Restoration age 1660 to 1700

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.

Restoration literature

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. In there was Jacobean Rising. In the Royal Society was founded to promote scientific research.

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Sir Isaac Newton was a member of it. In the press was made free and everyone was given liberty to express his or her views. 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.

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Morality started to fall as people set themselves behind money, property and physical pleasure. Reason started to work over emotion. However aftera 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. In literature the Restoration was a period of novelty, change and refoundation rather than of great writing.

In Literature the modification was no less marked.If the age of Restoration A. The so-called Heroic Tragedy which had a brief run concurrently with the Comedy of Manners had also a little of popularity, but was too unnatural and artificial and merely a type of French soil. These plays were written in the Classical model of the rhymed heroic couplet and later in blank verse tragedy. This tragedy was only near tragedy. The theme of the heroic plays was based on the struggle between love and honor, the hero and heroine were cast on the grand scale and their dialogues consisted of elaborate speeches, in rhymed syllabled couplets, full of emotional and bombastic of such kind that its parallel would not be found.

The heroes and heroines would show great nobility. This would create admiration for the audience. The play would make people wonder and also excite the imaginations.

restoration age 1660 to 1700

There was a hero, a heroine, and a villain. The villain was a dominating character.

restoration age 1660 to 1700

From onwards, the plays were male-dominated, but in the s and s, the focus shifted from hero to heroine. The heroic play flourished for some 20 years and then died a natural death, exhausted by its own excess. Dryden is the major writer of dramatic tragedy.

Other heroic dramatists were Nathaniel Lee and Thomas Otway. Have you read these?Now entire generation following the Restoration, inEngland lay sick of a fever. But even a fever has its advantages. Man rises from fever with a new strength and a new idea of the value of life. The Restoration was the great crisis in English history; and that England lived to the strength and excellence of that Puritanism.

The chief lesson of the Restoration was this,—that it showed by awful contrast the necessity of truth and honesty, and of a strong government of free men. Through fever, England came slowly back to health. So Puritanism suddenly gained all that it had struggled for. He gave high offices to blackguards, stole from the exchequer like a common thief, played off Catholics and Protestants against each other, disregarding his pledges to both alike, broke his solemn treaty with the Dutch and with his own ministers, and betrayed his country for French money to spend on his own pleasures.

restoration age 1660 to 1700

Revolution of The country was divided into two political parties: the Whigs, who sought to limit the royal power in the interests of Parliament and the people; and the Tories, who strove to check the growing power of the people in the interests of their hereditary rulers.

The complete and bloodless Revolution ofwhich called William of Orange to the throne, was simply the indication of Modern England was firmly established by the Revolution, which was brought about by the excesses of the Restoration. Many of the literary men gave up old ideals and demanded that English poetry and drama should follow the style to which they had become accustomed in the gayety of Paris.

Since Shakespeare and the Elizabethans were no longer interesting, literary men began to imitate the French writers,and here begins the so-called period of French influence.

While it neglected romantic poetry, in which youth is eternally interested, it led to a keener study of the practical motives which govern human action. Chaucer had used the rimed couplet in his Canterbury Tales, as poetical thought more than the expression. Thus Waller writes:. These four things, the tendency to vulgar realism in the drama, a general formalism which came from following set rules, the development of a simpler and more direct prose style, and the prevalence of the heroic couplet in poetry are the main characteristics of Restoration literature.

They are all exemplified in the work of one man, John Dryden. Dryden is the greatest literary figure of the Restoration, and in his work we have an excellent reflection of both the good and the evil tendencies of the age in which he lived. Dryden was born in the village of Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire, in This poem made Dryden well known, poet of Puritanism when the Restoration made a complete change in his methods. For nearly twenty years, the best of his life, Dryden gave himself up to this unfortunate work.

Both by nature and habit he seems to have been clean in his personal life; but the stage demanded unclean plays, and Dryden followed his audience.

This was All for Love, which was written in blank verse, most of the others being in rimed couplets. At fifty years of age, and before Jeremy Collier had driven his dramas from the stage, Dryden turned to the strife of religion and politics, writing at this period his numerous prose and poetical treatises.

