Download e-book for iPad: A History of English Literature by Robert Huntington Fletcher

By Robert Huntington Fletcher

ISBN-10: 1169739849

ISBN-13: 9781169739840

Jonathan fast, one other distinct determine of very combined characteristics, is like Defoe in that he connects the reign of William III with that of his successors and that, based on the spirit of his age, he wrote for the main half now not for literary yet for functional reasons; in lots of different respects the 2 are generally diversified. rapid is among the most sensible representatives in English literature of sheer highbrow strength, yet his personality, his goals, his atmosphere, and the situations of his existence denied to him additionally literary fulfillment of the best everlasting value.

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His poetry is also essentially and thoroughly dramatic, dealing very vividly with life in genuine and varied action. To be sure, Chaucer possesses all the medieval love for logical reasoning, and he takes a keen delight in psychological analysis; but when he introduces these things (except for the tendency to medieval diffuseness) they are true to the situation and really serve to enhance the suspense. There is much interest in the question often raised whether, if he had lived in an age like the Elizabethan, when the drama was the CHAPTER III.

2. From first to last the treatment of the themes is objective, dramatic, and picturesque. Everything is action, simple feeling, or vivid scenes, with no merely abstract moralizing (except in a few unusual cases); and often much of the story or sentiment is implied rather than directly stated. This too, of course, is the natural manner of the common man, a manner perfectly effective either in animated conversation or in the chant of a minstrel, where expression and gesture can do so much of the work which the restraints of civilized society have transferred to words.

2. His Humor. In nothing are Chaucer's personality and his poetry more pleasing than in the rich humor which pervades them through and through. Sometimes, as in his treatment of the popular medieval beast−epic material in the Nun's Priest's Tale of the Fox and the Cock, the humor takes the form of boisterous farce; but much more often it is of the finer intellectual sort, the sort which a careless reader may not catch, but which touches with perfect sureness and charming lightness on all the incongruities of life, always, too, in kindly spirit.

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A History of English Literature by Robert Huntington Fletcher


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