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English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница


The period of Romanticism covers approximately 30 years, beginning from the last decade of the 18th century and continuing up to the 1830s. Romanticism as a literary current can be regarded as a result of two great historical events: 1) the Industrial Revolution in England and 2} the French Bourgeois Revolution of 1789. The Industrial Revolution began with the invention of a weavring-machine which could do the work of 17 people. The weavers that were left without work thought that the machines were to blame for their misery. They began to destroy these machines, or frames as they were called. The frame-breaking movement was called the Luddite movement, because the name of the first man to break a frame was Ned Ludd.

The reactionary ruling class of England was against any progres­sive thought influenced by the French Revolution. The last decade of the 18th century became known as the "white terror". Progres­sive-minded people were persecuted and forced into exile.

The Industrial Revolution in England, as well as the French Bourgeois Revolution, had a great influence on the cultural life of the

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 1 English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 2 country. Romanticists were dissatisfied with the present state of things in their country. Some of the writers were revolutionary: they denied the existing order, called upon the people to struggle for a better future, shared the people's desire for liberty and objected to colonial oppression. They supported the national liberation wars on the continent against feudal reaction. Such writers were George Gordon Byron [ 'd3o:d3 'go:dn 'Ьаюгэп] and Percy Bysshe Shelley ['p3:si 'bif 'Jell] •

Others, though they had welcomed the French Revolution and the slogan of liberty, fraternity and eguality, later abandoned revolutionary ideas. They turned their attention to nature and to the simple problems of life. They turned to the ideas of the feudal past by way of protest of capitalist reality. Among these writers were the poets William Wordsworth [ 'w3:dzw90], Samuel Taylor Coleridge fsaemjual 'tens 'ksulncfc], Robert Southey1 fsaixk], who formed the "Lake School", called so because they all lived for a time in the beautiful Lake District in the north-west of England. They dedicated much what they wrote to Nature. Legends, tales, songs and ballads became part of the creative method of the romanticists. The romanticists were talented poets and their contribution to English literature was very important.


abandon [э'Ьзегк!эп] v оставлять dissatisfied [ 'dis 'saetisfaid] а неудо-
approximately [s'proksimitli] aaV при- влетворенный

близительно fraternity [fre't3:niti] n братство

blame [bleim] n причина object [3b'd3ekt] v возражать, проте-
decade [di'keid] n десятилетие стовать

dedicate ['dedikeit] v посвящать persecute ['p3:sikju:t] v преследовать

deny [di'nai] v отвергать terror [Чегэ] п ужас

Questions and Tasks

1. When did romanticism come into being?

2. What historical events did this new literary current coincide with?

1 Robert Southey [ sauoi] (1774—1843) —Роберт Cayra, англ. поэт «озернойшколы».

3. Why did romanticism come into being?

4. What were romanticists dissatisfied with?

5. Comment on the differences between the revolutionary romanticism of England and the poets of the "take School".

6. What are the representatives of revolutionary romanticism?

7. What writers belonged to the "Lake School"?

8. What themes did the poets of the "Lake School" choose for their verses?

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

William Wordsworth

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 3 William Wordsworth f W3:dzwa0] was the greatest representative of the Lake School Poets. He was born in a lawyer's family and grew up in the Lake District, a place of moun­tains and lakes. Soon after mother's death in 1788 he was sent to Hawkshead fruxkfsd] Grammar School, situated in a lovely village near Lake Windermere [ 'windamia]. The boy was allowed plenty of leisure: to go boat­ing and fishing on the lake and studying wild life in the woods. There William came to know and love the world of nature. His fa­ther died leaving him an orphan at the age of thirteen. His two uncles sent him to Cam­bridge University. During his college days William took a walking tour in France, Switzerland and Italy. After graduating he toured Wales and France and became deeply in­volved in the cause of the French Revolution in which he saw a great movement for human freedom. Later he was greatly disappointed at the outcome of the Revolution. He thought that it had brought only cruelty and bloodshed. William withdrew into the quiet of the country.

In about 1795 William Wordsworth met the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who became one of his closest friends. In 1797 he two poets published their best work Lyrical Ballads.

William Wordsworth wrote sonnets and ballads. The most haracteristic themes of Wordsworth's poetry were the defence of

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George Gordon Byron

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 5 the common country people, their feelings and beliefs, the beauty of nature. Every object in nature was in his eyes a source of poetry. His fame grew worldwide.

When he died he was buried in the little church at Grasmere ['grasmia] in the Lake District.

The Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er1 vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

Ahost of golden daffodils,

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the Milky Way They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of the bay; Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they

Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;

A poet could not but be gay

In such a jocund company.

I gazed — and gazed — but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft'2, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solutude And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.

o'er — over 1 off — often

bliss [blis] n блаженство cause [ko:z] л дело couch [kautf] n кушетка daffodil ['dasfsdil] n нарцисс defence [di'fens] n защита flutter ['fkts] v трепетать glee [gli:] n веселье host [hgust] n множество involve [m'vrjlv] v вовлекать

jocund ['фэкэгкГ] а веселый margin ['та:фп] п край outcome ['autkAiri] n результат pensive ['pensiv] а грустный solitude fsolitju:d] n уединение sprightly ['spraith] а веселый toss [tDs] v вскидывать; качать vacant ['veikant] а бездумный

Questions and Tasks

| 1. Give a brief account of Wordsworth's life.

2. Name his first notable work.

3. What did Wordsworth write?

4. What were the most characteristic themes of Wordsworth's poetry?

5. What was every object in nature in his eyes?

6. Express the idea of the poem The Daffodils in some sentences.

George Byron (1788-1824)

George Gordon Byron ['Ьаюгэп], the great romantic poet, has often been called a poet of "world sorrow". In almost all his poetry there is a current of gloom and pessimism. The reason for this gloom and sorrow may be found in the social and political events of his day which influenced him so deeply.

"To solve the mystery of the gloomy poetry of so immense, colossal a poet as Byron, we must first search for the secret oftheepochit expresses", Belinsky wrote.

During his childhood the First Bour­geois Revolution took place in France.

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 6 At the same time the Industrial Revolution developed in England and the invention of new machines, which supplanted workers, brought misery to thousands of labourers. Wars, political oppres­sion of the masses, all these facts observed by the poet, gave rise to his discontent with the social and political life of his time and that's why his poetry was full of gloom and sonow. But Byron was not inclined to accept the then existing conditions passively. He raised his voice to condemn them, and to call men to active struggle against the social evils of his time. That's why he may be rightly called a revolutionary romanticist. Byron's heroes, like the poet himself, are b individuals who are disillusioned in life and fight single-handed against the injustice and cruelty of society.

The poet was born on January 22, 1788 in an ancient aristocratic family in London. His father, an army captain, died when the boy was three years old. The boy spent his childhood in Aberdeen, Scot­land, together with his mother. His mother, Catherine Gordon, was a Scottish lady of honourable birth and respectable fortune. Byron was lame and felt distressed about it all his life, yet, thanks to his b will and regular training, he became an excellent rider, a champion swimmer and a boxer and took part in athletic activities.

When George lived in Aberdeen he attended grammar school. In 1798 George's grandurifcle died and the boy inherited the title of lord and the Byron's family estate, Newstead Abbey ['njuistid]. It was situated near Nottingham, close to the famous Sherwood Forest. Together with his mother the boy moved to Newstead Abbey from where he was sent to Harrow School. At the seven­teen he entered Cambridge University. He was very handsome. He had a beautiful manly profile. His contemporary young men tried to imitate his clothes, his manners and even his limping gait. He seemed proud, tragic and melancholic. But he could also be very cheerful and witty.

Byron's literary career began while he was at Cambridge. His first volume of verse entitled Hours of Idleness (1807) contained a number of lyrics dealing with love, regret and parting. There were also some fragments of translation from Latin and Greek poetry. His poems were severely criticized by the Edinburgh Review, the leading literary magazine of that time. The poet answered with a

biting satire in verse, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809), in which he attacked the reactionary critics and the three Lake School Poets, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey.

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St John's College, Cambridge

After graduating from Cambridge University in 1809 Byron start­ed on a tour through Portugal, Spain, Greece, Turkey and Albania. He returned home in 1811. By right of birth he was a member of the House of Lords. On February 27, 1812 Byron made his first speech in the House of Lords. He spoke passionately in defence of the Lud­dites1. He blamed the government for the unbearable conditions of workers' life. In his parliament speech Byron showed himself a staunch champion of the people's cause, and that made the reac­tionary circles hate him.

' Luddites were workers who expressed their protest against exploitation by breaking machines. Ned Ludd was the first to destroy frames.

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 8 In 1812 the first two cantos of Childe Harold's1 Pilgrimage [ 'tfaild 'hasr9ldz'pilgnmid3] were published. They were received by his contemporaries with a burst of enthusiasm. He became one of the most popular men in London. He himself remarked, "I awoke one morning and found myself famous".