This hind is a symbol for the Roman Church; and the Anglicans, as a panther, are represented as persecuting the faithful. Numerous other sects—Calvinists, Anabaptists, Quakers—were represented by the wolf, boar, hare, and other animals, which gave the poet an excellent chance for exercising his satire. At the Revolution of he refused allegiance to William of Orange; he was deprived of all his offices and pensions, and as an old man was again thrown back on literature as his only means of livelihood.

His most successful work at this time was his translations, which resulted in the complete Aeneid and many selections from Homer, Ovid, and Juvenal, appearing in English rimed couplets. Three years later he published his last work, Fables, containing poetical paraphrases of the tales of Boccaccio and Chaucer. The preface to the Fables is generally admired as an example of the new prose style developed by Dryden and his followers. Taking the Bible story of David and Absalom, he uses it to ridicule the Whig party and also to revenge himself upon his enemies.

The poem had enormous political influence, and raised Dryden, in the opinion of his contemporaries, to the front rank of English poets. Two extracts from the powerful characterizations of Achitophel and Zimri are given here to show the style and spirit of the whole work. Of the many miscellaneous poems of Dryden, are Annus Mirabilis. As a prose writer Dryden takes more pains to state his thought clearly and concisely, as men speak when they wish to be understood.

The classical school, which followed the Restoration, looked to Dryden as a leader. With his prose, Dryden rapidly developed his critical ability, and became the foremost critic[] of his age. These are: 1 the establishment of the heroic couplet as the fashion for satiric, didactic, and descriptive poetry; 2 his development of a direct, serviceable prose style such as we still cultivate; and 3 his development of the art of literary criticism in his essays and in the numerous prefaces to his poems.

Samuel Butler, who jumped into fame by a single, careless work, which represents not any serious intent or effort, but the pastime of an idle hour.It is called the Age of Dryden, because Dryden was the dominating and most representative literary figure of the Age.

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As the Puritans who were previously controlling the country, and were supervising her literary and moral and social standards, were finally defeated, a reaction was launched against whatever they held sacred. All restraints and discipline were thrown to the winds, and a wave of licentiousness and frivolity swept the country. Charles II and his followers who had enjoyed a gay life in France during their exile, did their best to introduce that type of foppery and looseness in England also.

They renounced old ideals and demanded that English poetry and drama should follow the style to which they had become accustomed in the gaiety of Paris. Instead of having Shakespeare and the Elizabethans as their models, the poets and dramatists of the Restoration period began to imitate French writers and especially their vices. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Skip to content After the Restoration inwhen Charles II came to the throne, there was a complete repudiation of the Puritan ideals and way of living.

In English literature the period from to is called the period of Restoration, because monarchy was restored in Englandand Charles II, the son of Charles I who had been defeated and beheaded, came back to England from his exile in France and became the King. The result was that the old Elizabethan spirit with its patriotism, its love of adventure and romance, its creative vigour, and the Puritan spirit with its moral discipline and love of liberty, became things of the past.

For a time in poetry, drama and prose nothing was produced which could compare satisfactorily with the great achievements of the Elizabethans, of Miltonand even of minor writers of the Puritan age. But then the writers of the period began to evolve something that was characteristic of the times and they made two important contributions to English literature in the form of realism and a tendency to preciseness. In the beginning realism took an ugly shape, because the writers painted the real pictures of the corrupt society and court.

They were more concerned with vices rather than with virtues. The result was a coarse and inferior type of literature. Later this tendency to realism became more wholesome, and the writers tried to portray realistically human life as they found it—its good as well as bad side, its internal as well as external shape.

The tendency to preciseness which ultimately became the chief characteristic of the Restoration period, made a lasting contribution to English literature. It emphasised directness and simplicity of expression, and counteracted the tendency of exaggeration and extravagance which was encouraged during the Elizabethan and the Puritan ages. Instead of using grandiloquent phrases, involved sentences full of Latin quotations and classical allusions, the Restoration writers, under the influence of French writers, gave emphasis to reasoning rather than romantic fancy, and evolved an exact, precise way of writing, consisting of short, clear-cut sentences without any unnecessary word.

Dryden accepted this rule for his prose, and for his poetry adopted the easiest type of verse-form—the heroic couplet. Under his guidance, the English writers evolved a style—precise, formal and elegant—which is called the classical style, and which dominated English literature for more than a century. John Dryden The Restoration poetry was mostly satirical, realistic and written in the heroic couplet, of which Dryden was the supreme master. He was the dominating figure of the Restoration period, and he made his mark in the fields of poetry, drama and prose.

