The Picaresque Tradition and Its Development in England

The Picaresque tradition and its development in England Questions the following questions may help you draw up a logical scheme for the essay: What is the origin of the word picaresque? What is the earliest picaresque work in Spain? What other Spanish novels followed? What are the general characteristics of the picaroon What is considered by many to be the first picaresque novel in England Could Nash and Defoe have known about the Spanish picaresque novels? Which of Defogs novels contain picaresque elements Is Defogs vision of life really picaresque Which of Fielding novels contain picaresque elements?

Do Smokeless works follow the picaresque tradition? Do the English so-called picaresque novels really follow the picaresque tradition? Development beginning:questions 1-3 You will deal with the origin of the term picaresque; as its origin is Spanish say with which novels it originated what elements define a picaresque novel and what constitute the characteristic of the Picaroon Central section questions 4-9 These questions will help you find out which English authors were influenced by this genre, and whether their entire output, or some of their works, or any part of individual works contain picaresque elements.

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You will see that the English rogue is somewhat different from the Spanish Picaroon Conclusion question 10 Consider how the picaresque tradition develops and modifies in other European countries Revision Revise your work and check it against the composition proposed Composition Beginning The origin of the picaresque tradition is Spanish; “picaresque”, in fact, is the adjectival form of the word “Picaroon” meaning a “Rogue”, a man who only lives on his wits, begging, gambling or stealing, and whose social situation leads him to amoral or delinquent behavior.

In fiction, we define a “picaresque” a novel dealing with the habits and adventures of a Picaroon or rogue. The earliest picaresque novel is the Spanish La Vida De Illogical De Tortes, an unanimous work of the XVI century (1554). In 1599 another novel followed, Gunman De Albrecht. Illogical son of a thief and a woman of easy virtue, is forced to leave home after his father’s death. He becomes the servant of several successive masters, always mean and severe, who are constantly deceived by their ingenious servant.

Gunman De Albrecht is the son of a nagged Christian, a shrewd man and a social parasite At the beginning of the 1 17th century, a woman, La Pica Justinian, enters the picaresque world, until then inhabited only by men. She lives off her lovers (in addition to having been married several times), deceiving them Just as Illogical and Gunman had deceived their masters and acquaintances.

The general characteristics of the picaroon are the following: a) he is forced to leave his family because of poverty and hunger, and to seek his own way in the world; b) he finds himself in difficult situations and faces anger Ana Telescopes oaten commenting criminal actions; c) en careless Nils experiences in the first person, with great precision as to the time and place of his adventures, so that the novel becomes an autobiography, the story of a man from youth to manhood; d) he exploits society (and is exploited by it), simultaneously giving a satirical representation of its defects and limits.

These limits serve to Justify his lies and thefts, as he portrays himself as no worse (if no better) than his masters and neighbors; he always declares that he is compelled to act dishonestly as he is lone without family, and has to struggle against misfortunes; e) his story consists of various episodes (there is no plot development), connected with one another only by successive vicissitudes and by the mutability of fortune. Central section The real “picaresque”, as a genre, originated of course in the historical context of sixteenth-century Spain, a period of great social change.

The power of Spain was declining, the towns and the roads were full of beggars, robbers and structures. Vagrancy, criminality, hunger and poverty were the consequences of an unstable society. When the picaresque tradition spread through Europe, with the numerous versions of the original works, it found different conditions and developed in somewhat different ways, although the main picaresque conventions were followed in Germany, France, England and Italy. The Spanish novels became known in England through translations, or rather adaptations, which enjoyed a great success.

Illogical was translated into English by David Rowland (1 576), and Gunman De Albrecht by James Maybe (1622). These versions were widely read and English authors became familiar with male and male picaresque types. Some critics maintain that the first “picaresque” novel in England was The Unfortunate Traveler, or The Life of Jack Hilton, written by Thomas Nash in 1594, describing the life and adventures of lack Hilton, a servant of the Earl of Surrey.

