The Neoclassical Period
一.英国新古典主义essay 时期概述 1. 识记：（1）新古典主义时期的界定 （2）政治经济背景 （3）启蒙运动的意义与影响
2. 领会：（1）启蒙运动的主张与文学的特点 （2）新古典主义时期文学的艺术特点
1. 识记Definitions of literary terms 1) The Enlightenment Movement The 18th-century England is known as the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason. The Enlightenment Movement was a progressive intellectual movement which flourished in France & swept through the whole Western Europe at the time. The movement was a furtherance of the Renaissance of the 15th & 16th centuries. Its purpose was to enlighten the whole world with the light of modem philosophical & artistic ideas. The enlighteners celebrated reason or rationality, equality & science. They called for a reference to order, reason & rules & advocated universal education. Famous among the great enlighteners in England were those great writers like John Dryden, Alexander pope & so on.
2) Neoclassicism In the field of literature, the Enlightenment Movement brought about a revival of interest in the old classical works. This tendency is known as neoclassicism. According to the neoclassicists, all forms of literature were to be modeled after the classical works of the ancient Greek & Roman writers (Homer, Virgil, & so on)& those of the contemporary French ones. They believed that the artistic ideals should be order, logic, restrained emotion & accuracy, & that literature should be judged in terms of its service to humanity. This belief led them to seek proportion, unity, harmony & grace in literary expressions, in an effort to delight, instruct & correct human beings, primarily as social animals. Thus, a polite, urbane, witty, & intellectual art developed.
3) The heroic couplet It means a pair of lines of a type once common in English poetry, which rhyme & are written with five beats each..
4) the Realistic Novel The mid-century was, however, predominated by a newly rising literary form, the modern English novel, which, contrary to the traditional romance of aristocrats, gives a realistic presentation of life of the common English people. This-the most significant phenomenon in the history of the development of English literature in the eighteenth century – is a natural product of the Industrial Revolution & a symbol of the growing importance & strength of the English of the growing importance & strength of the English middle class, Among the pioneers were Daniel Defoe ,Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, Tobias Creorge Smollott, & Oliver Goldsmith.
2. 领会Characteristics of Neoclassical Literature According to the neoclassicists, all forms of literature were to be modeled after the classical works of the ancient Greek & Roman writers (Homer, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, etc,)& those of the contemporary French ones. Neoclassicists had some fixed laws &rules for almost every genre of literature, prose should be precise, direct, smooth & flexible. Poetry should be lyrical, epical, didactic, satiric or dramatic, & each class should be guided by its own principles. Drama should be written in the Heroic Couplets (iambic pentameter rhymed in two lines); the three unities of time, space & action should be strictly observed; regularity in construction should be adhered to & type characters rather than individuals should be represented.
二.该时期的重要作家 1，一般识记：重要作家的创作生涯 2，识记：重要作品及主要内容 3，领会：重要作家的创作思想，艺术特色其代表作的主题结构，人物刻画，语言风格，艺术特色，社会意义等。 4，应用：（1）《天路历程》中"名利场"的寓义。 （2）蒲伯的文学（诗歌）批评观及其诗歌特色。 （3）〈〈格列佛游记〉〉的社会讽刺。 （4）菲尔丁的"散文体史诗"。 （5）格雷诗歌的主题与意象。
I． John Bunyan
1. 一般识记His life English author & preacher, born in Elstow, England, probably Nov.28, 1628,and died in London, England, Aug, 31, 1688.
2. 识记His major works John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678) is the outstanding 17th-century English religious literature. For more than 200 years this book was second in popularity only to the Bible. Bunyan did not attempt to portray the political confusion & social upheaval of 17th-century England. His concern was rather the study of man’s spiritual life. Bunyan chiefly wrote four prose works – Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666), The Life & Death of Mr. Badman (1680), The Holy War (1682) & The Pilgrim’s Progress, part II (1684).
3. 领会Characteristics of his works Bunyan’s style was modeled after that of the English Bible. With his concrete &living language & carefully observed & vividly presented details, he made it possible for the reader of the least education to share the pleasure of reading his novel & to relive the experience of his characters.
