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17th & 18th Centuries Poetry

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Presentation on theme: "17th & 18th Centuries Poetry"— Presentation transcript:

1 17th & 18th Centuries Poetry

2 Neoclassical Literature
Neoclassical literature was written between 1660 and This time period is broken down into three parts: the Augustan period, the Restoration period, and the Age of Johnson. Writers of the Neoclassical period tried to imitate the style of the Romans and Greeks. Thus, it was 'neo,' which means 'new,' and 'classical,' as in the day of the Roman and Greek classics. This was the era of the Enlightenment, of logic, and of reason. It was preceded by the Renaissance and followed by the Romantic Era.

3 Characteristics Neoclassical literature is characterized by order, accuracy, and structure. In direct opposition to Renaissance attitudes, where man was seen as basically good, the Neoclassical writers portrayed man as inherently flawed. They emphasized 'restraint,' self-control, and common sense. This was a time when conservatism flourished in both politics and literature. Some popular types of literature included: parody, essays, satire, letters, fables, melodrama, and rhyming with couplets.

4 Major Poets John Dryden and Alexander Pope are two neo-classical poets
Order was important in men’s thoughts (p.73) Heroic couplet is well suited to verse based on reasoning John Dryden He wrote excellent satires. Most of his poetry is mainly satire and translations. His Absalom and Achitophel is his great satire on politicians. Alexander Pope The Rape of the Lock (= The Stealing of the Hair, ) Taking a light subject and treats it as important (p.72) Lord Petre had cut off some hair from Miss Arabella Fermor’s head and the two families had quarreled violently. Pope tried to end the quarrel by writing this “heroic” poem, describing the event in detail but only made the quarrel worse.

5 Churchyard School of Poetry
The "Graveyard Poets", also termed “Churchyard Poets” or "the Boneyard Boys” were a number of pre-Romantic English poets of the 18th century characterized by their gloomy meditations on mortality, 'skulls and coffins, epitaphs and worm elicited by the presence of the graveyard. As the century progressed, "graveyard" poetry increasingly expressed a feeling for the 'sublime' and uncanny (supernatural), and an antiquarian (antique) interest in ancient English poetic forms and folk poetry.

6 These poets were considered to be pre-Romanticists
These poets were considered to be pre-Romanticists. Graveyard poetry was still popular into the early 19th century. Graveyard School writers focused their writings on the lives of ordinary and unidentified characters. Graveyard poets were also forerunners for the Romantic literary movement, due to the reflection on emotional states.

7 Thomas Gray Thomas Gray (1716 – 1771) was an English poet, letter-writer, classical scholar and professor at Cambridge University. He is widely known for his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, published in 1751.

8 William Blake William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter and printmaker. Blake is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterized as part of the "Pre- Romantic“ era. His poetry revealed that he did not believe in the reality of matter, or in the power of earthly rulers, or in punishment after death. His major poems are Songs of Innocence (1787), Songs of Experience (1794) and “The Tiger”

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