Restoration Literature


restoration period literature

Jun 08,  · What Was the Restoration Period? One of the most important and interesting aspects of literature is the way that it both responds to and is inevitably shaped by the political context in which it. The Restoration period has given us some of the most important religious literature in the English language. John Milton's Paradise Lost—which tells the epic tale of the banishment of man from th. Read this article to know about the Background of Restoration Period, characteristics of restoration period, restoration period summary, restoration age. The monarchical restoration was accompanied by the re-opening of English theatres (that were closed during Author: Malik.

Restoration (England) - Wikipedia

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, restoration period literature, 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, restoration period literature, 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, restoration period literature.

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 restoration period literature 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, restoration period literature. 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 restoration period literature 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, restoration period literature, 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, restoration period literature, Absolem and Achitophel and The Medal are well-known. In Restoration period literature and Achitophel, restoration period literature, 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. It also contains a restoration period literature personal attack on Thomas Shadwell who was once a friend of Dryden, restoration period literature. These poems are neither religious nor devotional, but theological and controversial.

The first was written when Dryden was a Protestant, and it defends the Anglican Church, restoration period literature. The second written when Dryden had become a Catholic, vehemently defends Catholicism. Written in the form of a narrative, they entitle Restoration period literature to rank among the best story-tellers in verse in England. Of the many miscellaneous poems of Dryden, Annus Mirabilis is a fine example of his sustained narrative power. The poetry of Dryden possess all the characteristics of the Restoration period and is therefore thoroughly representative of that age.

Restoration period literature does not have the poetic glow, the spiritual fervour, the moral loftiness and philosophical depth which were sadly lacking in the Restoration period. But it has the formalism, the intellectual precision, the argumentative skill and realism which were the main characteristics of that age. Though Dryden does not reach great poetic heights, yet here and there he gives us passages of wonderful strength and eloquence. His reputation lies in his being restoration period literature as a satirist and reasoner in verse.

In fact in these two capacities he is still the greatest master in English literature, restoration period literature. In the theatres were closed by the authority of the parliament which was dominated by Puritans and so no good plays were written from restoration period literature the Restoration coming back of monarchy in England restoration period literature the accession of Charles II to the throne in when the theatres were re-opened.

The drama in England aftercalled the Restoration drama, showed entirely new trends on account of the long break with the past. Moreover, it was greatly affected by the spirit of the new age which was deficient in poetic feeling, restoration period literature and emotional approach to life, restoration period literature, but laid emphasis on prose as the medium of expression, and intellectual, realistic and critical approach to life and its problems.

As the common people still under the influence of Puritanism had no love for the theatres, the dramatists had to cater to the taste of the aristocratic class which was highly fashionable, frivolous, cynical and sophisticated, restoration period literature. The result was that unlike the Elizabethan drama which had a mass appeal, had its roots in the life of the common people and could be legitimately called the national drama, the Restoration drama had none of these characteristics.

Its appeal was confined to the upper strata of society whose taste was aristocratic, and among which the prevailing fashions and etiquettes were foreign and extravagant.

The most popular form of drama was the Comedy of Manners which portrayed the sophisticated life of the dominant class of society—its gaiety, foppery, insolence and intrigue.

Thus the basis of the Restoration drama was very narrow. The general tone of this drama was restoration period literature aptly described by Shelley:. Comedy loses its ideal universality: wit succeeds humour; we laugh from self-complacency and triumph; instead of pleasure, malignity, sarcasm and contempt, succeed to sympathetic merriment; we hardly laugh, but we smile. Obscenity, which is ever blasphemy against the divine beauty of life, becomes, from the very veil which it assumes, more active if less disgusting; it is a monster for which the corruption of society for ever brings forth new food, which it devours in secret.

But the most gifted among all the Restoration dramatist was William Congreve who wrote all his best plays he was thirty years of age. It is mainly on account of his remarkable style that Congreve is put at the head of the Restoration drama.

No English dramatist has even written such fine prose for the stage as Congreve did. He balances, restoration period literature and sharpens his sentences until they shine like chiselled instruments for an electrical experiment, through which passes the current in the restoration period literature of his incisive and scintillating wit.

As the plays of Congreve reflect the fashions and foibles of the upper classes whose moral standards had become lax, they do not have a universal appeal, but as social documents their value is very great.

Moreover, though these comedies were subjected to a very severe criticism by the Romantics like Shelley and Lamb, they are now again in great demand and there is a revival of interest in Restoration comedy, restoration period literature. In tragedy, the Restoration period specialised in Heroic Tragedy, which dealt with themes of epic magnitude. The heroes and heroines possessed superhuman qualities. The purpose of this tragedy was didactic—to inculcate virtues in the shape of bravery and conjugal love.