4. 应用Selected Reading "The Vanity Fair", an excerpt from Part I of The Pilgrim’s Progress. (1) Theme: The Pilgrim’s Progress is the most successful religious allegory in the English language. Its purpose is to urge people to comply with Christian doctrines & seek salvation through constant struggles with their own weakness & all kinds of social evils. It is not only about something spiritual but also beats much relevance to the time. Its predominant metaphor-life as a journey-is simple & familiar. (2) "Vanity Fair" is the most famous part of The Pilgrim’s Progress. It tells how Christian & his friend Faithful come to Vanity Fair on their way to heaven," a fair where in should be sold all sorts of vanity & that it should last all the year long: therefore at this fair all such merchandise sold, as houses, lands, trades, places, honors, preferments, titles, countries, kingdoms, lusts, pleasures & delights of all sorts as harlots, wives, husbands, children, masters, servants, lives, blood, bodies, souls, silver, gold, pearls, precious stones & what not." As they refuse to buy anything but truth, they are beaten & put in a cage & then taken out & led in chains up & down the fair. They are sentenced to death-to be put to the most cruel death that can be invented." Vanity Fair" is a satirical picture of English society, law & religion in Bunyan’s day.
II. Alexander pope
1. 一般识记His life & career English poet & satirist, born in London, England, May 21, 1688, died in Twickenham, England May 30, 1744. Pope is one of the fore-most satirists in world literature as well as a great poet. He wrote witty & polished verses ridiculing the behavior of his day. Pope’s mock-heroic poem The Rape of the Lock is one of the finest examples of English comic verse. He made his name as a great poet with the publication of An Essay on Criticism in 1711. His Dunciad is a scathing attack on dullness & pedantry in literature. He also composed verse essays on philosophy, literature, & criticism. In An Essay on Man, he brilliantly expressed the philosophical trends & concepts of his age.
2. 识记Pope’s literally outlook As a representative of the Enlightenment, Pope was one of the first to introduce rationalism to England. He was the greatest poet of his time. He strongly advocated neoclassicism, emphasizing that literary works should be judged by classical rules of order, reason, logic, restrained emotion, good taste & decorum. According to Pope, almost every genre of literature should have some fixed laws & rules. Prose should be precise, direct, smooth & flexible, Poetry should be lyrical, epical, didactic, satiric or dramatic, & drama should be written in the Heroic Couplets (iambic pentameter rhymed in two lines); the three unities of time, space & action should be strictly observed; regularity in construction should be adhered to, & type characters rather than individuals should be represented.
3. 识记His major works 1). The Rape of the Lock A delightful burlesque of epic poetry, it ridicules the manners of the English nobility. The poem is based on an actual incident in which a young nobleman stole a lock of a lady’s hair. 2) An Essay on Criticism His first important work, An Essay on Criticism was a long didactic poem in heroic couplets. In this work, he reflected the neo-classical spirit of the times by advocating good taste, common sense & the adherence to classical rules in writing & criticism. The whole poem is written in a plain style, hardly containing any imagery or eloquence &therefore makes easy reading. 3） The Dunciad Generally considered Pope’s best satiric work, The Dunciad goes deep in meaning & works at many levels. Its satire is directed at Dullness in general, & in the course of it all the literary men of the age. Poets mainly who had made Pope’s enemies, are held up to ridicule. But the poem is not confined to personal attack.#p#分页标题#e#Dullness as reflected in the corruptness of government, social morals, education & even religion, is expertly exposed & satirized.
4. 领会His language style Pope’s works are still enjoyed for their sparkling wit, good sense & charm of expression. After Shakespeare, he is the most widely quoted poet in English literature. He worked painstakingly on his poems, developed a satiric, concise, smooth, graceful &well-balanced style.
5. 应用Selected Readings An Excerpt from Part 2 of An Essay on Criticism. 指导essay An Essay on Criticism is a didactic poem written in heroic couplets. It consists of 744 lines &is divided into three parts. It sums up the art of poetry as up held & practiced by the ancients like Aristotle, Horace, Boileau, etc. & the eighteenth century European classicists. In Part 2, Pope advises the critics not to stress too much the artificial use of conceit or the external beauty of language but to pay special attention to True wit which is best set in a plain style. III. Daniel Defoe
1. 一般识记His life English novelist & journalist, born in London, England, 1660, and died in London, Apr. 26,1731. Like Pope, he never went to university, but he received a good education in one of the best Dissenting academies. He started as a small merchant & all his life his business underwent many ups & downs & yet he was never beaten. Defoe also had a zest for politics. He wrote quite a number of pamphlets on the current political issues.