But the master-servant relationship, which is always present in Illogical, is absent here, and the novel lacks the basic scheme of the Spanish picaresque. Lack Hilton is a young page who follows his master through France, Germany and Italy in the first half of the 1 16th century. The work consists of a series of episodes, now comic now minister, as if the author were fascinated by cruelty and violence. Defogs fiction has a great similarity to the picaresque tradition.

While it seems improbable that Nash could have read Illogical, Defogs picaresque novels were certainly influenced by the Spanish picaresque. He could. Read Spanish and may have known the Spanish works in the original or through translations. Defoe himself lived a difficult existence much of his life, and died in straitened circumstances. The novel of Defoe which contains most picaresque elements is Moll Flanders, published in 1722; it reminds us of La Pica Justinian, although it is more a rogue’s biography than a real picaresque novel.

Also Arrogant (the diary of a courtesan)and Colonel Jack (the story of a pickpocket) contain some picaresque touches. Moll Flanders is a beautiful and seductive woman, a female rogue, born in Negate. She becomes a criminal as she wants to be self- sufficient, to gain control over her own destiny. For her, poverty and hunger are the real crime. She sells her favors as a where; morality is not taken into consideration, as it is subject to profit and pleasure.

At last she is sentenced to death for robbery, UT, instead of being executed, she is transported to Virginia, where she becomes a roll planter. Seen teen returns to England Ana lives In “silence penitence want most distinguishes Defogs novels from the picaresque vision of life is the repentance of the protagonist. The real “picaroon” is unashamed; on the contrary, he (or she) is rather proud of his (or her) vices. All Defogs novels, on the other hand, contain a didactic element, as if it were necessary to Justify the stories of vicious and amoral people by an improbable redemption.

Another English author whose works present some elements derived from the picaresque novel was Henry Fielding in his Joseph Andrews (although the model for this novel was mostly Cervantes Don Quixote), and in certain parts of Tom ]ones. In these stories, no longer made up of detached episodes but of well-knit structures, the picaresque elements are: satire on the social manners of the time, the many adventures of the protagonists, the presence of robbers and highwaymen, and the amoral presentation of the sexual instinct, which, however, does not derive from a hunger for money, but is felt as a natural irresistible inclination.

In any case, the European rogues of the 1 18th century are no longer social outcasts after the 1 16th-century model of Illogical, but rise above their poverty and their questionable backgrounds to improve their situations, even becoming country gentlemen or rich planters. Such is the case with Gill Blabs, a novel in the tradition of the Spanish picaresque, written by the Frenchman Lain Rene© Leakages. We mention him and his work because it was the model for Tibias Smallest when he wrote his first novel, Redbrick Random (1748), based on Leakage’s narrative.

Leakages had portrayed the adventures of his hero in a Spain which is not really Spanish, in the same way as Gill Bias is not a picaroon; though he is at first a servant of many masters, he travels through Spain, he is proud of his many tricks, love-affairs and questionable activities, but he is above all a satirist of morals, political intrigue and bribery. He exploits the vices of society and eventually becomes rich and respected, and settles down in his castle to live the life of an aristocrat. Gill Blabs is more an “anti -picaresque novel” than a picaresque one. So is Redbrick Random by Smallest.

Redbrick is virtually an orphan, but receives a good education, has his own servant, is helped by his uncle, a naval officer, and, after many adventures, finally meets a rich gentleman, who turns out to be his own father. He eventually marries his great love and retires to his family estate. There are, in conclusion, some elements of the picaresque tradition, such as the episodic structure, the satire of society Joined with comic elements, the first person narrative, the various travels, the violent and crude episodes, etc. But the narrative is, above all, a satire of the vices ND corruption of society.

Other novels by Smallest have a picaresque tone, such as The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, but the original picaresque is not to be found outside 16th-century Spain. Conclusion In conclusion, all the works which derive from the picaresque tradition were, outside Spain, adaptations to the characters of native fiction. The “rogue” is different from the “picaroon” in the same way as 1 18th-century England is different from 16th-century Spain, and the original picaresque vision of life develops in conformity with the social and historical contexts of each country.