Mod-03 Lec-16 The Augustans


Hello, and welcome back to NP-TEL, The National
Program on Technology Enhanced Learning, a joint venture of Indian Institutes of Technology
and Indian Institute of Science. As we are aware, these lectures offer students
in the IITs and other engineering colleges, the role of humanities and social sciences
is quite significant, in the curriculum of engineering students. Why literature; we may ask that why it is
so important for the study of engineering. We think that a course on humanities and social
sciences, sensitizes a student’s vocabulary; not only that, and interface between society,
between shared individual experiences and ultimately, the aesthetic proportions of sharing
other experiences, and individual thoughts and ultimately, leads to a different interface
of studies. Well, I am Krishna Barua. I have been teaching English at the department
of humanities and social science at IIT, Guwahati, and we are presently, in the lecture series;
language and literature, and this is module 3 of the series title history of English literature,
and we are in lecture 4 of this module titled, The Augustans age. Let us recap of what we have done in lecture
1. This was where, we had gone into the necessity
of studying literature for understanding the series of poems and grammars and short stories
and essays we brought before you. We want you to be introduced to the spirit
of the age, and ideas of the nation’s history. Many students asked me what is this need of
the background of understanding the historical significance or the cultural significance
or the social significance of the age. I think it is very essential, somewhere or
the other, the exchanges which come between one age to the other, is essential for your
understanding of a text or of a writer. We should enjoy the literary journey of poems,
stories and plays, and the socio political milieu from the Victorian era, or even as
far back as Chaucer’s time. When we went to the first lecture, the Anglo-Saxon
literature, it was five striking characteristics while, we are doing the different stages of
investigation, we will see how there have been convergences and divergences from one
age to the other, whether there have been some after striking features, which has been
continuing and somewhere, there has been a change; specially, the meaning of freedom,
the meaning of expression, the meaning of representation. In the Anglo-Saxon literature, we have seen
that there was this love of freedom, the love of liberty, reverence for womanhood, and most
of the poems or literature was alliterative, and a ruling motive in every warrior’s life;
devotion to glory. In lecture 2, we have gone and that was in
lecture 1, we had the age of Chaucer, the first major father of, you can say, English
poetry, even English novel and the English short story. When we come to the age of Shakespeare where
Shakespeare as a person, as a dramatist, as a poet; dominates the entire age we have seen. His achievement was largely, made possible
by the work of his immediate predecessors like Spenser and Sidney, in the mastery of
verse, Marlow and the university wits, especially, in drama and then, how the change was coming
more on the way that concentration of man, and the power of human reason to interpret
man and nature. Here, for the first time, we find that the
dignity of modern English as a literary medium. In lecture 3 we came to Milton and his times
and this is where, we were quite interesting, it was quite interesting to see how Shakespeare
and Milton were the two figures that towered conspicuously, till now. Each was representative of this age one that
produced him. One was the force of impulse in Shakespeare,
and the force of fixed purpose in Milton. Now, we come to the Augustan age, lecture
4 and in English literature, the Augustan age, roughly from 1700 to 1745, was the neoclassical
age that to bring out the analogy between the; first, it was a self-conscious imitation
of the age of Augustus, which was supposed to be the classic age. Latin literature of the days of Virgil and
Horace; the classical period of Latin literature, and it also refers to literature with the
predominant laws and rules of refinement where, there was attention to the detail to clarity,
elegance and balance of judgment, recalling the golden age by examining the enduring truths
of human nature. This age in the 18th century, we find, is
also has been termed the age of reason or enlightenment. You have to remember in the European continent,
we have seen how enlightenment had taken place, especially, the Augustan age was the period
after the restoration era to the death of Alexander Pope. You can come a bit earlier from 1690 to 1744. Enlightenment; what was enlightened about? Enlightenment about in Europe; it contrasted
with the darkness of irrationality, and superstition which, characterized the middle ages; it was
the age of reason, belief in progress, and in the power of reason increased, and it was
a distinctive trait of the period, which is also known as the age of reason. Characteristics of this period included observing
human nature, as well as nature, by itself in landscape which, were considered unchanging
and constant. Major writers of this period were Pope and
John Dryden, in poetry; Jonathan Swift and Joseph Addison, in prose; to mention only
a few. So, we have to go back to the historical background,
right. So, three historical events deeply, influenced
