RESTORATION & ENLIGHTENMENT POETS

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RESTORATION &
ENLIGHTENMENT POETS
1660-1798
17th Century: Enlightenment
• a reaction against the religious anxiety of the
Reformation era
• Charles II returned to power (1660)
• philosophical movement
• from WHY questions to HOW
• natural phenomena explained by science
• John Locke: political philosopher
• Isaac Newton: gravity and motion
17th Century: Enlightenment
• Growing middle class
• audience for new literary forms
• Journalism, essays, novels
• Influential upper class (socially)
• powdered wigs, makeup
• fashion
• their lifestyle was often satirized
18th Century: Age of Reason
• order, balance, logic, reason
• scientific inquiry
• religion is far less of an issue, focus on the
rational
• Deism
• societal views and educational discourse
• women, too (private gatherings: circles, salons)
• poetry served a public, not private function
• social discourse
• elegy, ode, satire, essay
CENTRAL POETS
•
•
•
•
Alexander Pope
Jonathan Swift
Daniel Defoe
Samuel Johnson
1688-1744
1667-1745
1660-1731
1709-1784
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