Seventeenth and eighteenth century literature

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Seventeenth and eighteenth century literature

  1. 1. Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Literature
  2. 2. Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Literature <ul><li>This period in literature is often called “The Age of Enlightenment.” </li></ul><ul><li>Writers valued neoclassical values, embracing Greek and Roman aesthetics: clarity, restraint, reason, ‘good sense.’ </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Horace’s The Art of Poetry became the standard by which poetry was judged, thus putting primacy on poetry as the dominant literary form. </li></ul><ul><li>Much of the poetry of the period was written in “heroic couplets” (pairs of rhymed iambic pentameter lines – five stressed syllables per line) that showed ‘moral and philosophical precepts.’ </li></ul>
  4. 4. Puritans and Literature <ul><li>Puritans generally distrusted the imagination. </li></ul><ul><li>Puritans disliked drama and the fantastic, satirical language of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Theater pulls one away from reality; Puritans considered men playing women’s roles on stage (typical of the period) unseemly. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Forms of Puritan Literature <ul><li>Therefore there were no Puritan novels either. Puritan literature took the form of sermons and poetry. </li></ul><ul><li>There was a huge amount of poetry, especially elegies with panegyric elements. </li></ul><ul><li>Poetry thus became the means of codifying Puritan notions of ideal conduct, and a means of reaffirming social values. Poetry served a didactic purpose. </li></ul>

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