2. 识记His social outlook As a member of the middle class, Defoe spoke for & to the members of his class & his novels enjoyed great popularity among the less cultivated readers. In most of his works, he gave his praise to the hard-working, sturdy middle class & showed his sympathy for the downtrodden, unfortunate poor.
3. 识记His major works Defoe is generally considered the first great realistic novelist in English fiction. He based his stories on current events & materials, such as the maps & logs of actual sea voyages, personal memoirs& historical or eyewitness reports. Perhaps his most popular novel is Robinson Crusoe (1719), an adventure story based partly on the actual experience of a man who had been trapped on a deserted island. A Journal of the Plague Year (1722), sometimes considered his best work, has such a colorful & detailed account of the London plague of 1664 & 1665 that it seems to have been written by an observer on the scene. Defoe’s third masterpiece, Moll Flanders (1722), is a lively novel tracing the adventures of a female rogue. Told in the form of "confessions", the narrative includes vivid descriptions of the courts, prisons, & other social institutions of Defoe’s era.
4. 领会Characteristics of his works Defoe was a very good story-teller. He had a gift for organizing minute details in such a vivid way that his stories could be both credible& fascinating. His sentences are sometimes short, crisp & plain, & sometimes long & rambling, which leave on the reader on impression of casual narration. His language is smooth, easy, colloquial & mostly vernacular. There is nothing artificial in his language: it is common English at its best.
5. 应用Selected Reading An Excerpt from chapter IV of Robinson Crouse. Robinson Crouse, an adventure story very much in the spirit of the time, is universally considered his masterpiece. In the novel, Defoe traces the growth of Robinson from a na?ve & simple youth into a mature & hardened man, tempered by numerous trials in his eventful life. The realistic presentation of the successful struggle of Robinson single-handedly against the hostile nature proves the best part of the novel. Robinson is here a real hero: a typical eighteenth-century English middle-class man with a great capacity for work, inexhaustible energy, courage, patience & persistence in overcoming obstacles, in struggling against the hostile natural environment. He is the very prototype of the empire builder, the pioneer colonist. In describing Robinson’s life on the island, Defoe glorifies human labor &the puritan fortitude, which save Robinson from despair & are a source of pride &happiness .He toils for the sake of subsistence, & get his reward. VI. Jonathan Swift
1. 一般识记His life English author, born in Dublin, Ireland, Nov. 30, 1667, and died in Dublin, Oct. 19, 1745. Swift is generally considered the greatest prose satirist in English literature. Through fables, allegories, & pamphlets he savagely exposed the vices &follies of mankind &championed common sense. 2. 识记Swift’s humanist view Swift was a man of great moral integrity & social charm. A man with bitter life experience, he had a deep hatred for all the rich oppressors & a deep sympathy for all the poor & oppressed. His understanding of human nature is profound. In his opinion, human nature is seriously & permanently flawed. To better human life, enlightenment is needed, but to redress it is very hard. So, in his writings, although he intends not to condemn but to reform & improve human nature &human institutions. There is often an Under-or over tone of helplessness & indignation.
3 领会His style Swift is a master satirist. His satire is usually masked by an out word gravity &an apparent earnestness which renders his satire all the more powerful. Swift is one of the greatest masters of English prose. He is almost unsurpassed in the writing of simple, direct, precise prose. He defined a good style as "proper words in proper places." Clear, simple, concrete diction, uncomplicated sentence structure, economy & conciseness of language mark all his writings-essays, poems & novels.
4. 应用Selected reading An Excerpt from Chapter III, Part I of Gulliver’s Travels.Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift’s best fictional work, contains four parts, each about one particular voyage during which Gulliver has extraordinary adventures on some remote island after he has met with shipwreck or piracy or some other misfortune. As a whole the book is one of the most effective & devastating criticisms & satires of all aspects in the then English & satires of all aspects in the then English & European life – socially, politically, religiously, philosophically, scientifically, & morally. Its social significance is great & its exploration into human nature profound. Gulliver’s Travels is also an artistic masterpiece. Here we find its author at his best as a master of prose. In structure, the four parts make an organic whole, with each contrived upon an independent structure, & yet complementing the others & contributing to the central concern of study of human nature & life. The first two parts are generally considered smallness in Part I words just as effectively as the exaggerated largeness in Part 2. The similarities between human beings & the Lilliputians & the contrast between the Brobdingnagians & human beings both bear reference to the possibilities of human state. Part 3 furthers the criticism of the western civilization & deals with different malpractices & false illusions about science, philosophy, history & false illusions about science, philosophy, history & even immortality. The lost part, where comparison is made through both similarities &differences, leads the reader to a basic question: What on earth is a human being?