In the field of poetry he was, in fact, the only poet worth mentioning. In his youth he came under the influence of Cowley, and his early poetry has the characteristic conceits and exaggerations of the metaphysical school.

But in his later years he emancipated himself from the false taste and artificial style of the metaphysical writers, and wrote in a clear and forceful style which laid the foundation of the classical school of poetry in England. Of his political satires, Absolem and Achitophel and The Medal are well-known. In Absolem and Achitophel, which is one of the greatest political satires in the English language, Dryden defended the King against the Earl of Shaftesbury who is represented as Achitophel.

It contains powerful character studies of Shaftesbury and of the Duke of Buckingham who is represented as Zimri. The Medal is another satirical poem full of invective against Shaftesbury and MacFlecknoe.

The Restoration Age (1660-1700) And Its Literary Characteristics | NET Exam Notes

It also contains a scathing personal attack on Thomas Shadwell who was once a friend of Dryden. These poems are neither religious nor devotional, but theological and controversial.Post a Comment.

Please enable JavaScript! Bitte aktiviere JavaScript! Por favor,activa el JavaScript! Home About Contact Privacy Policy. The period from to is known as the Restoration period or the Age of Dryden.

Dryden was the representative writer of this period. The restoration of King Charles II in marks the beginning of a new era both in the life and the literature of England.

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The King was received with wild joy on his return from exile. The change of government from Commonwealth to Kingship corresponded to a change in the mood of the nation. In this period the Renaissance delight in this world and the unlimited possibilities of the exploration of the world, and the moral zeal and the earnestness of the Puritan period could no more fascinate the people of England.

There was the disposition to accept such limitations, to exploit the potentialities of a strictly human world. The Restoration. The Restoration of Charles II brought about a revolutionary change in life and literature. During this period gravity, moral earnestness and decorum in all things, which distinguished the Puritan period, were thrown to the winds. The natural instincts which were suppressed during the previous era came to violent excesses.

The King had a number of mistresses and numerous children.

restoration age 1660 to 1700

He was surrounded by corrupt and degenerate ministers. Profligacy was glorified in the royal court. Corruption was rampant in all walks of life. The Great Fire of and the Plague that followed were popularly regarded as suitable punishments for the sins of the profligate and selfish King.

While London was burning and the people were suffering, the King and his nobles kept up their revels. The beginning of the Restoration began the process of social transformation. The atmosphere of gaiety and cheerfulness, of licentiousness and moral laxity was restored. The theatres were reopened.

Restoration Drama Characteristics

There was a stern reaction against the morality of the Puritans. Morality was on the wane. There was laxity everywhere in life. All these tendencies of the age are clearly reflected in the literature of the period. During the Restoration period there was a rapid development of science. The establishment of the Royal Society was a landmark in history of England.

The interest in science began to grow. The growing interest in science resulted in the beginning of rational inquiry and.

HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE

Objectivity, rationality and intellectual quality also enlivened the literature of this period. The French influence was predominant during this period because the King had spent the period of his exile in France.After the Restoration inwhen Charles II came to the throne, there was a complete repudiation of the Puritan ideals and way of living.

In English literature the period from to is called the period of Restoration, because monarchy was restored in England, and Charles II, the son of Charles I who had been defeated and beheaded, came back to England from his exile in France and became the King. It is called the Age of Dryden, because Dryden was the dominating and most representative literary figure of the Age. As the Puritans who were previously controlling the country, and were supervising her literary and moral and social standards, were finally defeated, a reaction was launched against whatever they held sacred.

All restraints and discipline were thrown to the winds, and a wave of licentiousness and frivolity swept the country. Charles II and his followers who had enjoyed a gay life in France during their exile, did their best to introduce that type of foppery and looseness in England also.

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They renounced old ideals and demanded that English poetry and drama should follow the style to which they had become accustomed in the gaiety of Paris. Instead of having Shakespeare and the Elizabethans as their models, the poets and dramatists of the Restoration period began to imitate French writers and especially their vices. The result was that the old Elizabethan spirit with its patriotism, its love of adventure and romance, its creative vigour, and the Puritan spirit with its moral discipline and love of liberty, became things of the past.

