Gargantua and Pantagruel



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Gargantua and Pantagruel
The French Renaissance was the cultural and artistic movement in France between the 15th and early 17th centuries. François Rabelais was a French Renaissance writer, physician, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar. He has historically been regarded as a writer of satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes, and songs.
Because of his literary power and historical importance, Western literary critics consider him one of the great writers of world literature and among the creators of modern European writing.
His best known work is Gargantua and Pantagruel. Gargantua and Pantagruel, collective title of five comic novels by François Rabelais, published between 1532 and 1564. The novels present the comic and satiric story of the giant Gargantua and his son Pantagruel, and various companions, whose travels and adventures are a vehicle for ridicule of the follies and superstitions of the times. The first two novels were published under the anagrammatic pseudonym Alcofribas (Alcofrybas) Nasier.
The first book, commonly called Pantagruel (1532), deals with some of the fantastic incidents of the early years of Pantagruel. Rabelais displayed his profound comic sense, love of language, and storytelling genius within the framework of a mock-heroic romance. Pantagruel is endowed with enormous strength and appetites, and his early years are full of fantastic incidents. While at the University of Paris, he receives a letter from his father that is still considered an essential exposition of French Renaissance ideals. In Paris Pantagruel also meets the cunning rogue Panurge, who becomes his companion throughout the series.


In Gargantua (1534) old-fashioned scholastic pedogy is ridiculed and contrasted with the humanist ideal of King Francis I, whose efforts to reform the French church Rabelais supported. Le Tiers Livre (1546; “The Third Book”) is Rabelais’s most profound and erudite work. In it Pantagruel has become a sage; Panurge is self-absorbed and bedeviled, wondering if he should marry. He consults various prognosticators, allowing Rabelais to hold forth on love, and marriage and to satirize fortune-tellers, judges, and poets. Panurge persuades Pantagruel and friends to join him on a voyage to the Oracle of the Holy Bottle in Cathay for an answer. This they do in Le Quart Livre (1552; “The Fourth Book”), which reflects the era’s interest in exploration; the Pantagruelians encounter a series of islands that present opportunities for the author to satirize the religious and political forces that were wreaking havoc on 16th-century Christendom. In a fifth book, Le Cinquième Livre (1564; of doubtful authenticity), the band arrives at the temple of the Holy Bottle, where the oracle answers Panurge with a single word: “Drink!”

Don Quixote
The Spanish Renaissance was a movement in Spain, emerging from the Italian Renaissance in Italy during the 14th century, that spread to Spain during the 15th and 16th centuries. Don Quixote is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. It was published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615. A founding work of Western literature, it is often labeled ‘the first modern novel’ and many authors consider it to be the best literary work ever written. The work opens in a village of La Mancha, Spain, where a country gentleman’s infatuation with books of chivalry leads him to decide to become a knight-errant, and he assumes the name Don Quixote. He finds an antique suit of armour and attaches a visor made of pasteboard to an old helmet. He then declares that his old nag is the noble steed Rocinante. According to Don Quixote, a knight-errant also needs a lady to love, and he selects a peasant girl from a nearby town, christening her Dulcinea del Toboso. Thus accoutred, he heads out to perform deeds of heroism in her name. He arrives at an inn, which he believes is a castle, and insists that the innkeeper knight him. After being told that he must carry money and extra clothes, Don Quixote decides to go home. On his way, he picks a fight with a group of merchants, and they beat him. When he recovers, he persuades the peasant Sancho Panza to act as his squire with the promise that Sancho will one day get an island to rule. Don Quixote and Sancho, mounted on a donkey, set out. In their first adventure, Don Quixote mistakes a field of windmills for giants and attempts to fight them but finally concludes that a magician must have turned the giants into windmills. He later attacks a group of monks, thinking that they have imprisoned a princess, and also does battle with a herd of sheep, among other adventures, almost all of which end with Don Quixote, Sancho, or both being beaten. Eventually, Don Quixote acquires a metal washbasin from a barber, which he believes is a helmet once worn by a famous knight, and he later frees a group of convicted criminals.


Don Quixote subsequently encounters Cardenio, who lives like a wild man in the woods because he believes that Luscinda, the woman he loves, betrayed him. Don Quixote decides to emulate him to prove his great love for Dulcinea, and he sends Sancho to deliver a letter to her. When Sancho stops at an inn, he finds two of Don Quixote’s old friends, a priest and a barber, looking for him. They decide that one of them should pose as a damsel in distress to try to lure Don Quixote home. En route, they come across a young woman, Dorotea, who was betrayed by Don Fernando, who married Luscinda. Dorotea agrees to pretend to be a princess whose kingdom has been seized by a giant, and Don Quixote is persuaded to help her. They stop at the inn, where Don Fernando and Luscinda soon arrive. Luscinda is reunited with Cardenio, and Don Fernando promises to marry Dorotea. Later, the priest and the barber put Don Quixote in a wooden cage and persuade him that he is under an enchantment that will take him to Dulcinea. Eventually, they return him home.Part 2 begins a month after the end of part 1, but many of the characters have already read that book and so know about Don Quixote. He becomes convinced that Dulcinea is under an enchantment that has turned her into an ordinary peasant girl. Don Quixote and Sancho meet a duke and duchess who are prone to pranks. In one such ruse, they persuade the two men that Sancho must give himself 3,300 lashes to break the curse on Dulcinea. The duke later makes Sancho the governor of a town that he tells Sancho is the isle of Barataria. There Sancho is presented with various disputes, and he shows wisdom in his decisions. However, after a week in office and being subjected to other pranks, he decides to give up the governorship. In the meantime, the duke and duchess play other tricks on Don Quixote.

Eventually, Don Quixote and Sancho leave. After learning that a false sequel to the book about him says that he traveled to Zaragoza, Don Quixote decides to avoid that city and go instead to Barcelona. Following various adventures there, Don Quixote is challenged by the Knight of the White Moon, and he is defeated. According to the terms of the battle, Don Quixote is required to return home. Along the way, Sancho pretends to administer the required lashings to himself, and they meet a character from the false sequel. After they arrive home, Don Quixote falls ill, renounces chivalry as foolish fiction, and dies.
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