History of English Literature Week IX Augustan Period ( 1700 – 1750)
Classic Period or Pope period
System & orderliness in writing
Creating a clear but simple language style, omitting formalism & artificiality
Stressed on intelligence, not on imagination & feeling
It’s in the age of intellect revolution. Rationalism became the main “ism” amongst philosophers and artists. Satire became the major output.
It signified the winning of Parliament over the King. Public played important role. Approaches to the public the birth of newspapers and magazines. It was greatly helped by the spread out of education amongst the public. The emergence of toleration amongst societies the emergence of clubs and coffee stands. Gave aid to the dissemination of newspaper.
Alexander Pope (1688 – 1741)
Continued his predecessor: John Dryden
He used smoother words many of his works used as common language, e.g.: To err is human, to forgive is divine , A little learning is a dangerous thing, For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
He got well-known for his work Essay on Criticism The conclusions of the Aristoteles, Horatius & Boileau (Greek, Roman & French)
The Rape of the Lock burlesque stories, show or review which was presented with jokes
Iliad and Odyssey by Homerus (translated by Pope)
Essay on Man, The Dunciad
Early Newspapers & magazines
Daily Courant in 1702, The Tatler (1709) and The Spectator (1711)
Daily Courant also gossips 2 years only
The Spectator literature magazine
The editors: Joseph Addison & Richard Steele light essay was considered as a literary work
Daniel Defoe (correspondent) contribution to contemporary newspaper: editorial & interview
Defoe’s prominence: he could tell a story as though he himself had experienced it.
Robinson Crusoe was the most famous
Robinson Crusoe a sailorman who was deserted at an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean
Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745) Gulliver’s Travels satire
Gulliver’s Travels : the experience of dr Lemuel Gulliver, a ship doctor, in the countries of Liliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa and Houyhnhnm. written in fluent, clean & simple language enforced the realism.
Samuel Johnson or Dr Johnson (1709 – 1784) known as the ‘literature dictator’ known from The Life of Johnson (biography), written by one of his followers James Boswell.
Besides his eccentric characteristics, he was also known as the first compiler of the most complete English dictionary: A Dictionary of the English Language (1755)
Other works of Johnson: The Vanity of Human Wishes, Rasselas
He founded periodicals: ‘The Rambler’ and ‘The Idler’
His language style: full of rhetoric, borrowed words from Latin, long & complicated sentences, hence known as Johnsonese.
Famous writers continuous…….
It was infertile period for drama
John Gay (1685 – 1731): The Beggar’s Opera (1728): satire towards Italian opera
John Lillo (1693 – 1739): The London Merchant or The History of George Barnwell (1731): realistic social drama.