Alfred played a significant role in recognition of the role of vernacular literature (literature written in native language). He encouraged the process of translation of Latin works into Anglo-Saxon. They were basically tales of diabolic temptations, miracles and visions.

*The so-called "Anglo-Saxon chronicle" was compiled during Alfred's rule and covered a period of english history from the period of Julius Ceasar up to 1154.

*In order to transmit a recognized legal system to future generations he put together earlier law codes supplementing them by biblical commandments and by additions of his own.

*The third thing he did was the translation of major works of Augustine (a roman priest who came to England to christianize the people).

 

Bede the Reverent was interested in a wide variety of subjects. His most ambitious effort was to recreate classical learning for the use of Anglo-Saxon schools. "Echlasiastical history of the English nations" is his major work and it was completed in 731. This work is of great value for our knowledge of the course of political history of Anglo-Saxon England.

 

4. Anglo-Norman period of English literature

In 1066 the Normans defeated Anglo-Saxons in the Battle of Hastings. Since that time the Norman conquest began. The Normans were of Scandinavian origin, but 3 centuries before they conquered Britain they had conquered Normandy (the northern part of France). During these 3 centuries they assimilated French culture, habits and language. So when they came to the British Isles they brought with them French language, culture, laws and administration. It resulted in the situation when feudal system of England was completely submitted by French barones. It happened that the rulers and the ruled spoke different languages. The French nobility spoke French. The lower classes of the society spoke Anglo-Saxon. French language became the official language of England, of court, administration and law in particular. It is important to mention that religious people continued to use Latin language for their religious purposes. Three languages were widely used in the course of history.

 

Accordingly to the number of languages there were three types of literature at that time:

1. Romances (were written in French). The most common plot of any romance was the heroic serving of a knight to his lady (who is most usually a wife of another person). The most prominent romances were telling about the King Authur and his knights of the round table. The most prominent work of this period is called "the Romans of the Rose"

2. Vernacular literature (folklore). It was written in Anglo-Saxon. Those stories were in most cases short satirical stories about clever common people who could easily deceive clergy and knights.

3. Religious literaturewas written in Latin. It told different stories on the basis of the bible.

 

The preparation of Reneissance

 

It was the period when London became the center of the country. And the process of centralization was completed London dialect became the central dialect of the country and the majority of people began to speak this exact dialect. The greatest role in the development of the english language was played by Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) his name and creative activity are connected with the formation of the national English language. He is also considered to be a forerunner of the Renaissance in the English literature. At first his creative activity was influenced by French literature that is why the first period is called the French. His earliest poems were imitations of French romances. French poetry taught him rhyme and rhythm. The second period is Italian. At that time Italy was the first country where the Bourgeoisie triumphed over feudalism. Italian literature was at its height. It opened to Chaucer a new world of art.

To this period belong:

A) The House of Fame (a didactic poem)

B) The Parliament of Fowles (an allegorical poem satirizing the english parliament)

C) The Legend of Good Women ( a dream poem in which 9famous women are described)

The third period is the English. The most prominent work of the period is "Canterbury tales". This is a series of stories written in verse, the major frame work is Pilgrimage to Canterbury. In general prologue 30 men and women from all ranks of society are described. We see a brave and honest two nuns and three priests a fat monk who loved hunting and a good dinner. A cheby student of Oxford, a wife of a rich merchant etc. including Chaucer himself and the host of some London inn. Host proposed a plan where each pilgrim was to tell four stories during the pilgrimage to Canterbery. The person who would tell the best story would get a nutritious dinner for free.

 

The peculiarities of the tales:

· They sum up all types of stories that existed in the middle ages ( the knight tells a romance, the nun tells the story of a saint, the miller tells a funny story, the priest tells a didactic tale)

· Various ranks of society are observed by the author without any discrimination or preference.

· The tales written in a new literary language. Therefore Chaucer is considered to be the father of the English language.

· The main characters are not described as simply being good or bad but every character is treated as a representative of a certain class and profession. So they instantly became typical of their class.

 

17.11.11.

Among other prominent writers of the period were a poet William Llangland and John Wycliffe.

 

W. Llangland (1332-1400) was a priest who spoke against rich churchmen. He believed in the grace of hardworking. He is famous for his allegorical poem "piers the Plowman". The poem is performed a form of a dream, human qualities such as virture are real people in the poem. Some of the. Are young maidens such as

 

There are many themes in the poem, the major of which is the hard life of common people. In his poem Llangland attacks all the evils of the church and class society usual for that time. The poem is remembered for it helped the people to concentrate their minds on the nessecity to fight for their rights.