Between 1813 and 1816 Byron composed his Oriental Tales. The most famous of tales are The Giaour [ 'фаш], The Corsair [ 'кэзеэ] and Lara, all of which embody the poet's romantic individualism. The hero is a rebel against society, a man of b will and passion. Proud and independent, he rises against tyranny and injustice to gain his personal freedom and happiness. His revolt, however, is too individualistic, and therefore it is doomed to failure.

In this period Byron began to write his political satires, the most outstanding of which is the Ode to Framers of the Frame Bill.

In 1815 Byron married Miss Isabella Milbanke, a religious woman, cold and pedantic. It was an unhappy match for the poet.

Though Byron was fond of their only child Augusta Ada, he and his wife parted. The scandal surrounding the divorse was great. Byron's enemies found their opportunity and used it against him. They began to persecute him. The great poet was accused of immorality and had to leave his native country.

In May 1816 Byron went to Switzerland where he made the acquaintance of Percy Bysshe Shelley [ 'p3:si 'bif 'Jell], and the two poets became close friends.

While in Switzerland Byron wrote Canto the Third of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1816), The Prisoner of Chillon ['pnzna av 'Jibn] (1816), a lyrical drama Manfred (1817) andanumber of lyrical poems.

The Prisoner of Chillon describes the tragic fate of the Swiss revolutionary Bonnivard who spent a number of years of his life in prison with his brothers.

Chillon is a castle on the shore of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The story told by Byron had real historical foundation. Bonnivard was an active fighter for the liberation of his native city of Geneva

1 Childe — устар. благородный юноша, еще не посвященный в рыцари. Childe Harold — букв, юноша Гарольд

from the control of Charles III, Duke of Savoy. Bonnivard was a republican, and the Duke of Savoy imprisoned him in the Castle of Chillon where he was kept from 1530 to 1536 without trial. In 1536 the citizens of Bern, Switzerland, captured the Castle of Chillon and released Bonnivard.

In 1816 Byron wrote his Song for the Luddites where he again raised his voice in defence of the oppressed workers, encouraging them to fight for freedom.

In 1817 Byron went to Italy, where he lived till 1823. At this time political conditions in Italy were such as to rouse his indig­nation. He wished to see the country one and undivided. Acting on this idea, the poet joined the secret organization of the Corba-nari which was engaged in the struggle against the Austrian op­pressors.

The Italian period (1817—1823), influenced by revolutionary ideas, is considered the summit of Byron's poetical career. Such works as Beppo (1818), and his greatest work Don Juan[" drm' d3U3n] (1819—1824) are the most realistic works written by the poet. It is a novel in verse, that was to contain 24 cantos, but death stopped his work and only 16 and a half cantos were written. Though the action in Don Juan takes place at the close of the 18th century, it is easy enough to understand that the author depicts the 19th century Europe and gives a broad panorama of contemporary life.

Other works of this period are: Canto the Fourth of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1817), The Prophecy of Dante [ 'proftsi] (1821), where speaking in the person of the great Italian poet Dante, Byron calls upon Italians to fight for their independence; the tragedy Cain (1821).

Once Byron wrote:

When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home, Let him combat for that of his neighbours.

The defeat of the Carbonari uprising (1823) was a great blow to Byron. The Greek war against Turkey attracted his attention. He went to Greece to take part in the struggle for national inde-

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pendence. His restless life ended there. Soon after his arrival he was seized with fever and died on April 18, 1824. He was thirty-six years old. The poet's heart was buried in Greece, his body was taken to England and buried near Newstead. The government did not allow him to be buried in Westminster Abbey. Only in 1969 the authorities finally allowed his remains to be buried in the Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. His death was mourned by the progressive people throughout Europe. Pushkin called Byron a poet of freedom. Goethe spoke of him in his Faust, Belinsky called him "a giant of poetry".


accuse [a'kju:z] v обвинять

athletic [se6'letik] a спортивный

authority [o:'0Dnti] п власть

blame [bleim] v обвинять

burst [b3:st] n взрыв

canto ['ksentsu] n песнь (часть поэмы)

