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Enlightenment Period Notes

by: Autumn Williams

Enlightenment Period Notes ENGL 2112

Autumn Williams

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About this Document

These notes cover world literature throughout the entire Enlightenment period
World Literature II
Desiree Riley
World Literature, english, Literature, composition
75 ?




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This 8 page Bundle was uploaded by Autumn Williams on Monday February 15, 2016. The Bundle belongs to ENGL 2112 at Georgia Southern University taught by Desiree Riley in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 44 views. For similar materials see World Literature II in Foreign Language at Georgia Southern University.


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Date Created: 02/15/16
World Literature II The Enlightenment in Europe and the Americas (17 ­18  century) 1/14  “Ancients” vs “Moderns” ­ Ancients = uphold established values  ­ Moderns = invent new values ­ Both thought we should rely on logic   Characteristics of Enlightenment  1. Rise of reason  o Reason would lead people back to eternal truths (Ancients) o Reason would provide a means for discovering new and fresh solutions (Moderns) Rene Descartes : Cogito Ergo Sum = I think; therefore I am (I am able to think; therefore, I exist) 2. Distrust of Emotion  o Unreasonable passions are responsible for all of the world’s problems 3. Deism o Also known as the view of God as “The Watchmaker” o Deism encouraged a separation of ethics and religion and also relied on looking to nature  to find order  4. Great Chain of Being  o Alexander Pope in his “Essay on Man”, uses the Great Chain of Being to emphasize the  order of nature / the universe  o Great Chain of Being  a. God b. Heavenly Beings c. Humans d. Animals  e. Plants  f. Minerals  5. Classical Modes  o Another name for the Enlightenment is Neoclassicism / The Neoclassic Age   Neo = new   Classic = modeled after Ancient Greek and/or Ancient Rome 6. The Scientific Method  When was the Enlightenment  ­ Late 1600s – Late 1700s th th ­ Begins with the scientific revolution of the 17  and 18  centuries   The American and French Revolutions  ­ American Revolution (1775­1783)  ­ French Revolution (1789­1790)  Peak of Enlightenment thought  Jean Baptist Poquelin A.K.A Moliere (1622­1673) 1/19  Biography  ­ Jean­Baptiste Poquelin was born in Paris in 1622 ­ He was educated at the college de Clermont in Paris and then he enrolled in a law course in  Orleans ­ However, at 21, he abandoned his studies and became an actor  ­ Around 25, he joined the Illustre Theatre and began going by Moliere  ­ In 1662, he married Armande Bejart  ­ Moliere quickly became known for his religious, political, and societal satires  ­ Tartuffe was his most controversial play ­ Died in 1673, a few hours after performing the lead in his play, The Imaginary Invalid   The French Monarch ­ King Louis XIV, “Sun King”, was a big supporter of the arts ­ In 1658, Moliere’s company performed for the King in Paris ­ The Parti des Devots (Party of the faithful), tried to protest Moliere’s plays  Dramatic Conventions ­ Comedy of manners: represents (satirically) a particular social group, typically the upperclass ­ Stock characters: aka type characters ; these are stereotypical characters within a play o Ex: tyrannical and foolish father, the clever maid ­ Static vs Dynamic characters: static goes through little or no change ; dynamic goes through  significant change ­ The 3 unities / classical unities  2 o Unity of place: the play exists in 1 location ; no geographical change and stage should  never represent more than 1 place o Unity of time: action within the play occurs within 12­24 hours ; all conflict must be  resolved during this time  o Unity of action: one main plot ; no subplot   Social conventions  ­ A father has power over his daughter’s marital choices ; he may be argued with, but not refused  ­ A wife’s chastity is of the utmost importance to her husband  ­ A son’s economic role in the family mirrors the King’s role in his kingdom – keep this in mind  towards end of play  Verse form and sound  ­ Prose vs Verse o Prose: the words run to the end of the page  o Verse: there are line breaks (most poetry) ­ Poetic meter  o Tartuffe was originally written in rhyming, alexandrine couplets   Alexandrine = 12 syllables per line   Couplet = a pair of rhyming words  o Our translation is done in heroic couplets, or two lines of rhyming iambic pentameter   Iambic foot = 2 syllables   Pentameter = 10 syllables per line   Act 1, Scene 1 ­ Madame Pernelle has a lot to say about her family  o Dorine: talks too much to be a maid o Damis: foolish o Mariane: stupid  o Elmire: doesn’t know how to run the house  o Cleante: acts like he is holier than thou  ­ Who is the one person Madame Pernelle likes? o Tartuffe  ­ The opening scene deals with appearances. How so? 1. Appearances matter, but should they? 2. False appearances are common  3 ­ Tartuffe is also a play concerned with discerning the face from the mask = being able to tell who  people really are vs who they’re pretending to be   Act 1, Scene 2­4  ­ How has Orgon changed since Taruffe arrived? ­ Why is Damis concerned with who Mariane marries? ­ What can we tell about Orgon as soon as he appears on stage?  