The eighteenth century in English literary history generally opens with the Restoration period as a kind of preface, which is held to prolong itself until the new century dawns. This Restoration period is actually a part of Neo-Classical age. This is called Restoration because in this period the English literary tradition was restored with the restoration of English monarchy. People brought back Charles I from France and made him the king of England.
Many transmutations took place at this period of time. From the social system to the literary parts altogether saw massive alterations. The long term Puritan regime which was full of restrictions and severity on life came to an end. For a generation many pleasures had been suppressed; now the theaters were reopened, bull and bear baiting revived, and sports, music, dancing,–a wild delight in the pleasures and vanities of this world replaced that absorption in “other-worldliness” which characterized the extreme of puritanism. This period saw the Glorious Revolution where the Catholics, the Protestants, Whigs and Tories all were united in this great revolution of England. The Modern England was established too. People started to live differently than before. The house of the Lords was mostly up surged by the creation of hereditary titles and estates for ignoble men and shameless women who had flattered the king’s vanity. Many called this Restoration as the fever of England’s history. In 1690 there was Jacobean Rising.
Chaucer is commonly hailed as “the father of English poetry” who in such works as his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, significantly contributed to the development of English as a literary language. The “General Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales has often been praised as “the most perfect poem in the English language. ” The Canterbury Tales and his other notable works reflect Chaucer’s ...
In 1662 the Royal Society was founded to promote scientific research. Sir Isaac Newton was a member of it. In 1695 the press was made free and everyone was given liberty to express his or her views. The First Bill of Rights was adopted in 1689 which restricted monarch’s power and enhanced Parliament’s power. As the restriction lowered and people got freedom women also came out of the four walls. They were the emancipated women beginning their own journey of life. Many started to act on stage which was never possible before this age. Many women did start to write and flourished themselves. This huge period also saw the emergence of Industrialization. The idea started to give rise of many different thought in the mind of people. Morality started to fall as people set themselves behind money, property and physical pleasure. Reason started to work over emotion. However after 1688, a sense of health and stability returned to the English social and political scene.
The excessive immortality was also toned down. There was hope for a better future, sense of freedom as well as social harmony, with a reconciliation between religion and politics.
Restoration Literature and Comedy (Comedy of Manners)
In literature the Restoration was a period of novelty, change and refoundation rather than of great writing. Apart from Paradise lost and the 1662 Anglican Prayer Book, the only books from those forty years to have been read in every generation since are Bunyan’s The Pilgrims Progress (1678-9), some poems by John Dryden, and the better Restoration Comedies. A panorama of London life’s found in the diary kept Samuel Pepys from 1660 to 1669. In Literature the modification was no less marked. From the Elizabethan drama playwrights turned to coarse, evil scenes, which presently disgusted the people and were driven from the stage. From Romance writers turned to Realism, From Italian influence with its exuberance of imagination they turned to France and learned to repress the emotion. They followed head rather than the heart.
"Good Country People" The short story, "Good Country People", written by Flannery O'Connor, is a story that captivates one by usage of symbolism and theme. The story centers on the meaning of being a good person, in the sense of leading a Christian, pious life, worthy of salvation. O'Connor contrasts mindless chatter about "good country people" with questions about the true meaning of religious ...
Comedy of Manners is synonymous to Restoration comedy. After the ban of eighteen years by Puritan regime and reopening of the theatres in 1660 signalled a renaissance of English drama. Restoration comedy is notorious for its voluptuous explicitness, a quality encouraged by Charles I personally and by the rakish aristocrats ethos of his court. This period was denigrated for its licentiousness for transgressing the norms of decency and morality. The Comedy of manners depicted a small world fashionable parts of the London of Charles I’s time. This world valued form and style both on speech and conduct and places good breeding for above moral excellence. The pursuit of pleasure was the chief business of the characters in Restoration comedy. Restoration comedy centred itself with a couple or two of fine gentlemen and ladies. The characters are aristocrats by birth and breeding. They provide the standard by which other characters are judged. There are some lesser characters too. Most of the plots appear to have been chiefly designed as a means of exhibiting human ingenuity, and as a means of providing occasion for witty discussion of manners. The dramatists use several common devices, such as disguise, eavesdropping, forging of letters to complicate their plots.
John Dryden was born on August 9, 1631, at Aldwincle in Northamptonshire. He was the eldest of fourteen children of Erasmus Dryden and Mary Pickering. His family were prosperous people, who brought him up in the strict Puritan faith and was educated at Westminster school and later went to Trinity College, Cambridge. He made good use of his opportunities and was excellent in studying especially the classics. He became a friend of Sir Robert Howard. Afterwards on 1663 he married lady Elizabeth the royalist sister of Sir Howard. However it was not a happy one. He gained over poetical power by 1660. His first part of the dramatic career lasted till 1680. At this time he wrote Astrraea Redux (1660) where he showed Charles I as the restorer of peace and order at the time of anarchy. It was written on the celebration of Charles’ return to England. In his Annus Mirabilis(1667) a historical poem wrote about the events of 1666; the English defeat of the Dutch naval fleet and the Great Fire of London. He wrote Dramatic Poesy arguably his best of unsystematic prefaces and essays at the time of Great Plague of London which closed the theatres in1665. He wrote Absalom and Achitophel (1681), The Medal (1682) in line of satirical poems based on current political controversies.
History of English language will explain, why learning English as a second language is difficult without proper instruction, even though basic components are same. Throughout its history English has been influenced by the varieties of language. Living languages never remain static. Every language is the product of change and continues to change as long as it is spoken. Only dead languages like ...
In MacFlecknoe (1682) Dryden found his true vocation, verse satire. The aged Richard Flecknoe a Catholic priest and a tedious writer, has long ruled the empire of Dullness :
“All human things are subject to decay,
And when fate summons, monarchs must obey”
Flecknoe- like Augustus- adopts an heir the playwright Shadwell. Dryden mainly satirize Shadwell for his offenses against literature but more immediately we nay suppose for his habitual badgering of him on the stage and in print. The greatest writer of the age is John Dryden, who established the heroic couplet as the prevailing verse form in English poetry. Dryden was made the poet laureate in 1670 after the death of Davenant. Because of his refusal to take oaths of allegiance to the new government left him out of favour at court. His translations of Horace, Juvenal, Ovid, Lucretius and Theocritus came at this time of his career. His translation of Virgil was a defining and great work which became national event.
Auden referred to Dryden as “the master of the middle style”- that was a model for his contemporaries and for much of 18th century.
His heroic couplet became the dominant poetic form of the 18th century. Many writers like Alexander Pope were influenced by him.
The Term Paper on The Domestication of the English Language for Literary Purpose in Nigeria: Creating a National Identity Dare Owolabi
Abstract—Nigeria is, obviously, one of the largest ESL users in the world. The language that first came with the colonial masters as a foreign language has since grown in leaps and bounds to now become a second language and, unarguably, the country’s official language. As the largest black nation in the world, Nigeria, using English as the official language, has affected the language in a way that ...
“The veneration with which his name is pronounced by every cultivator of English literature, is paid to him as he refined the language, improved the sentiments and turned the numbers of English poetry”– summoned Samuel Johnson about Dryden.
Dryden brought up the development of the art of literary criticism in his essays and in the numerous prefaces to his poems. This is certainly a large work for a man and he is worthy of honour.