capture ['kaeptfs] л захват

combat ['kombst] v бороться

contemporary [кэпЧетрэгэп] а совре­менный

discontent ['diskan'tent] n недоволь­ство

disillusion [,disi'lu33n] v разочаровы­вать

distress [dis'tres] умучить

to feel distressed мучиться; пере­живать

divorse [di'vo:s] n развод

encourage [т'клпаз] v воодушевлять

doom [du:m] v обрекать to be doomed быть обреченным

estate [is'teit] п поместье

failure [Teiljs] n неудача, провал

fever ['firv9] n лихорадка

foundation [faun'deijbn] n основание

frame [freim] n ткацкий станок

gait [geit] n походка

gloom [glu:m] n мрачность; уныние immense [I'mens] о огромный indignation [,mdig'neijgn] n негодова­ние inherit [m'hent] унаследовать, полу­чать в наследство lame [leim] а хромой limp [limp] v хромать match [maetf] n брак mourn [mo:n] v оплакивать observe [sb'z3:v] v наблюдать pedantic [pi'dsentiklo педантичный profile ['preufail] n профиль rebel [n'bel] n повстанец; бунтарь regret [n'gret] n сожаление release [rf lis] v освобождать revolt [n'vault] n восстание rouse [rauz] v возбуждать severely [si'vish] adv жестоко single-handed ['sirjgl'haendid] а в оди­ночку staunch [sto:ntf] n стойкий summit ['sAmit] n вершина supplant [sa'plaint] v занимать Swiss [swis] а швейцарский trial [traisl] n суд

unbearable [лп 'ЬеэгэЫ] а невыно­симый

Questions and Tasks

1. Why has Byron often been called a poet of "world sorrow*?

2. What was the reason for this gloom and sorrow?

3. What were the political events of his time which influenced him so deeply?

4. How did Byron accept the existing conditions?

5. Why may he rightly be called a revolutionary romanticist?

6. What are the characteristic features of Byron's heroes?

7. Relate the main facts of Byron's childhood.

8. Where did Byron get education?

9. When did his literature career begin?

10. How was his first volume of verse entitled?

11. What was Byron's first speech in the House of Lords about?

12. When did he become one of the most popular men in London?

13. What period is Byron's creative work usually divided into?

14. What works were written by Byron in the London period?

15. Characterize the hero of his Oriental Tales.

16. What are the titles of his works in the Swiss period?

17. Speak on the origin of the plot of his poem The Prisoner of Chillon.

18. What can you say about the Italian period of his work?

19. Why did Byron go to Greece?

20. When did he die?

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

After two years of touring on the Continent Lord Byron wrote the first two cantos of the poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage [ 'tfaild 'hseraldz 'pilgrim^]. The poem was written at different periods of Byron's life. The hero, Childe Harold, is very often absent from the poem, and in Canto the Fourth practically disappears.

Childe Harold came from an old aristocratic family. His ancestors were men of great courage and heroism. Harold's life was very diffe­rent from theirs, it is full of pleasure and entertainment. But now he only felt a great weariness and discontent. He lost faith in friendship and was disappointed in the world of lies in which he found himself. Hoping to find Good in other countries he left England. Childe Ha­rold is a sensitive, disillusioned and generous-minded wanderer.

When the poem first appeared in print, many people believed that Byron's own character was presented in the person of Childe Harold,

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 10 English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 11 but the author denied it: he justly considered himself to be an active fighter for freedom, while Harold was merely a passive onlooker.

Childe Harold leaves his country for Portugal and Spain; when the ship is far from the shores of England, he sings Good Night to his Motherland.

Good Night

(From Childe Harold's Pilgrimage)

Adieu! adieu1! My native shore

Fades2 o'er3 the waters blue;

The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,

And shrieks the wild sea-mew.

Yon sun4 that sets upon the sea

We follow in his flight.

Farewell awhile to him and thee,

My native Land — Good Night!

A few short hours and he will rise

To give the morrow5 birth;

And I shall hail the main6 and skies,

But not my mother earth.

Deserted is my own good hall,7

Its hearth8 is desolate;

Wild weeds are growing on the wall,

My dog howls at the gate.

And now I'm the world alone, Upon the wide, wide sea, But why should I for others groan When none will sigh for me ?

Perchance1 my dog will whine in vain, Till fed by stranger hands; But long ere21 come back again He'd tear me where he stands.3

With thee, my bark, I'll swiftly go Athwart4 the foaming brine5; Nor care what land thou bearst6 me to, So not again to mine.7

Welcome, welcome, ye8 dark-blue waves! And when you fail my sight9, Welcome, ye deserts and ye caves, My native Land — Good Night!

Canto the First describes Portugal and Spain. Byron shows his sur­prise at the contrast between the splendour of the land, where "fruits of fragrance blush on every tree", and the poverty of the people.

In the Spanish scenes the poet shows the people's struggle against Napoleon's invasion which the poet witnessed during the stay in Spain in 1809— 1810. Byron sympathizes with those peo­ple fighting for their freedom and independence and blames the ruling classes who betray the interest of the country.