For a time in poetry, drama and prose nothing was produced which could compare satisfactorily with the great achievements of the Elizabethans, of Milton, and even of minor writers of the Puritan age.

But then the writers of the period began to evolve something that was characteristic of the times and they made two important contributions to English literature in the form of realism and a tendency to preciseness. In the beginning realism took an ugly shape, because the writers painted the real pictures of the corrupt society and court. They were more concerned with vices rather than with virtues. The result was a coarse and inferior type of literature. Later this tendency to realism became more wholesome, and the writers tried to portray realistically human life as they found it—its good as well as bad side, its internal as well as external shape.

The tendency to preciseness which ultimately became the chief characteristic of the Restoration period, made a lasting contribution to English literature. It emphasised directness and simplicity of expression, and counteracted the tendency of exaggeration and extravagance which was encouraged during the Elizabethan and the Puritan ages. Instead of using grandiloquent phrases, involved sentences full of Latin quotations and classical allusions, the Restoration writers, under the influence of French writers, gave emphasis to reasoning rather than romantic fancy, and evolved an exact, precise way of writing, consisting of short, clear-cut sentences without any unnecessary word.

Dryden accepted this rule for his prose, and for his poetry adopted the easiest type of verse-form—the heroic couplet. Under his guidance, the English writers evolved a style—precise, formal and elegant—which is called the classical style, and which dominated English literature for more than a century. The Restoration poetry was mostly satirical, realistic and written in the heroic couplet, of which Dryden was the supreme master.

He was the dominating figure of the Restoration period, and he made his mark in the fields of poetry, drama and prose.

In the field of poetry he was, in fact, the o. Search Search ….Post a Comment. Saturday, July 6, The Restoration Period After the Restoration inwhen Charles II came to the throne, there was a complete repudiation of the Puritan ideals and way of living.

In English literature the period from to is called the period of Restoration, because monarchy was restored in England, and Charles II, the son of Charles I who had been defeated and beheaded, came back to England from his exile in France and became the King.

It is called the Age of Dryden, because Dryden was the dominating and most representative literary figure of the Age.

As the Puritans who were previously controlling the country, and were supervising her literary and moral and social standards, were finally defeated, a reaction was launched against whatever they held sacred.

All restraints and discipline were thrown to the winds, and a wave of licentiousness and frivolity swept the country. Charles II and his followers who had enjoyed a gay life in France during their exile, did their best to introduce that type of foppery and looseness in England also.

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They renounced old ideals and demanded that English poetry and drama should follow the style to which they had become accustomed in the gaiety of Paris. Instead of having Shakespeare and the Elizabethans as their models, the poets and dramatists of the Restoration period began to imitate French writers and especially their vices.

The result was that the old Elizabethan spirit with its patriotism, its love of adventure and romance, its creative vigour, and the Puritan spirit with its moral discipline and love of liberty, became things of the past. For a time in poetry, drama and prose nothing was produced which could compare satisfactorily with the great achievements of the Elizabethans, of Milton, and even of minor writers of the Puritan age.

But then the writers of the period began to evolve something that was characteristic of the times and they made two important contributions to English literature in the form of realism and a tendency to preciseness. In the beginning realism took an ugly shape, because the writers painted the real pictures of the corrupt society and court.

They were more concerned with vices rather than with virtues. The result was a coarse and inferior type of literature. Later this tendency to realism became more wholesome, and the writers tried to portray realistically human life as they found it—its good as well as bad side, its internal as well as external shape.

The tendency to preciseness which ultimately became the chief characteristic of the Restoration period, made a lasting contribution to English literature. It emphasised directness and simplicity of expression, and counteracted the tendency of exaggeration and extravagance which was encouraged during the Elizabethan and the Puritan ages.

Instead of using grandiloquent phrases, involved sentences full of Latin quotations and classical allusions, the Restoration writers, under the influence of French writers, gave emphasis to reasoning rather than romantic fancy, and evolved an exact, precise way of writing, consisting of short, clear-cut sentences without any unnecessary word.

Dryden accepted this rule for his prose, and for his poetry adopted the easiest type of verse-form—the heroic couplet. Under his guidance, the English writers evolved a style—precise, formal and elegant—which is called the classical style, and which dominated English literature for more than a century.


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