I welcome you all to my blog. I hope you have been doing well and coping with all the challenges of your academic life. The blog has been dedicated to students who are inclined to study ancient literature, especially the Puritan and Restoration period literary works. As per the information available, the Puritan age existed from 1620 to 1660. The age was ruled by King Charles I and King James 1, and there were certain disruptions in that period which led to the establishment of the Restoration period in the year 1660. On the arrival of King Charles II, the monarchy in England was restored back. There were a number of changes in the political and social front during the Restoration period. The major changes were the dominance of Anglicans over the Catholics and Tories and Whigs’ formation as the two prominent political parties in England. In case you are more interested in knowing the other reasons behind the changing trend in literature, you can seek help from Totalassignmenthelp.com.
Points to be considered in the blog:
The age of Puritanism from 1620 to 1660
The first half of the 17th century is regarded as the age of Puritanism. Due to the literary works of John Milton during this period, the age is also referred to as the Age of Milton. Puritanism was regarded as a commanding force during this period. Milton was one of the prominent poets of this period. There was a resurgence of moral values of men during this period. The motive behind this period was facilitating religious freedom and advocating complete civil liberty. Puritans wanted a pure life, but this could not happen as churches and courts were criticized, which led to a civil war. The war ultimately culminated in the beheading of King Charles I.
Movement of literature in Puritan age
The movement of literature in this part would be dealt with under different sub-headings, as discussed below:
Style of writing: There was no fanciness in the writing style. Regular words were used while framing sentences. The sentences were pretty straightforward, and there was very less usage of similes and metaphors in literature works. Using symbols was prevalent during the Puritan age due to its powerful impact on the readers. With the help of symbols, it was much easier to explain things related to God. Poems based on religion had a major role in this age and were considered important. The age saw John Donne as one of the renowned religious poets. Addition of frictional elements in literary works was limited as writings in this age were considered as a religious practice. There was a spiritual element in all the works, and the writings were not considered as a medium of entertainment. Most of the literary works were based upon the journey of the pilgrims. The writers, through their work, created a picture of an ideal state which motivated the society.
The reality in poems: There was a Petrarchan sonnet in the love poetries written before this period. The love poetries of this age were purely based upon realism instead of Petrarchan or platonic forms. The poetries did not imagine women as Goddesses rather an individual with blood and flesh. The literature works considered the nature of the central theme rather than its appearance or physical existence.
Presence of epic elements: As stated in the previous paragraph of this blog, the Puritan age was also known as the Age of Milton, which defines that his writings were huge and gave an epic character to this period. The literature works like his poem Paradise Lost, was a huge success at that time and was considered as an epic. The poem was published in the form of ten books and had more than ten thousand lines. Edmund Spencer wrote his poem Faerie Queene, which was divided into six books on the same lines. Both the poems were written from a romantic point of view, and they were epic compared to the ones written by Homer and Virgil during the classical era.
The Restoration period from 1660 to 1785
The period is also known as the Age of Dryden, who was a prominent writer of this period. When King Charles II came to the English throne, it was the beginning of the Restoration period. The Restoration period began in 1660 and ended in 1785. The restoration of the monarchy in England led to the name Restoration period. During this period, three specific monarchies were restored, namely, English, Scottish and Irish. Different political establishments were being set up in different countries. King Charles II brought an expansion in the commercial and international trade of Britain. Educating all was one of the Restoration period’s important agendas irrespective of the different classes like middle or lower.
Religious and political influence throughout the Restoration period
Movement of literature in the Restoration period
The literature written during the Age of Dryden was famously called English restoration literature. There was no seriousness or morality involved in the writings of the Restoration period. There was an influence of French literature on the works being written in this period, especially Moliere and Boileau’s works were considered an inspiration. The difference in the literature could be easily gauged during the Restoration period. There was a change from fanciness to wittiness in the sentences, poetry became prose, and this change was greatly attributed to the front political changes. Wittiness and satire took over fanciness and love. There was an addition in literature in the form of pamphlet literature. Writing diaries was also one of the Restoration period features, and John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys were credited for this addition. There was a demand for drama in this period. Two forms of drama were recognized in this era, Heroic, a play and other was the restoration of the comedy of manners, which was a satirical comedy.
Inclusion of Heroic plays: Plays on heroism, also called heroic tragedies, were prevalent during the Restoration period. The characters of these plays had superhuman qualities, led an extravagant life and had noble values. The plays were theme-based and depicted love, courage and honour. The plays had large couplets, just like the epics. There was an imitation of style with a depiction of love and bravery. The plot of the play involved the role of the empire. John Dryden, along with Sir William Davenant, was the famous heroic dramatist and poet of the Restoration period. Sir William Davenant wrote the Siege of Rhodes, and John Dryden wrote the First Indian Queen along with Robert Howard.