Canto the Second is devoted to Albania and Greece. Describing Harold's stay in Albania, Byron describes his own adventures in the country. He admires the Albanians for their kindness, generosity and hospitality, and praises the great men of the past.

The motif of disappointment sounds with great force when Ha­rold comes to Greece. The miserable state of the Greek people,

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 12 1 adieu [э' dju:] (фр.) — прощай

2 fades — здесь исчезает

3 o'er — over

4 yon sun — вот это солнце (yon = yonder — тот, там)

5 the morrow—tomorrow

6 the main — поэт, стихия, океан

7 hall — здесь дом, замок

8 hearth [Ишв] — домашний очаг

1 perchance [рэ tja:ns] — устар. может быть

2 ere [га] — устар. прежде чем

3 where he stands — на месте

4 athwart [эЭ' wo:t] — вопреки

5 the brine — соленая вода, море

6 thou [баи] bearst [beast] — ты несешь

7 so not again to mine — лишь бы не снова в мою страну (Англию)

8 уе — устар. you

9 and when you fail my sight — и когда вы скроетесь из виду

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 13

Questions and Tasks 1. How many cantos is the poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage composed of? 2. When were these cantos written? 3. Give a character sketch of Childe Harold. 4. Is he like the great poet himself? 5. What is the first canto about? 6. Speak on the second and third cantos. 7. Whom is the fourth canto devoted to? 8. What is the merit of Child Harold's Pilgrimage'? Don Juan

Don Juan1 fdrm 'фи:эп], Byron's greatest work, was written in the prime of his creative power, in the years 1818 — 1823. It gives a broad critical pictures of the European life of the end of the 18th century. Byron's Don Juan is a young Spanish nobleman.

who suffer under the yoke of the Turks arouses Byron s indig­nation and makes him recall the glorious past of Greece.

Canto the Third begins and ends with a touching address by Byron to his daughter Ada, whom he was destined never to see again.

Is thy1 face like thy mother's my fair child!
Ada! sole daughter of my house and heart?
When last I saw thy young blue eyes they smiled,
And then we parted,...............................

Stanza 1

From personal sorrows Byron passes to the sufferings of the peoples that groan under the yoke of oppression.

The greater part of canto describes the beautiful scenery of Switzerland. Pictures of nature —■ now calm and serene, now stormy as the feelings of the poet himself, alternate with philosophical reflections.

Canto the Fourth, dealing with Italy, is usually regarded as the finest. It describes the people and events of ancient history. Byron regrets the fall of the free states, their high culture and art.

Byron calls Italy the "Ivlother of Art" and admires the Italian people who have the world such men as Dante, Petrarch [ 'petra:k], Boccaccio [bau'kaitjiau] and other titans of art, science and literature.

A great part of Canto the Fourth is devoted to the theme of genius and immorality. Byron puts forth the idea that true glory is achieved through creative activity, and not by birth and power.

The merit of Childe Harold's Piligrimage is in its broad critical description of contemporary life and vivid pictures of nature.

Byron's bright characters, beautiful pictures of nature and brilliant satirical power, rich and melodious verse will be admired by many generations to come.

The poem established Byron as a major literary and romantic figure.


address [a'dres] n обращение alternate [ol't3:neit] v чередоваться ancestor ['aensists] n предок betray [bi'trei] v изменять blush [bUf] v краснеть deny [di'nai] v отрицать; отвергать desolate ['desslit] а заброшенный destine ['destm] v предопределять disillusioned [^disi'lirpnd] а разоча­рованный foam [faum] v пениться fragrance ['freigrans] n благоухание groan [дгэип] v стонать hail [heil] v приветствовать howl [haul] v выть, завывать melodious [mi'lsudjss] а мелодичный

merely ['imsli] adv всего лишь motif [m3u'ti:f] n основная тема, лейт­мотив onlooker ['on Juks] n наблюдатель put forth [fo:8] v выдвинуть reflection [n'flekjbn] n размышление regret [n'gret] ^сожалеть sea-mew ['sirmju:] n чайка sensitive ['sensitiv] а чувствительный serene [si'ri:n] а спокойный shriek [fri:k] v пронзительно кричать sigh [sai] v вздыхать sole [ssul] а единственный splendour ['splenda] n великолепие weariness ['wrennis] n усталость yoke [jsuk] n ярмо

5 thy [6ai] — твое, твоей, твои

1 Don Juan — Дон Жуан (дон — по-испански господин)

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 1 страница - Инвестирование - 14 The poem opens with scenes from the hero's childhood which passes in an aristocratic Spanish family. Little Juan is described as:

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