V. Henry Fielding
１. 一般识记：His life & career English author, born in Sharpham Park, England, April. 22. 1707, and died in Lisbon, Portugal, Oct. & 1754. During his career as a dramatist, Fielding had attempted a considerable number of forms of plays. Witty comedies of manners or intrigues in the Restoration tradition, farce or ballad operas with political implication, & burlesques & satires that been heavily upon the status quo of England. Of all his plays, the best known are The coffee-House Politician ((1730), The Tragedy of Tragedies (1730), Pasquin (1736) & The Historical Register for the Year 1736(1737).Fielding started to write novels when he was preparing himself for the Bar. In 1742 appeared his first novel, The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews & of his friend Mr. Abraham Adams, Written in Imitation of the Manner of Cervantes, which was first intended as a burlesque of the dubious morality & false sentimentality of Richardson’s Pamela. The next year came The History of Jonathan Wild the Great, a satiric biography that harks back to Fielding’s early plays. The novel was followed by The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749) & The History of Amelia (1751). The former is a masterpiece on the subject of human nature & the latter the story of the unfortunate life of an idealized woman, a maudlin picture of the social life at the time.
2. 识记: His major works 1) Joseph Andrews In this novel, Joseph supposedly the young handsome & chaste brother of Richardson’s virtuous heroine Pamela, is tempted by his amorous mistress, supposedly aunt of Pamela’s husband, Mr. B. Here, instead of being rewarded for his virtue, Joseph is turned out of doors by his mistress. But the burlesque ends here; the book quickly turns into a great novel of the open road, a "comic epic in prose", whose subject is "the true ridiculous" in human nature, as exposed in all its variety as Joseph & the amiable quixotic parson journey homeward through the heart of England. The dominating qualities of the novel are its excellent character-portrayal, timely entrances & exits, robustness of tone &hilarious, hearty humor.#p#分页标题#e#
2) The History of Jonathan Wild the Great It’s a satiric biography that harks back to Fielding’s early plays. It takes the life of a notorious real-life thief as a theme for demonstrating the petty division between a great rogue & a great politician such as Sir Robert Walpole, the Prime Minister. The ironical praises for the very qualities of the unscrupulous self-aggrandizement of wild point out the way the Prime Minister had achieved his "greatness." The Great Man, properly considered, is no letter than a great gangster.
3. 领会：His achievement in English novel Fielding has been regarded by some as "Father of the English Novel," for his contribution to the establishment of the form of the modern novel. Of all the eighteenth-century novelists he was the first to set out, both in theory & practice, to write specifically a "comic epic in prose," the first to give the modern novel its structure & style. Before him, the relating of a story in a novel was either in the epistolary form (a series of letters), as in Richardson’s Pamela, or the picaresque form (adventurous wanderings) through the mouth of the principal character, as in Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, but Fielding adopted " the third-person narration," in which the author becomes the "all-knowing God." He "thinks the thought" of all his characters, so he is able-to present not only their external behaviors but also the internal workings of their minds. In planning his stories, he tries to retain the grand epical form of the classical works but at the same time keeps faithful to his realistic presentation of common life as it is.
4. 领会：Characteristics of his language His language is easy, unlabored & familiar, but extremely vivid & vigorous. His sentences are always distinguished by logic & rhythm, & his structure carefully planned towards an inevitable ending. His works are also noted for lively, dramatic dialogues & other theatrical devices such as suspense, coincidence & unexpectedness.
5.应用：Selected Reading An Excerpt from chapter VIII, Book Four of Tom Jones. Tom Jones, generally considered Fielding’s masterpiece, brings its author the name of the "Pose Homer." The panoramic view it provides of the 18th century English country & city life with different places & about 40 characters is unsurpassed. The language is one of clarity & suppleness. And last of all, the plot construction is excellent. Its 18 books of epic form are divided into 3 sections, 6 books each, clearly marked out by the change of scenes: in the country, on the high way & in London. By this, Fielding has indeed achieved his goal of writing a "comic epic in prose."
