During the eighteenth century, poetry was seen as a form of rhetoric, defined as a means of persuasion. The impact on the reader was what was important. The eighteenth-century reader was more interested in the behavior of poems than in the behavior of the poet. How do you see this in the poetry we have read so far this semester? What did poets write about? How were they trying to persuade people to think differently? (Refer to specific examples.)

Johnson’s Rambler and Idler were concerned with practical rather than with theoretical morality. They concerned themselves not with casual whims but with underlying causes and motivations. They attempted to show the reader how to cultivate a proper state of mind, and how to employ his energies and time efficiently. How do you see this in the readings for this lesson?

In the lesson, it was stated that Johnson’s Rambler and Idler were often more serious in tone than Addison’s and Steele’s Tatler and Spectator. Do you agree with this statement? Support your answer either way.

What differences can be seen in Boswell’s style of observation as compared to Johnson’s?

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