Act 1, Scene 5 ­ Who is the voice of reason? ­ Voice of reason: someone who uses clear, rational arguments to convey the best possible solution  (Cleante) ­ Wit: someone who displays their intelligence in a humorous way (Dorine) Sor Juana Ines De la Cruz  1/26  Biography ­ Born Juana Ramirez in 1648 in San Miguel Nepantia, Tepetlixpa, Mexico ­ In 1656, she was sent o live with an aunt ; this is where she learned Latin  ­ As a young girl, Juana served as a lady in waiting at the court ­ When she was 18, she joined the Convent of San Jeronimo (St. Jerome), becoming Sor (sister)  Juana Ines De la Cruz  ­ Although she was a nun, she did enjoy secular writing. She wrote poems and drama which  became popular in the Spanish speaking world  ­ In 1691, she wrote her famous reply  ­ In 1694, she decided to reaffirm her faith and rededicate herself to religious work ­ Died in 1695 while treating members of the convent  Historical context  ­ In 1690, Sor Juana wrote a commentary on a sermon delivered 40 years earlier  ­ The commentary was published, without her permission, by Manuel Fernandez de Santa Cruz  (bishop of Puebla) ­ In 1691, Sor Juana replies and admits her own unimportance, but also asserts her intelligence   Characteristics of enlightenment thought  ­ Rise of reason  ­ Distrust of emotion  4 ­ Deism  ­ The great chain of being  ­ A return to classical modes/ classical models ­ The implementation of the scientific method  Jonathan Swift  2/1   Cultural context  ­ Norman conquest of 1169 : invasion of Ireland by Anglo­Normans  o This led to England gaining control over Ireland in 1171 ­ Throughout the 16  and 17  centuries, England sanctioned many plantations in Ireland  o Plantations = areas of land confiscated from the Irish and given to wealthy English  ­ These settlers were referred to as the Protestant Ascendancy  o These Englishmen quickly became the new ruling class  ­ The dominant religion in Ireland was Catholicism but the English settlers were Protestant   Biography ­ Jonathan Swift was born in 1667 in Dublin o Swift was a member of the Protestant Ascendancy  o He received his M.A. from Oxford in 1694 ­ Swift moved back and forth between England and Ireland and he quickly gained a reputation in  London  o He started a club called “the Scriblerians” with other famous Satirists  ­ Although Swift hoped to gain a high position in the Church of England  ­ Although Swift was displeased that he was forced to settle in Ireland he became an Irish national  hero  ­ Swift never married or had children ­ After his death in 1745, he was buried in St.Patrick’s Cathedral   Political context: Whigs vs Tories  ­ Whigs  o Worried about monarchial tyranny and return of catholic church  o Favored a constitutional monarchy  o Were granted political power in 1714  5 ­ Tories  o Believed in divine right of kings  o Feared the growing power of parliament  o Swift and Pope were Tories   A modest proposal  ­ Newborn abbies are fed on their mother’s milk  ­ At 1 year old, the babies will be sold ; their flesh will be used for meat and clothing  o Pg. 316, 317  Benefits of this proposal  ­ “…fair, cheap, and easy method” pg. 315 ­ “…prevent those voluntary abortions” pg. 315 ­ “…it will greatly lessen the number of Papists” pg.318 ­ “…the poorer tenants would have something valuable” pg.318  Satirical writing  ­ In this political atmosphere, satirical writing was successful  o Political writing was very much in demand  o It was dangerous to challenge the current authority  ­ In formal satire, the satiric persona speaks out in the first person  Types of satire ­ Creative social criticism ­ 2 types:  o Horatian = playfully criticizes some special vice through gentle, mild, and light hearted  humor (Tartuffe) o Juvenalian = pessimistic, characterized by irony, sarcasm, moral indignation, with less  emphasis of humor (Swift) Alexander Pope (1688­1744) 2/4   Biography  ­ Alexander Pope was born in 1688 to Roman Catholic parents ­ Pope was a very sickly child  o Never grew taller than 4’6 and had a hunchback 6 ­ Educated at illegal Catholic schools, but he was taught more at home ­ Rose to fame after writing his Essay on Criticism, in which he advises young writers on how to  write correctly  ­ Although he criticized writers who wrote only for money, he was the richest poet of his time  ­ Never married  o Very close to Martha Blount  o When he died, he left her his estate  ­ Pope wrote Essay on Man towards the end of his life o Along with the very controversial The Dunclad  ­ Died at 56 at his small villa Essay on Man  ­ Essay on Man is a theodicy = genre that asks how, if God is good, there can be evil in the world   Epistle I  ­ Epistle = a letter, especially a formal or elegant letter, a direct address to a person or group of  people ; didactic  o Personal but serious  ­ What does Epistle I intend to show us? o The limitations on human justice ­ What is the benefit of this limited view? o We are given the ability to hope  ­ Thesis: “Whatever is, is right.”  Purpose of the Essay  ­ To vindicate the ways of God to man  o Vindicate: to justify, prove, or reinforce an idea ; to clear of accusation, blame, or doubt th th Romantic Poets and Their Successors (18  – 19  century) NEW TEST MATERIAL 2/11   Defining Romanticism ­ Romanticism: a movement across the arts – literature, visual art, and music – that lasted roughly  from the 1780’s to the 1830’s in Europe and the Americas  7 ­ Romanticism is often associated with:  o Nature: especially wild and untamed natural settings o A rejection of reason as the organizing principle for art and society  o A focus on the individual  o Embracing an inward shift (focusing on the “I”) o Imagination, excess, spontaneity, freedom, and revolution o Nationalism and folk traditions  ­ Why start focusing on nature?  1. The Industrial Revolution (1760s­1840s) 2. The French Revolution (1789)  Characteristics of Romantic Thought  ­ Rejection of enlightenment thought / classical modes  ­ Poets often looked to children and “primitive” people who seemed closer to nature as models for  social experience 8


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