Neoclassicism Literary style that prevailed throughout the Restoration

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Neoclassicism Literary style that prevailed throughout the Restoration (of the monarchy) and Enlightenment (also

Neoclassicism Literary style that prevailed throughout the Restoration (of the monarchy) and Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason)

Neoclassical Period n n Hundred–odd years, circa 1660 -circa 1780 Characterized by a profound

Neoclassical Period n n Hundred–odd years, circa 1660 -circa 1780 Characterized by a profound faith in the powers of human reason and a devotion to clarity of thought, to harmony, proportion, and balance More or less, John Dryden’s maturity to Samuel Johnson’s death Divided into three periods: n n n The Restoration (1660 -1700) The Augustan Age (1700 -1750) The Age of Johnson (1750 -1784)

Neoclassical theory: n n n Most writers were traditionalist with great respect for Classical

Neoclassical theory: n n n Most writers were traditionalist with great respect for Classical authors, especially the Romans, who, they believed, had established and perfected the principle literary genres for all time Literature was art, in which excellence could only be achieved through long study Inclined to settle for the traditional and typical, but ready to accept the novel and particular, concerned with importance of invention and fancy and imagination

Neoclassical writers: n Notable authors: n n n Jonathan Swift Joseph Addison and Richard

Neoclassical writers: n Notable authors: n n n Jonathan Swift Joseph Addison and Richard Steele Alexander Pope Reason and judgment most admirable qualities and decorum essential Most desirable qualities: n n Harmony Proportion Balance and Restraint Correctness n n Most evident in use of heroic couplet Preservation of order, balance and correctness led to frequent use of satire as a corrective

Neoclassical Beliefs and Ideals: n n Generated a definitive vision of man and mankind

Neoclassical Beliefs and Ideals: n n Generated a definitive vision of man and mankind Man and his activities regarded as the main subjects of poetry n n Man, man in society, man in his social environment—what men possess in common; the general and representative characteristics of mankind General view of nature and mankind: a general vision of man’s position and function in the universe, his relationship to the natural order and his relationship with and to God

Form, Style, and Technique: Epigram: Greek for “inscription”. A short, witty statement in verse

Form, Style, and Technique: Epigram: Greek for “inscription”. A short, witty statement in verse or prose which may be complimentary, satiric, or aphoristic. In verse occasionally takes the form of a couplet or quatrain n Heroic couplet: Throughout 18 th century was most favored verse form. Iambic pentameter lines rhymed in pairs n