Restoration of the comedy of manners: Comedy of manners is a play based on satires. The satirical play’s idea was to highlight the manner, behaviour, and thinking of the higher classes. It is a depiction of the nature of men and women who is part of the aristocratic society. There is a depiction of wit, sensual innuendos, stylish behaviour, etc. The comedy of manners during the Restoration period was influenced by the comedy of humour written by Ben Johnson. In this era, society wanted entertainment in a new format, and what could be better than comedy of manners. The revival of theatres during this age was a notable change. Comedy of manners was full of corrupt characters delivering sexual dialogues. During the Puritan age, such plays and depiction were banned, but dramatists like William Congreve, Aphra Behn and George Etherege encouraged such plays. The comedy of manners showed the reality of the elite classes. It revealed a society wherein Bourgeoisie was the main lead and females tried to find new ways for liberty. Some people found the play immoral as it tried to blow the sanctity of marriage and showed illegal relationships to meet sexual needs. A number of writers openly wrote and talked about corruption and immorality, but a number of people criticized this.
The emergence of Neo-classicism: The literature patterns in the Restoration period had changed entirely as compared to the ones seen in the Puritan age. The old standards were replaced by simplicity, decorativeness and antiquity. The writers took inspiration from the epics written in classical times, and there was an influence of Greek and Latin literature.
French influence: The French culture greatly influenced the literature in the Restoration period. Charles II and a couple of writers had spent their early lives in France, which was one of the forces behind the influence. These people applied French culture and their ideas while working in England. French literature had some indecency and roughness in its approach, and the same thing was applied in the comedy of manners.
Application of reason and prose: In this period, prose came into existence and was recognized as a form of literature. The content written in this period had reasons in it, leaving the image behind. Writers became more practical and reasoned, which led to the emergence of prose. The other reasons that led to the emergence of prose were science, growing religious unrest and political controversies.
The emergence of satire: During this era, writers were more inclined towards satirical poetry than lyrical ones. Majority of the poetries had arguments and long narrations which could persuade someone but not inspire. Satirical poetries were popular; Absalom and Achitophel were the popular satirical poetries of that era written by John Dryden. The basic idea behind the poetry was temptation, sin and fall, showcasing the life and story of Charles II.
Literary writers of the Restoration period
1) John Dryden: He was a poet, wrote plays and critiques. He was born at a place named Northamptonshire in England in the year 1631. When King Charles II took over the throne, Dryden dedicated him a royalist panegyric through which he praised and celebrated the King. Later on, in the year 1668, the King conferred him the title of Poet Laureate, keeping in mind Dryden’s work. John Dryden was full of passion and dedication and ensured that each of his works was perfect. He was very clear about his writings and reasoning’s and wanted to achieve bigger in the field of literature. He also applied some traits in his writings that he had learnt from the Elizabethan era, which included imaginations and fanciness. His works saw a mix of comedies and tragedies and paved the way for black verse. Dr Johnson referred to him as the Father of English Criticism due to his immense contribution in the field of descriptive criticism. He criticized a literary piece by conducting an analysis. He was the person who led historical criticism, and one was one of the leading dramatists of the Restoration period. The first drama written by him was, Wild Gallant and he pioneered many other plays as well, including:
2) Samuel Butler: He was a poet and satirists. One of his famous works, Hudibras, was a satirical poem about the Puritan age. His life greatly influenced the work that he spent in New Zealand. Hudibras was considered an epic during the Restoration period with mockery of heroism, irony, and wit. One of his works that made him famous was:
3) Abraham Cowley: He was a leading poet and essayist of the Restoration period. He was a versatile writer and relied on the Pindaric form while writing English literature. The length of his essays was small and was morally based. His works depicted his own self, which became an attraction and charmed the readers. One of his works that made him famous was:
4) John Bunyan: He was more inclined toward religious writings. The Holy Bible greatly influenced his personality and style of writing. He used to observe things and include them in his writings. Some of his works that made him famous were:
5) William Congreve: He mastered the restoration of the comedy of manners. Most of his comic literature was written before he turned 30, and Old Bachelor, a successful play, was his first writing piece. He also wrote poems in the Restoration period. Some of his works that made him famous were:
If you are looking for more details with regards to the work done by all these writers of the Restoration period, we will request you to take help from Totalassignmenthelp.com. The online service provider has a pool of experts who are capable of writing literature reviews from different genres.
The present blog on the movement of literature in Puritan and Restoration period has described the Puritan age along with the changes in the literary works. The changes were not only based on styling and theme; rather, the thought behind writing a piece of literature also saw a drastic change. The beheading of King Charles I led to the Restoration period’s establishment, which again brought changes in the literary works. The change was huge, and it was clearly visible. Puritan’s respected the preaching of bible and Catholics, but the same was questioned in the Restoration period. The literary work of this period applied reasoning and science. Prose and satires came into existence along with the element of comedy. I hope that the present blog will help you understand the differences in the Puritan and Restoration period’s writing style.
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