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Oliver Goldsmith

The greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in raising every time we fall.

----Oliver Goldsmith


Born on 10 November,1730, in Ireland The son of a clergyman in the church A boy full of warm imagination,regarded as stupid at school Grew up in genteel poverty in rural isolation in a society

As a young man

Entered Trinity College, Dublin,as a sizar and the Edinburgh,Scotland to study medicine Visited France,Switzerland,Italy like a cheerful beggar, performed flute for traveling Returned to London as a physician at Southwark but failed for living

Literary career

In great debt and poverty Join the Literary Club in1764 Made living by translating and writing Hard-working ,invention genius,godsend Died in 1774 of disease



A man sometimes blundering and

ridiculous, but tender-hearted,simple and generous A versatile writer as a poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist One of the representatives of English sentimentalism Social justice and compassion for the poor


1762 The Vicar of Wakefield The Citizens of the World 1764 The Traveller 1768 The good-natured Man 1770 The Deserted Village 1773 She Stoops to Conquer


Heroic couplet Two iambic pentameter lines linked by rhyme Ruling poetic form in the 18th century Show a state of society where wealth accumulates and men decay


Similar with the tradition of the comedies of Shakespeare and Ben Johnson Different with the sentimental comedies of Hugh Kelly and Richard Cumberland


A collection of essays Comments on English life through a series of letters written by a Chinese philosopher Contain whimsical or satirical comments on English customs and peculiarities, on the mental and moral characteristics

The Vicar of Wakefield

Dr. Primrose
Seduce & desert

Squire Thornhill

Olivia Sophia George

rescue & marry

Mr. Burchell (Sir William Thornhill)


Dr.Primrose: kind,charitable,witty,sentimental Squire Thornhill: the symbol of tyranny and hypocrisy(pretense) William Thornhill: a good and benevolent landlord, righteous, kind-hearted

Moral & Theme

Men and women do not break under public disaster or private grief: they endure, and maybe as they go on they find they still like living. The buffets of a wanton fate cannot destroy the human spirit.


alternately praises, satirlzes, and sentimentalizes a pioneer settlement his novel appeals to human sentiment as a means of achieving happiness and social justice show passive resistance to social evil and have a false idealization of the patriarchal society.


Told in the person singular And the dialogue, considering that Goldsmith possessed a good ear for music and wrote excellent plays, is remarkable for its artificiality. The solution for the righting of the social wrongs is not satisfactory. The characters, will scarcely bear analysis. The good are very, very good and most of the wicked damnable.

Authors influence on the work

Deep urges of his personality as much as Dr. Johnson, but their urges were powerful, sensual, religious, locked in a massive framework of passion A man of rare talents that bordered on genius

Other influences on his work

his observations during the European wanderings and his personal experience in London of that society feudal tyranny still flourished. Men at that time could still violate justice, suborn witnesses, browbeat the poor, and stamp on the humble. Men by the very nature of their status were at the mercy of their social superiors

Importance of works

Reveal the bad hands of Britishs manner,tradition and the true situation of lower-class peoples life Concerned with social problems of his time and depicted the social and economic evils