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U45. 18th Century GB "Revolutions" > 3. Changes in English Literature > Flashcards

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Why changes in Literature?

Because all these changes and revolutions affected severely English Literature.


How would you start this section then?

We should begin this section saying that the Restoration, which is considered the preface of the 18th century in England, witnessed important literary changes. The 18th century saw the secure establishment of the literary market, in modern sense, and the appearance of a large middle class readership.


What literary changes?

Literary forms: novel became fashion, epic and tragedy lost importance.


Is there a second literary change?

Drama took a new lease of life, it even acquired an increasingly political role.


What is the 3rd literary change then?

Poets turned more and more to the heroic couplet and to effects of clarity and balance.


What was the first impulse that Literature experimented?

3.1. Reason and Feeling


When did this impulse take place?

The period of the Restoration (1660) and early eighteenth century is often called the Augustan Age. It looked back to the classical writings and tried to imitate them. Pope translated Homer, for example.


What did reason fostered?

Reason fostered satire, argument, wit, plain prose (Swift, Addison, Steele …).


What did feelings fostered so?

Feeling inspired the psychological novel, the poetry of the sublime.


What was the 2nd impulse that Literature experimented?

3.2. Literature and philosophy.


Why literature and philosophy?

Because both philosophers and novelists paid greater attention to the particular individual.


Can you name an author?

John Locke dominates the 1st half of the eighteenth century. He things that man’s selfish tendencies are a necessary “contract”


Can you name another author apart from Locke?

David Hume. With his skepticism we move from the “age of reason” to the “age of sentiment”. His discovery of the law of association of ideas simulated the Romantic imagination.


What was the 3rd impulse that Literature experimented?

3.3. The rise of the periodical essay.


What is the periodical essay?

The 18th century was the rise of the periodical essay towards the very end of the seventh century. It was the expression of middle class literature in the context of fully accepted classicism. It was a form of journalism basically moral and social in its objectvies.


Who are the most important representatives of this genre?

Richard Steele & Joseph Addison with their most famous periodicals: The Tatler and The Spectator.