VI. Samuel Johnson
1. 一般识记：His life & literary career Samuel Johnson, English writer, critic, & lexicographer, born in Richfield, England, Sept. 18.1709, and died in London. England, Dec, 13,1784. Samuel Johnson, commonly called Dr. Johnson, was one of the greatest figures of 18th-century English literature. He was an energetic & versatile writer. He had a hand in all the different branches of literary activities. He was a poet, dramatist, prose romancer, biographer, essayist, critic, lexicographer & publicist.
2. 识记：His major works His major works include poems: "London"(1738), & "The vanity of Human Wishes"(1749); a romance: The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia (1759); a tragedy: Irene (1749); several hundred essays which appeared in the two periodicals under his editorship-The Rambler & The Idler; & literary criticism as found in the preface to his edition of Shakespeare & in his comments on 52 poet in Lives of the Poets (1779-1781). As a lexicographer, Johnson distinguished himself as the author of the first English dictionary by an Englishman-A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), a gigantic task which Johnson undertook single-handedly & finished in over seven years.
3. 领会：His neoclassical literary outlook &style Samuel Johnson was the last great neoclassicist enlightener in the late 18th century. He was very much concerned with the theme of the vanity bear this theme. He tried to warn men against this folly & hoped to care then of it through his writings. In literary creation & criticism, be was rather conservative, openly showing his dislike for some newly rising form of literature &his appreciation for those writings which carried a lot of moralizing & his appreciation for those writings which carried a lot of moralizing & philosophizing. He held that a writer must adhere to universal truth & experience, i.e. Nature; he must please, but he must also instruct; he must not offend against religion or promote immorality; & he must let himself be guided by old principles. Like Pope, he was particularly fond of moralizing & didacticism. Samuel Johnson’s language is characteristically general, often Latinate & polysyllabic. His sentences are long & well structured with parallel words & phrases. However, no matter how complex his sentences are, his idea is always clearly expressed; & though he tends to use "learned words," they are always accurately used Reading his works gives the reader the impression that he is talking with a very learned man.
4. 领会：His contribution to English language-A Dictionary of the English Language In 1746, a group of booksellers commissioned Johnson to prepare a dictionary. Published in 1755, A dictionary of the English Language was the first real attempt at a systematic & interestingly written survey of English usage & the first dictionary to quote from poets & other writers to illustrate definitions. On the whole, the work showed great scholarship, although it contained humor & reflected a number of Johnson’s prejudices.
5. 应用：Selected Reading To the Right Honorable the Earl of chesterfield The letter is written in a refined & very polite language, with a bitter undertone of defiance & anger. The seemingly peaceful retrospection, reasoning & questioning express, to the best satiric effect, the author’s strong indignation at the lord’s fame-fishing & his firm resolution not to be reconciled to the hypocritical lord. It expresses explicitly the author’s assertion of his independence, signifying the opening of a new era in the development of literature.
VII. Richard Brinsley Sheridan
1. 一般识记: His dramatic career Richard B. Sheridan, British dramatist & statesman, born in Dublin, Ireland, Oct. 30, 1751, and died in London, England, July 7, 1816.Sheridan is ranked among the important comic playwrights of the English drama. His masterpiece. The School for Scandal (1777) is considered one of the finest English comedies of manners. A satire on gossip, hypocrisy, & the corrupting influence of fashionable city life, it is also admired for its ingenious plot construction & witty dissection of character. Sheridan’s other outstanding comedy. The Rivals (1775), is famous for the character Mrs. Malaprop, whose misuse of words has made her one of the great comic creation of the English theater. Both plays, in their attack on false sentimentalism & moralizing, represent a rebirth of the type of polished, sophisticated comedy written during the Restoration(1660-1700)
2识记The theme of his plays Morality is the constant theme of Richard B. Sheridan’s plays. He is much concerned with the current moral issues & lashes harshly at the social vices of the day.
