Rabu, 28 Oktober 2009

Tudor Poetry and Prose

Awang darmawan in literature research

THE GREAT GLORY of the tudor period is the Drante. In the field of prosa, translation seems to come first. A prose literature can only grow by taking nourishment, and this nourishment can only be obtained from foreign sourches. Thus transalations from theGreek, Latin, French, and Italianmake up much of the first Tudor prose, and of course, pre-eminent among all Tudor translation is one from the Hebrew as well as the Greek-the English Bible. The influence of those versions of the Bible made before 1611 is quite evident in Shakespear’s plays.

1. Prose

A. Tyndale was sir Thomas More (1480-1535). One of the precursors of the Renaissance. More’s most imaginative work was written in Latin- Utopia, which is Greek for ‘nowhere’, a book which depicts an imaginary island where everything is nearly perfect. We still use the word Utopia to describe the paradise that every politician promises, the ideal word which men can build on reason, charity, and proper social organization.

Secular translations of the Elizabethan age include Sir Thomas North’s version of the Lives of Plutarch, made in 1579, and Phricmon Holland’s rendering of the lives of the Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, made in 1606. we may not here that Sir Thomas more was pioneer in the field of historical writing.

B. Raphael Holitished (died 1580) whose Chronicle he use again and again. An important Elizabethan translation from the French was Florio’s rendering of the Essais of Montaigne. The first English essavist was Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) the man who according to certain tinatics, wrote Shakespear’s play among other things. Bacon’s big Latin works lie outside our scope (he wrote in Latin because he believed that English would not last),but we may mention that in his Novum Organun he lays the foundations for modern scientific study.The Essays however, have kept his name alive more than any of his weightier achigcyements.These are brief,pithy observations on a variety of subjects-death, revenge,reading,gardens,education and so on- and we get the impression of ideas rapitly jotted down, ideas which have no place in a big philosophical work but,nevertheless, are worth recording. These essays are simple, strong , admirably clear and concise and many statements are as memorable as lines of poetry. The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton (1577-1640). The work is a treatise on that mental ailment which would how call neurosis or that pression. The Anatomy of Melancholy is a huge work –over halp –a-million words- and full of the most fascinating storys, Shakespeare was probably not greatly interested in the religious controversies of the day.

C. The really great religious book of the age is the Laws of Ecclesiastikal polity by Ricard Hooker (1554-1600), an attempt to show how the Church of England coud be so organised that the Catholic Protestant struggle would be risolsed once for all. Spoken English – that is the key to understanding the peculiar virtues of elizabethan prose , the Elizabethans addressed themselves to the ear rather than the eay. The proses storyes of the Elizabethan age are interesting in them we see the beginnings of what, very soon , is to be our most popular lirerary-form – the Novel. A great Spaniard died, as we know on the same day as shakespear-Miguelde Cervantes, createtor of Don Ouixete. This, perhaves is the first true novel. We expect a novel to be fairly long(think of Tolstoy, dickens , scoot) , and Don quixete is so long that those of us who succeed in reading it once rarely find time to read it twice. The first English novels are more like long short stories , and the writers of long novels – people like smolleett and fielding And Dicken- are not likely to learn much from them from the poin of view of construction . certain novel of the ancient world ewre transleited during shakespeare’s life time – particurarly Daphanis and chloe and the golden ass. Also that curious work by Petronious- Safyricon- was read a good deal in the original Latin.This probably influenced man like Nashe and Deloney to create rather improper tales full of incident, crime love, and other still popular ingredients. I hertily recommend Nashe’s the Unfortunate Traveller alurid tale full of astonishing dialogue and description and the strangest adventures.

D. Thomas Deloney (1543-1600) gives us a more homely story in lack of newbury which is all about life in the weaving trade. The Gentle cruft is a Rubust and vivid tale of shoemakers.

E. Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86)- soldier, poet, scholar-wrote A cadia, which is a long funtastastic tale of aristocrats shipwrecked on an idea island an island full of hignese principles. The Elizabethan age is full of odd racy brillian books about all the subjects under the sun-recipes, cures for the plague.

2. Poetry

A. Poets did Shakespeare prize above all other. Edmund spenser (1552-99). Spenser it the first sume up the aspiration and dreams of the Elizabethan age. He loves the English language. The Faerie Oueene which though unfinished. It tell of the human virtuis-love, fight, friendship, and so on. The shepherd’s calendar, the Faerie oueene is full of noble ideas, patriotism, polite, learn, and chivalcy. Spenser be quathed to poets to come was a stanza of his own invention called after him the Spenserian stanza like shelley, Keats, Tenntyson-romantic poets who soght inspiration in the dreamy music of Spenser. The individual music melodies effects not by compression, as Shakespeare does using a view works as possible, but by deliberate extention, so that a Spenser poem only yields its music after many lines. It would seem that all Elizabethan poets learned a great deal from Spenser. How to get the maximum musical effect from the simplest of words.

B. Jhon Donne (1573-1631). Donne is fiery: where Spenser is smooth. Shakespeare himself has some of Donne’s quality – qualities of hardisness, toughness, knotty involved thought fullness. Donne capable of the sweetness of the one and the sourness of the other. As the passionate lover he always analytic, thoughtfull, trying to dissect and explain his passion almost scientifically. As the divine, he approached God with the passion he had formerly shown to women: he addresses Christ with the fierceness of a lover. Just as his character seems made up of opposites, so does his verse. He is deepest in love with living flesh it is then that he sees the skeleton beneath, his passion is most physical he exspresses it most intellectually. He reflects that, in all flat maps eart becomes west, and so the sinking of the sun becomes its rising. Thus death is only another term for life: after death comes the resurrection. His poems show a brain that works as hard as an engine. In his work there is a kind of violence of exspression that we do not find in Spenser.

  1. Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42) and the Earl of surrey (1517-47). Surrey was the first to use blank verse . wyatt wrote the first English sonnets. Petracth was devided into two parts. The octave expressed the first half of an idea, the sestet the second half: the octave posed the question, the sestet gave the answer: the octave expressed a theme, the sestet contradicted. Shakespeare took the sonnet-form farther. Sir Philip Sidney some, Daniel, Spenser, and Michael Bryton were content to deal with love. John Donne, inevitably, used the sonnet-form not for love poetry, but for passionate religious poetry His Holy sonnets are written in a combination of the Italian form and the Shakespearian.

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