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THE AGE OF TENDER SONNETS (1576 – 1616)


LECTURE 04

4.1. Сонеты Филипа Сидни и Майкла Дрейтона. Гуманистические принципы поэтики в трактате Сидни «Защита поэзии».

4.1.1.Sir Philip Sidney (1554—1586) is an English poet, courtier, and soldier, who in life was a model of the ideal Renaissance gentleman, and whose devotion to poetry served as an inspiration for the future of English verse.

   A favorite of Elizabeth I, he was sent on several diplomatic missions. He retired from court for a time after incurring the queen's displeasure, but was restored to favor and knighted. He joined an expedition sent to aid the Netherlands against Spain. Sidney died of wounds received in a raid on a Spanish convoy in the Netherlands. None of Sidney's works was published during his lifetime; many of them, however, circulated in manuscript. The best known are Astrophel and Stella (1591), a sequence of 108 sonnets celebrating a hopeless love affair, and Arcadia(1590), a pastoral romance in verse linked by prose passages; the first considerable work in English in this form, it became a model for later pastoral poetry. Sidney's Defence of Poesie (1595) was a prose essay that described the nature of poetry and defended it against Puritan objections to imaginative literature.

 

4.4.2. Michael Drayton (1563-1631) is an English poet, born in Hartshill, Warwickshire. One of his works, a rendering of scriptural passages in verse, offended the archbishop of Canterbury and was publicly burned. Soon thereafter Drayton wrote Idea's Mirror (1594), a collection of love sonnets. Little is known about his life but several of his sonnets rank among the best creations of the period and are second only to Shakespeare’s ones.

* * *

Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part –

Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;

And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart,

That thus so cleanly I myself can free.




Shake hands for ever, cancel аll our vows,

And when we meet at any time again,

Be it not seen in either of our brows

That we one jot of former love retain.

Now at the last gasp of Love's latest breath,

When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies,

When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,

And Innocence is closing up his eyes,

– Now, if you would'st, when all have given him over,

From death to life thou might'st him yet recover.

4.2. Творчество Эдмунда Спенсера; синтез гуманистических идей в «Королеве фей». Начало елизаветинского периода.

4.2.1. Edmund Spenser(1552—1599) is a great English poet, who bridged the medieval and Elizabethan periods, and who is most famous for his long allegorical romance, The Faerie Queene. Spenser was born in London. He went to Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, where he took a degree in 1576. He entered the service of the English courtier Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and met the English poet Sir Philip Sidney, to whom he dedicated his first major poem, The Shepheardes Calendar. This work demonstrates the great poetic flexibility of the English language. It is a series of 12 pastoral poems written in a variety of meters and employing a vocabulary of obsolete words and coined expressions to give a suggestion of antiquity.

  While residing with the Earl of Leicester in London, Spenser began to write The Faerie Queene. Thereafter, Spenser lived mostly in Ireland, near Cork, where he completed his great allegory. He was visited by the English poet, courtier, and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, who recognized the merit of the poem and brought Spenser to England to publish it and to make the poet known to Queen Elizabeth I. Spenser received an enthusiastic reception, and his poem was hailed on the publication of its first three books.

   In 1594 Spenser married and celebrated the event in his “Epithalamion,” a wedding song, considered the most beautiful example of this genre in English literature. It was printed in the same volume as a group of love sonnetsentitledThe Amoretti. In October 1598 his castle was sacked and burned by Irish rebels, and Spenser fled to London, where he died on January 13, 1599.

        

* * *

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,

But came the waves and washed it away:

Again I wrote it with a second hand,

But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.

'Vain man,' said she, 'thou do'st in vain assay,

A mortal thing so to immortalize,

For I myself shall like to this decay,

And eek my name be wiped out likewise.'

'Not so,' quoth I, 'let baser things devise

To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:



My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,

And in the heavens write your glorious name,

Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue,

Our love shall live, and later life renew.'

 

4.2.2. Spenser's reputation rests mainly on his skillful blending of religious and historical allegory with chivalric romance in The Faerie Queene. As originally planned, according to his introductory letter addressed to Raleigh, the work was to consist of 12 books, each made up of 12 cantos. Only 6 books were completed. As outlined in the introduction, Glorianna, the queen of Fairyland, represents both glory and Queen Elizabeth I, in whose honor 12 knights, who represented the qualities of the chivalric virtues, engage in a series of adventures. Throughout the narrative, the figure of Arthur, the perfect knight, also appears. The six completed books relate the adventures of the knights who represented the qualities of holiness, temperance, chastity, friendship, justice, and courtesy.

 

 

4.3. Елизаветинский театр. Становление английского национального театра. Творчество Кристофера Марло и Бена Джонсона.    

