Presentation on theme: "The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century I. Time Period: 1660-1800 in England A. Expansion from England to North America 1. America prospers and rebels."— Presentation transcript:
The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century I. Time Period: 1660-1800 in England A. Expansion from England to North America 1. America prospers and rebels by 1775 2. England exhausted by civil and colonial war, a plague and a fire, yet by 1800 had transformed itself a. despite losses, the military and upper classes thrive; the middle class grew b. an old nation produced brilliant literature 1 Jonathan Swift Gulliver’s Travels Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe Samuel Johnson Dictionary of the English Language Poets William Wordsworth & S.T. Coleridge
II. An Age With Several Names A. The Augustan Age 1. England compared reign of Roman Emperor Augustus (63 B.C.-A.D. 14) who restored peace & order to Rome after Julius Caesar’s assassination 2 2. The Stuart monarchs restored peace & order to England after civil wars led to the execu- tion of King Charles I in 1649. a. As Augustus was hailed the second founder of Rome, Charles II was hailed as their savior. Interesting: Oliver Cromwell’s body the one of first “commoner” to rule England, was dug up and beheaded by Charles II’s supporters as a warning to revolutionaries!
3 B. The Neoclassical Age 1. During this time, English writers modeled their works on the old Latin classics a. “neo” means “new” b. The classics were valuable because they represented what was permanent and universal in human experience C. The Age of Reason - The Enlightenment 1. A shift in people’s thinking a. from superstition/religion to reason i. example: events & nat’l phenomena have some meaning behind them; afterwards they are seen without those lenses
4III. The Birth of Modern English Prose: Paring Down A. The Royal Society for the Promotion of Natural Knowledge gathers to change the way scientists and all knowledge is written 1. avoiding elaborate metaphors and long sentences. Cfr: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. Thomas Jefferson, “Dec. of Independence”, 1776.
5 IV. Changes in Religion: More Questions A. Deism - A religion based on reason and the observation of nature. 1. miracles, divinity of Christ, Virgin Birth thrown out a. Philosophers: Jean Jacques Rousseau (”noble savage”; original sin out) b. Statesmen: Jefferson, Franklin, Paine i. Jefferson’s Bible c. Writers: Alexander Pope: “Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night: God said,
6 Let Newton be! and all was light. Alexander Pope, epitaph intended for Sir Isaac Newton B. Rationalism 1. emphasized the authority of reason a. reason is more powerful than sensory experience b. through reason, human beings can un- derstand the nature of reality C. Religion & Politics 2. Religion determined people’s politics a. Charles II reestablishes the Anglican Church as the official church - and out- lawed the Puritans and Independents i. persecution
7V. The Bloodless Revolution A. Charles II has no heir. Dies in 1685. His brother James II succeeds. 1. Problem - he’s a Catholic a. widely believed Catholics set fire to Lon- don and plotted to hand country to pope 2. Plot thickens - James has a son, a Catholic heir! 3. Oh oh! Better get outta here! a. In 1688, the royal family fled to France i. the Glorious (bloodless) Revolution; James II succeeded by his Protestant daughter Mary & husband William of Orange. Ever since, English rulers been Protestants
8VI. Addicted to the Theater A. Theaters were closed for more than 20 years when the Puritans held power. Charles II, in exile in France, became addicted to theatergoing - so he repeals the ban on play performances. 1. for the 1st time, female actors acted VII. The Age of Satire: Attacks on Immorality & Bad Taste A. Writers such as Swift were appalled by the squalor and shoddiness in art, manners, and morals - the underside of 18th Century life. B. Swift was not satisfied with the world, de- ploring corrupt politics and the commercialism and materialism of the middle class.
VIII. Journalism - A New Profession A. Daniel Defoe - saw himself as a reformer IX. Public Poetry A. Is real poetry “conceived in the soul” or only in the mind? Augustan poets: 1. had no desire to expose their soul 2. were usually composed for an occasion 3. Example - an Augustan elegy didn’t tell the truth about a dead person - but the best things the poet could think of saying B. At the opposite extreme, a poet might think a person should be exposed to public ridicule; the poet would write a satire - a type of writing that doesn’t make a just and balanced judgment but says the worst thing he can think.
X. The First English Novels A. Writers began writing fictional narratives called “novels” (”novel” means “something new” 1. They were funny 2. They show us what life was like at the time 3. They help us understand the humor and dis- appointments of human experience in all ages.