English adaptations of Juvenal from the Restoration to Dr. Johnson.

Cronquist, Stanley Vern. (1972) English adaptations of Juvenal from the Restoration to Dr. Johnson. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Political satirists and lampooners of the Restoration attempted to capitalize on their audience's familiarity with Juvenal by incorporating passages and sometimes plots from the Satires - most often from the notorious Sixth - into their own largely original works. But the art and design of the Satires discouraged attempts to adapt them in their entirety as either political satires or lampoons. Thus these partial adaptations in satires on affairs of state are apparently the only extant attempts to adapt Juvenal to essentially political and corrective satire in the Restoration. Beginning with the imitations of the complete Third and Thirteenth Satires by John Oldham in 1683, the Restoration attitude toward adapting Juvenal is to do so primarily for purposes of pleasure; and in the imitations of Oldham and those adaptations by lesser poets which his practice inspired, attention is given chiefly to those features of Juvenal's satiric art -usually the most obvious features - which the Restoration found entertaining, at the expense of the Satires' moral tone and complex, subtle artistry. Dryden's translations of Juvenal reveal a change in emphasis. With the exception of his version of the Sixth Satire, Dryden attempts to force the original Satires to conform to the role of "moral philosophy" as demanded by his theory of satire. Dryden was unable to reconcile wholly Juvenal's moral tone with other aspects of his satiric art, and art accordingly suffers in these adaptations. There is in Dryden an apparent conflict between his theoretical requirement of a moral purpose in satire and his view that Juvenal 's Satires should serve principally as entertainment for modern audiences. This conflict is especially evident in his translation of the Sixth Satire, in which the moral intention of the original is abandoned in favor of sheer pleasure. -- Eighteenth-century imitators generally attempted to adapt Juvenal to corrective satiric purposes, eschewing pleasure in favor of moral reformation. While this resulted in a different emphasis in adaptation - an examination of the imitations of this period finds Juvenal's satiric art and designs as seriously altered as in the Restoration. The usual method of handling Juvenal in both halves of the century is exemplified by Edward Young and Edward Burnaby Greene, both of whom sentimentalize their model. Greene especially is guilty of wholesale corruption of the art and sense of his originals. Johnson's London is the most successful imitation of Juvenal in this period, and yet even it is artistically inferior to its original for, in converting Juvenal's Third to what is essentially political, corrective satire, Johnson was forced to alter extensively Juvenal's satiric design and several major aspects of his art. -- No clear-cut imitative pattern is established by the adaptations of Juvenal in the Restoration and eighteenth century; they are not seen to progress from passive imitation - a method with which Oldham is usually credited - in the Restoration to a relatively freer form of imitation in the eighteenth century. Though influenced by current attitudes toward the purpose of adapting classical satire, each poet dealt with his models as he saw fit, and each altered his models significantly. What is made apparent in these adaptations is the satiric outlook of English satirists of both the Restoration and eighteenth century and the incompatibility of that outlook with the essential qualities of Juvenalian satire.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10360
Item ID: 10360
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 214-217.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1972
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: English literature--18th century; English literature--Early modern, 1500-1700.

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