3领会: His writing techniques Sheridan’s greatness also lies in his theatrical art. He seems to have inherited from his parents a natural ability &inborn knowledge about the theatre. His plays are the product of a dramatic genius as well as of a well-versed theatrical man. Though his dramatic techniques are largely conventional. They are exploited to the best advantage. His plots are well organized, his characters, either major or miner. Are all sharply drawn, & his manipulation of such devices as disguise, mistaken identity & dramatic irony is masterly. Witty dialogues & neat &decent language also make a characteristic of his plays.
4领会：His major works His plays, especially The Rivals & The School for scandal, are generally regarded as important links between the masterpieces of Shakespeare & those of Bernard Shaw, & as true classics in English comedy. In The Rivals, a comedy of manners, he is satirizing the traditional practice of the parents to arrange marriages for their children without considering the latter’s opinion. The school for Scandal is a sharp satire on the moral degeneracy of the aristocratic-bourgeois society in the 18th century England, on the vicious scandal-mongering among the idle rich, on the reckless life of extravagance & love intrigues in the high society, and above all, on the immorality & hypocrisy behind the mask of honorable living & high-sounding moral principles. Besides The Rivals & The School for Scandal, Sheridan’s other works include: St. Patrick’s Day, or the Scheming Lieutenant (1775), a two act farce; The Duenna(1775), a comic opera; The Critic(1779), a burlesque & a satire on sentimental drama; & Pizarro (1799), a tragedy adapted from a German play.
5应用：Select reading An Excerpt from Act 4, Scene III of The School for Scandal
1) Brief Introductions The School for Scandal is mainly a story about 2 brothers, the hypocritical Joseph Surface & the good-natured, imprudent, spendthrift Charles Surface.#p#分页标题#e#2) Theme The School for Scandal is one of the great classics in English drama. It is a sharp satire on the moral degeneracy of the aristocratic-bourgeois society in the 18th-century England, on the vicious scandal mongering among the idle rich, on the reckless life of extravagance & love intrigues in the high society & above all, on the immorality & hypocrisy behind the mask of honorable living & high-sounding moral principles. And in terms of theatrical art, it shows the playwright at his best. No wonder, the play has been regarded as the best comedy since Shakespeare.
VIII. Thomas Gray
1. 一般识记：His life Thomas Gray (1716-1771), son of a London exchange broker, was born in Cornhill, London on Dec. 26, 1716. He was first educated at Eton. In 1734 he went to Cambridge University & left it in 1738 without taking a degree. In 1768 he was made professor of History & Modern Languages at Cambridge. He died at Cambridge, England, on July 30, 1771.
2. 识记: His major works In contrast to those professional writers, Gray’s literary output was small. His masterpiece, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" was published in 1751. The poem once & for all established his fame as the leader of the sentimental poetry of the day, especially "the Graveyard School." His poems, as a whole, are mostly devoted to a sentimental lamentation or meditation on life, past & present. In addition to his elegiac masterpiece, Gray is known for his odes, including "Ode on the Spring"(1742), "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College"(1747), "Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat" (1748), "Hymn to Adversity"(1742), & two translations from old Norse: The Descent of Odin(1761) & The Fatal Sisters(1761).
3. 领会His style A conscientious artist of the first rate, Gray wrote slowly & carefully, painstakingly seeking perfection of form & phrase. His poems are characterized by an exquisite sense of form. His style is sophisticated & allusive. His poems are often marked with the trait of a highly artificial diction & a distorted word order.
4. 应用：Selected Reading "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" 1) Theme: It is a meditation on human mortality, the tragic dignity it gives to all mankind, & the stability & serenity of rustic life. The Elegy lies in Gray’s perfect expression of what all men feel about life & death. In this poem, Gray reflects on death, the sorrows of life & the mysteries of human life with a touch of his personal melancholy. The poet compares the ordinary people with the great ones, http://www.ukassignment.org/dxygessay/2012/0316/19330.htmlwondering what the commons could have achieved if they had had the chance. Here he reveals his sympathy for the poor & the unknown, but mocks the great ones who despise the poor & bring havoc on them. 2)Language The poem abounds in images & arouses sentiment in the bosom of every reader. Though the use of artificial poetic diction & distorted word order make understanding of the poem somewhat difficult, the artistic polish-the sure control of language, imagery, rhythm, & his subtle moderation of style & tone-gives the poem a unique charm of its own. The poem has been ranked among the best of the 18th century English poetry.