   

4.3.1.The Elizabethan Age is considered to be the most glorious period in the development of English theatre. Apart from Shakespeare, there were many other playwrights who distinguished themselves in the field. They are, primarily, Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson.

   Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) is an English playwright and poet, considered the first great English dramatist and the most important Elizabethan dramatist before William Shakespeare, although his entire activity as a playwright lasted only six years. Earlier playwrights had concentrated on comedy; Marlowe worked on tragedy and advanced it considerably as a dramatic medium. His masterpiece is The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.

   Born in Canterbury on February 6, 1564, the son of a shoemaker, Marlowe was educated at the University of Cambridge. Going to London, he associated himself with the Admiral's Men, a company of actors for whom he wrote most of his plays. He was reputedly a secret agent for the government and numbered some prominent men, including Sir Walter Raleigh, among his friends, but he led an adventurous and dissolute life and held unorthodox religious views. He was denounced as a heretic; before any action could be taken against him, in May of that year he was stabbed to death in a tavern brawl at Deptford over payment of a dinner bill.



 

By revealing the possibilities for strength and variety of expression in blank verse, Marlowe helped to establish the verse form as the predominant form in English drama. He wrote four principal plays: the heroic dramatic epic Tamburlaine the Great, Part I (1587), about the 14th-century Mongol conqueror; The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1588), one of the earliest dramatizations of the Faust legend; the tragedy The Jew of Malta (1589); and Edward II (1592), which was one of the earliest successful English historical dramas and a model for Shakespeare's Richard II and Richard III. In each of these dramas one forceful protagonist with a single overriding passion dominates.

   Some authorities believe Marlowe also wrote parts of several of Shakespeare's plays. Each of Marlowe's important plays has as a central character a passionate man doomed to destruction by an inordinate desire for power. The plays are further characterized by beautiful, sonorous language and emotional vitality, which is, however, at times unrestrained to the point of bombast. As a poet Marlowe is known for “The Passionate Shepherd”, which contains the lyric Come Live with Me and Be My Love.” Marlowe also translated works of the ancient Latin poets Lucan and Ovid.

 

4.3.2. Ben Jonson(1572-1637) is an English dramatist and poet, whose classical learning, gift for satire, and brilliant style made him one of the great figures of English literature. Jonson was born in Westminster, educated at the Westminster School, and trained in his stepfather's trade of bricklaying. After serving briefly with the English army in Flanders, he joined the London theatrical company of Philip Henslowe as an actor and apprentice playwright, revising plays already in the repertory.

Jonson's first original play, Every Man in His Humour, was performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Company withWilliam Shakespeare in the cast. Later that year, Jonson killed a man in a duel and narrowly escaped execution. His next play was Every Man Out of His Humour. These two works were in the same vein. Jonson had invented a kind of topical comedy involving eccentric characters, each of whom represented a temperament, or humor, of humanity. During the next four years, Jonson also wrote a number of comedies. Later Jonson began to write masquesfor the entertainment of the court of King James I, apparently fulfilling the role of poet laureate from 1616. The masques displayed his erudition, wit, and versatility and contained some of his best lyric poetry.

  At the same time that he was writing for the court, Jonson continued to write for the commercial theater. During this period he produced two historical tragedies and the four brilliant comedies upon which his reputation as a playwright primarily rests: Volpone, Epicene, or the Silent Woman, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair. His many non-theatrical pieces, including epigrams, epistles, and lyrics, are collected in a book which includes his most famous song, "To Celia," which begins with the line, "Drink to me only with thine eyes.”

  Although Jonson's creative talents were many and varied, his considerable effect on English literature of the Jacobean and Carolinian periods was probably the result of his critical theories. He sought to advance English drama as a form of literature, attempting to make it a conscious art through adherence to classical forms and rules. He protested particularly against the mixing of tragedy and comedy. Jonson's importance today rests upon his comedies of manners and their witty, hilarious portrayal of contemporary London life.

 

4.4. Передовые идеи эпохи. Роджер Эскем и его тракта “Школьный наставник”. Возникновение жанра эссе. Влияние книги Мишеля Монтеня. Эссеистика Френсиса Бэкона как литературный феномен.

 

4.4.1. Roger Ascham (1515-68) is an English scholar and author, a major intellectual figure in Tudor England. At 35, he became the first professor of Greek at Cambridge. He published a popular treatise on archery called Toxophilus (1545). This work, which was a defense of physical recreation for scholars, was dedicated to King Henry VIII of England. The essay pleased the king, who granted the author an annual pension. Ascham was appointed tutor to Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth I, when she was 15. His instruction was at least partially responsible for her proficiency in Latin and Greek and her lifelong love of the classics. He became Latin secretary to the new queen, Mary I. Upon her death, he was appointed secretary to Queen Elizabeth, a post he held for the remainder of his life. He was the author of several scholarly writings, including The Scholemaster. The ideas put forward in it sound remarkable modern.