In it declamation took the place of natural dialogue. Moreover, it was characterised by bombast, exaggeration and sensational effects wherever possible. As it was not based on the observations of life, there was no realistic characterisation, and it inevitably ended happily, and virtue was always rewarded. The chief protagonist and writer of heroic tragedy was Dryden. Under his leadership the heroic tragedy dominated the stage from to His first experiment in this type of drama was his play Tyrannic love, and in The Conquest of Granada he brought it to its culminating point.

But then a restoration period literature condemnation of this grand manner of writing tragedy was started by certain critics and playwrights, of which Dryden was the main target. He also gives up the literary rules observed by French dramatists and follows the laws of drama formulated by the great dramatists of England.

Another important way in which Dryden turns himself away from the conventions of the heroic tragedy, restoration period literature, is that he does not give a happy ending to this play. The Restoration period was deficient in poetry and drama, restoration period literature, but in prose it holds its head much higher. Of course, it cannot be said that the Restoration prose enjoys absolute supremacy in English literature, because on account of the fall of poetic power, lack of inspiration, preference of the merely practical and prosaic subjects and approach to life, it could not reach those heights which it attained in the preceding period in the hands of Milton and Browne, or in the succeeding ages in the hands of Lamb, Hazlitt, Ruskin and Carlyle.

But it has to be admitted that it was during the Restoration period that English prose was developed as a medium for expressing clearly and precisely average ideas and feelings about miscellaneous matters for which prose is really meant. For the first time a prose style was evolved which could be used for plain narrative, argumentative exposition of intricate subjects, restoration period literature, and the handling of practical business.

The elaborate Elizabethan prose was unsuited to telling a plain story. The epigrammatic style of Bacon, the grandiloquent prose of Milton and the dreamy harmonies of Browne could not be adapted to scientific, historical, political and philosophical writings, and, above all, to novel-writing.

Thus with the change in the temper of the people, a new type of prose, as was developed in restoration period literature Restoration period, was essential. As in the fields of poetry and drama, Dryden was the chief leader and practitioner of the new prose. In his greatest critical work Essay of Dramatic Restoration period literature, Dryden presented a model of the new prose, which was completely different from the prose of Bacon, restoration period literature, Milton and Browne, restoration period literature.

He wrote in a plain, simple and exact style, free from all exaggerations. His Fables and the Preface to them are fine examples of the prose style which Dryden was introducing. This style is, in fact, the most admirably suited to strictly prosaic purposes—correct but not tame, easy but not slipshod, forcible but restoration period literature unnatural, eloquent but not declamatory, graceful but not lacking in vigour. Of course, it does not have charm and an atmosphere which we associate with imaginative writing, but Dryden never professed to provide that also.

On the whole, restoration period literature general purposes, for which prose medium is required, the style of Dryden is the most suitable, restoration period literature. Other writers, of the restoration period literature, who came under the influence of Dryden, and wrote in a plain, simple but precise style, were Sir William Temple, John Tillotson and George Saville better known as Viscount Halifax. Another famous writer of the period was Thomas Sprat who is better known for the distinctness with which he put the demand for new prose than for his own writings.

Though these writers wrote under the influence of Dryden, they also, restoration period literature, to a certain extent, helped in the evolution of the new restoration period literature style by their own individual approach. That is why the prose of the Restoration period is free from monotony. John Bunyan Next to Dryden, Bunyan was the greatest prose-writer of the period, restoration period literature.

Like Miltonhe was imbued with the spirit of Puritanism, and in fact, if Milton is the greatest poet of Puritanism, Bunyan is its greatest story-teller. To restoration period literature also goes the credit of being the precursor of the English novel, restoration period literature.


Restoration Literature Characteristics


restoration period literature


Restoration Literature. NEXT ; In a Nutshell. The Restoration is a period in literary history full of humor and hanky-panky. Shocking, right? We thought dudes that looked like this would be super-uptight. But nope—the most popular writers of the age wrote bawdy comedies packed with sexual innuendo. Read this article to know about the Background of Restoration Period, characteristics of restoration period, restoration period summary, restoration age. The monarchical restoration was accompanied by the re-opening of English theatres (that were closed during Author: Malik. The Restoration of the English monarchy took place in when King Charles II returned to England after the Interregnum (with periods of Commonwealth and Protectorate rule), which started after the end of the Second English Civil War, with the execution of his father, Charles I on 30 January The term Restoration is also used to describe the period of several years after, in which a new Followed by: Georgian era.