 

John Wycliffe (1320-1384) was also a priest. He denied the church's right to be rich and appealed to the authorities to reform the corrupted catholic church. Wycliffe's views can be called the first step towards the materialistic ideas in England. He is remembered by the people for him debated high questions of government in the common tongue ( common eng). He developed the English mind and helped the ideas of Renaissance to become popular and widely spread.

 

The Renaissance

 

Historical situation

The "dark" middle ages were followed by the period of Renaissance (re- birth) a series of events which changed the intellectual and moral attitudes of people around the world. The literature of the Renaissance started to teach that men were not evil beings they had a right to live and enjoy themselves as well as develop their talents. The men's happiness was finally here on earth. And it depended on their own strength and mental abilities to achieve it. Men were to be their own guide to truth and happiness. The period of Reniassanse is comprised of three sub periods:

1. First period lasted from the end of the 15 to the beginning of the 16th century (Pre-renaissance)

2. Second period is called Elisabethan Age ( the second half of the 16th - the beginning of the 17th century) - the best period of the English renaissance. Literature was at its peak. This period is connected with the name Shakespeare.

3. Third period 1616 to the 40s of the 17th century. The period of decay of English humanism.

 

Pre- renaissance

Many of new ideas were popularized by the so-called humanists. The major of which is Thomas More (1478-1535). He began his careeras a lawyer but eventually proceeded to a member of a parliament. In 1529 he was even made Lord Chancellor. But the problem was Thomas More was completely against the King's absolute power. He was accused of treason and beheaded. The work by which he is best remembered is "Utopia" (1560). It is a name of non-existent island. This book is represented by two parts. In the first the author gIves a profound (deep) image of the people's sufferings and points out the social evils existing in England at that time. The second part presents his ideal of what the future society should be like. "utopia" was the first literarry work in which the ideas of communism appeared. (no private property, the people own everything in common and enjoy complete economic equality. Everyone cares for their neighbors and each has a clean and healthy house to live in. Labour is the most essential feature of life in utopia but no one is overworked. After More a tendency began in literature to write fantastic novels on social reforms.

 

2. Elizabethan age. It was characterized by the splendour its poetry and drama lyrical poetry became wide spread in England and (the major influence had the italian sonnet. It consisted of 14 lines. They were divided into two groups: 1. 8 lines - the octave; 2. Of 6th lines - sestet.) the foremost poet of the time was Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) descended from a noble house but his parents were poor. He was taught Hebrew, Greek, Latin and French at Cambrige while at college he acted in the theatre which inspired him to write poetry. The most famous of his poems are: "Shepherd's Calendar" and "Fairy Queen".

The Calender is a poem about ideal Shefferd's life. It consits of 12parts each dedicated the one of the month of the year the whole making up the calendar.

The Fairy Queen is an allegorical poem representing the court of Queen Elizabeth. Prince Authur is the hero of the poem in a vision he sees a GlorIana - a fairy queen. He falls in love with her and armed by Merlin strts seeking her in Faireland.

The most prominent representative of the drama art of this period was Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593). He studied at Cambridge and was greatly influenced by the ideas of Reneiccanse. After Cambridge he went to London started an acting career but after an accident in theatre he obtained some problems with his leg and took to writing place. His major plays are "Doctor Faustus", "The Jew of Malta" and "Edward the Second". He showed through all of his plays the fascination of power.

Doctor Faustus is based on the story of the power given by knowledge.

The Jew of Malta represents the power of money.

Edward II is based on the problem of losing power.

 

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) little can be told about his life with certainty. His native town is supposed to be Straford on Avon. His father was engaged in wool industry. He was married to Ann Hathaway and he moved to London to earn money. His creative activity is divided into three periods: 1. 1590-1600 (comedies) the emotional coloring of the comedies is witty and optimistic. The heroes are creators of their own fate. The virtues bring them happiness. Even Romeo and Juliette (1594) doesn't have the note of grief. The mood full of promise dominates since the death of the heroes reconciliate unites the two hostile families. 1593 - taming of the shrew. 1595 - a midsummer night dream. 1600 - the twelveth night. Shakespeare's poems and 154 sonnets were also written during this period.

2. 1601- 1608 ( tragedies) this period presents great human problems. The author understood that human happiness depended not only on cleverness and virtues but also on social situation. Shakespeare showed that social injustice flourishing in the period led to the nessecity to change the world the laws if men and his morals. 1601 hamlet, 1604 - othello, 1605 - king leer and Macbeth

3. 1609 - 1612 (tragicomedies) in spite of their genre there is no tragic tension in this place. The emotional and ideological conflicts are less strong the author transports to a world of fantasy and allegory. They are full of mood of resignation. 1609- Cymbeline, 1612 Henry VIII.

 

24.11.2011

 







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