Literary criticism During his own lifetime and shortly afterward, Shakespeare enjoyed fame and considerable critical attention. Jonson objected when Shakespeare dramatized history extending over many years and moved his dramatic scene around from country to country, rather than focusing on 24 hours or so in a single location. And in fact most productions of Shakespeare on the London stage during the Restoration did just that:
The Restoration Literary reactions to the political climate For some, the restoration of King Charles II in led many to a painful revaluation of the political hopes and millenarian expectations bred during two decades of civil war and republican government.
For others, it excited the desire to celebrate kingship and even to turn the events of the new reign into signs of a divinely ordained scheme of things. Violent political conflict may have ceased, but the division between royalists and republicans still ran through literature of the period. Indeed, it is hard to conceive of a single literary culture that could include, on the one hand, John Milton and John Bunyan and, on the other, John Wilmot, earl of Rochesterand John Dryden.
Yet these and other such opposites were writing at the same time. Yet Puritans and republicans had not disappeared. However, they still formed an important body of opinion within the nation. For erstwhile supporters of the Commonwealth, the experience of defeat needed time to be absorbed, and fresh strategies had to be devised to encounter the challenge of hostile times.
Much caustic and libelous political satire was written during the reigns of Charles II and James II and because printing was subject to repressive legal constrictions circulated anonymously and widely in manuscript.
The defeated republicans The greatest prose controversialist of the pre years, John Miltondid not return to that mode but, in his enforced retirement from the public scene, devoted himself to his great poems of religious struggle and convictionParadise Lostrevised and Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes both Edmund Ludlowlike Hutchinson one of the regicides, fled to Switzerland inwhere he compiled his own Memoirs.
Some autobiographers adjusted their testimony themselves in the light of later developments. It testifies graphically to the force, both terrifying and consolatory, with which the biblical word could work upon the consciousness of a scantily educated, but overwhelmingly responsive, 17th-century believer.
The resulting work with its second part appearing in combines a careful exposition of the logical structure of the Calvinist scheme of salvation with a delicate responsiveness to the ways in which his experience of his own world of the life of the road, of the arrogance of the rich, of the rhythms of contemporary speech can be deployed to render with a new vividness the strenuous testing the Christian soul must undergo.
His achievement owes scarcely anything to the literary culture of his time, but his masterpiece has gained for itself a readership greater than that achieved by any other English 17th-century work with the exception of the King James Bible.
|Sorry! Something went wrong!||EVERYWHERE in Europe the modern drama has been evolved from out the drama of the middle ages; but the development had been slower in France than in Spain and in England; and this retarding of its evolution was fortunate for the French, since the golden days of their dramatic literature arrived only after the conditions of the theater had become far less medieval than they had been during the golden days of the Spanish and of the English dramatic literatures.|
|Social Science History: Society and Science History TimeLine||Contact Home This site is devoted to the production or performance of works from earlier periods of English spoken in original pronunciation OP — that is, in an accent that would have been in use at the time. This was so successful that the following year the Globe mounted a production of Troilus and Cressida in OP.|
|Literary reactions to the political climate||Oliver Goldsmith She Stoops to Conquer:|
In the 17th and 18th centuries there were chapbook versions, at two or three pence each, for the barely literate, and there were elegant editions for pious gentlefolk.
It was the favourite work of both the self-improving artisan and the affluent tradesman. Yet it was below the horizon of polite literary taste. Perhaps Bunyan, the uneducated son of a tinker, would have found such condescension appropriate.
This work is also rich in disdainful portraits of those who are more than satisfied with the ways of the world: The Life and Death of Mr. Badmanwhich, with graphic local detail, remorselessly tracks the sinful temptations of everyday life, and The Holy Wara grandiose attempt at religious mythmaking interlaced with contemporary political allusions.
Richard Baxtera Nonconformist cleric who, although enduring persecution afterwas by instinct and much of his practice a reconciler, published untiringly on religious issues. Soon after the death of his wife, he wrote the moving Breviatea striking combination of exemplary narrative and unaffectedly direct reporting of the nature of their domestic life.
His finest work, however, is the Reliquiae Baxterianae published infive years after his deathan autobiography that is also an eloquent defense of the Puritan impulse in the 17th-century Christian tradition.
In the aftermath of the Restoration, there was much formulaic satirizing of Puritans, especially on the stage. This was a massively popular work, with an influence stretching well into the 18th century when Samuel Johnsonfor example, greatly admired it and William Hogarth illustrated some scenes from it.
It reads partly as a consummately destructive act of revenge upon those who had usurped power in the previous two decades, but although it is easy to identify what Hudibras opposes, it is difficult to say what, if anything, it affirms.Essay Upon English Tragedy: Volume 6 (18th Century Shakespeare) 1st Edition by John Holt (Author), William Guthrie (Author).
English Literature Essays, literary criticism on many authors, links to internet resources and bookshop. This site is devoted to the production or performance of works from earlier periods of English spoken in original pronunciation (OP) – that is, in an accent that would have been in use at the time.
The Restoration and 18th Century. Period Introduction Overview The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, English writers, following the restoration of King Charles II, felt themselves to be in a similar situation, in which the arts (repressed under Cromwell) could now flourish. tragedy, comedy, pastoral, satire, and ode.
In the 18th sonnet, Shakespeare begins by comparing his lover to a summer’s day, which may be seen as a high compliment. Upon reading further, you find that not even the sun and all its’ glory can possibly compare to his dearest.
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