Tess and Clarissa

  • F. B. Pinion


Intenser scenes in the later, more tragic phases of Jude the Obscure are predominantly dramatic, the dialogue of the lovers reaching at times a pitch of agony and despair never equalled in Hardy. Those of Tess tend to be poetic, both the background and theme in major movements of the novel being conducive to a descriptive enrichment of style which is hardly ever approached in the whole of Jude. Several features in Tess were nourished and developed (perhaps conceived) in accordance with a literary tradition which stimulated a poetic rather than a realistic presentation. For Hardy the most important link in this tradition was Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, a novel of inordinate length and hauntingly moving and imaginative scenes, the theme of which was influenced very evidently by Paradise Lost and less importantly by Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece. The influence of all three works can be seen in Tess of the d’Urbervilles.


Dairy Management Literary Tradition Realistic Presentation Paradise Lost Tragic Drama 
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© F. B. Pinion 1977

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  • F. B. Pinion

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