 

First, let him [the schoolmaster] teach the child cheerfully and plainly the cause and matter of the letter; then, let hint construe it into English so oft, as the child may easily carry away the under­standing of it; lastly, parse it over perfectly. This done thus, let the child, by and by, both construe and parse It over again; SO that it may appear, that the child doubteth in nothing that hid master taught him before. After this, the child must take a paper book, and sitting in some place, where no man shall prompt him, by him­self, let him translate into English his former lesson. Then showing it to his master, let the master take from him his Latin book, and pausing an hour at the least then 1st the child translate his own English into Latin again in another paper book. When the child bringeth it turned into Latin, the master must compare it with Tully's book, and lay them both together; and where the child doth well, either in choosing or true placing of Tully's words, let the master praise him, and say, 'Here ye do well.' For I assure you, there is no such whetstone to sharpen a good wit, and encourage a will to learning, as is praise.

 

4.4.2.It’s not unimportant to mentionMichel de Montaigne (1533-92), French writer, who introduced the essay as a literary form thus producing a major impact on the developing of the genre in English and other European literatures. His essays, which range over a wide variety of topics, are characterized by a discursive style, a lively conversational tone, and the use of numerous quotations from classical writers.. The first two books of his Essaisappearedwhen he was 47.

  As a thinker Montaigne is noted for his investigation of institutions, opinions, and customs and for his opposition to all forms of dogmatism that have no rational basis. Montaigne observed life with philosophical skepticism; he emphasized the contradictions and incoherences inherent in human nature and behavior. His basic morality tended towards Epicureanism, however, revealing the attitudes of a scholar and humanist who refused to be enslaved by passions and desires.

   In literature and philosophy he admired the ancient writers, and in politics he preferred monarchy as the form of government most likely to ensure peace and order. On education, Montaigne, who was interested in the training of the aristocrat, held that the pupil should be taught the art of living. This art is mastered through developing the powers of observation and conversation and through travel. Reading should serve to aid in arriving at correct judgments and not in merely improving the memory. Montaigne insisted on rigorous physical training as part of the development of the whole person, mind and body. Montaigne’s essays were first translatedby the English lexicographer John Florio (1603).

 

“… Я хотел бы, чтобы выбирая своему ребенку наставника, вы отнеслись к этому с возможной тщательностью; желательно, чтобы это был человек скорее с ясной, чем с напичканной науками головой […]. Пусть учитель спрашивает с ученика не только слова затверженного урока, но смысл и самую суть его и судит о пользе, которую он принес, не по показаниям памяти своего питомца, а по его жизни. И пусть, объясняя что-либо ученику, он покажет ему это с сотни разных сторон и применит ко множеству различных предметов, чтобы проверить, понял ли ученик как следует и в какой мере усвоил это. Если кто изрыгает пищу в том самом виде, в каком проглотил ее, то это свидетельствует о неудобоваримости пищи и о несварении желудка. Если желудок не изменил качества и формы того, что ему надлежало сварить, значит он не выполнил своего дела.”

4.4.3.Another great figure of the English Renaissance isFrancis Bacon(1561-1626), philosopher and statesman, one of the pioneers of modern scientific thought. Elected to the House of Commons at 23, he served there for over 30 years. He wrote letters of sound advice to Elizabeth I, queen of England, but his suggestions were never implemented, and he completely lost favor with the queen, when he opposed a bill for a royal subsidy. He regained the respect of the court, however, with the accession of James I to the English throne.

    Bacon's writings fall into three categories: philosophical,purely literary,and professional. The best of his philosophical works are The Advancement of Learning, a review in English of the state of knowledge in his own time, and Novum Organum. Bacon's philosophy emphasized the belief that people are the servants and interpreters of nature, that truth is not derived from authority, and that knowledge is the fruit of experience.

   Bacon is generally credited with having contributed to logic the method known as ampliative inference, a technique of inductive reasoning. Bacon successfully influenced the acceptance of accurate observation and experiment-tation in science. He maintained that all prejudices and preconceived attitudes, which he called idols, must be abandoned, whether they be the common property of the race due to common modes of thought (“idols of the tribe”), or the peculiar possession of the individual (“idols of the cave”); whether they arise from too great a dependence on language (“idols of the marketplace”), or from tradition (“idols of the theater”). Bacon's principles had an important influence on the subsequent development of empiricist thought.

  Bacon's Essays are his chief contribution to literature.They were published at various times. They exhibit all the virtues of his style – such as a sense of confidence and logic – as well as his ability to reduce the complex area of human relations to a neat, schematic generalization. At the same time there is much which is rhetorical. Yet many of the quotations have become catchphrases and popular sayings.







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