the literary movements of the time. We had just mentioned the restoration of the
year 1660; that was the restoration of the monarchy, just after the puritan government
fell, I mean, Cromwell’s government fell, and there was this restoration of the monarchy;
the Roman Catholic controversy that raged during the latter half of Charles 2’s reign,
and the revolution of the year 1688. So, the prior period; let us go back; the
period prior to the Augustan age was the restoration. So, because brighten also falls in that period,
it will be necessary for us to also talk about the restoration while, we are talking about the
Augustan age. After the Augustan age, will come romanticism. The English of Augustan age spanned 1700 to
1740, with the reign of queen Anne, King George and King George second. Pope is a dominant figure in this period’s
poetry. Dryden also, is mentioned four times in pope’s
essay on criticism, though Dryden and Pope are classical, as neoclassical writers; I
do not think they were aware of enduring this lifetime, right. So, this restoration and the 18th century,
If we look into general characteristics, if we look in to the political spectrum, if we
look in to the background, which is necessary to understand how, political developments
also, added to the representation in literature. So, begins in 1660, and you remember that
during the puritan, during the parliamentary form of government, and Cromwell, we found
that what had happened; that the year in which, King Charles, the second was restored to the
English throne. There was a closing of the theatres and with
the reopening of the English theaters, closed during Cromwell’s puritan regime and the restoration
of the Church of England as the national church. We find there was a play of excesses, specially,
in drama. Then, again, there was another change in the
exclusion crisis, after the Stuart’s monarchy, because King Charles, the second, didn’t
have an heir, therefore, it created modern political parties, and the Tories, who had
first come, who supported the king and their Whigs, who opposed him. So, this was the raise of the Whigs and the
Tories. It is almost, a precursor of the modern system
of government in UK. England, Scotland and Wales were united for
the first time here, by the 1707 act of union, and most important aspect over here; we will
go into this later to the raise of the middle classes. Increased importance was placed on the private
individual life as is evident in literary forms, such as diaries, letters and the novels. Emergence of social ideas; people became more
responsible, a new rhetoric of liberty and rights sentiment and sympathy. When we look at 1714 to 1727, just after Queen
Anne, Queen Anne was succeeded by George 1, who was a descendent of the Stuarts. Then, during George’s reign, transition to
the modern system of cabinet government which, we just see now; this laid the foundation
for that form of parliamentary monarchy, which has been in existence in England, ever since. So, the restoration if we go into that, we
see, refers to the restoration of the monarchy, when Charles second was restored, and of course,
this eleven year common wealth period during which, the country was governed by parliament,
under the direction of the puritan general, Oliver Cromwell. Political event coincides with changes in
the literary, scientific and cultural life; it was very important. So, the exchanges, which were going on, and
this discourse, this approach that was going on between the parliamentary, between what
was happening in the political field, in the social field, was equally represented in literature. So, this history or the restoration of Charles
second, brought about a revolution in English literature. With the collapse of the puritan government,
there sprang up activities that had been so long suppressed; that they flew to violent
excesses. The commonwealth had insisted on gravity and
decorum. In all things, we had done in the previous
lecture, that there was always a rule, there was a limit to what one had to say, and the
restoration encouraged a levity that often, became immoral and indecent. Along with much that is sane and powerful,
this latter tendency is prominent in the writing of the times, especially, in the comedies. We find the comedy of manuals, especially,
during this time. Now, if we look into the history of the period,
this revolution of 1688; this was an event. Why was it important; which banished the last
of the Stuart kings, and called William of orange, to the throne; marks the end of a
long struggle for political freedom in England. Now, we find modern England was firmly, established
by the revolution, which was brought about by the excesses of the restoration. Most important, most significant aspect in
studying this age was this history of the book. Thereafter, the Englishmen spent this tremendous
energy, which we have found that there was discourse of liberty, discourse of freedom,
which was there; passion was there; in the Elizabethan age. From the Anglo-Saxon age to the puritan age
which, his forbears had largely, spent in fighting for freedom in endless political
discussions, and in efforts to improve his government. Now, we find that there was the social responsibility
and political responsibility that one could be governed, and the question of governance
came in. In order to bring about reforms, therefore,
votes were now necessary, and to influence the public opinion; therefore, there have
to be dissemination of ideas, facts, arguments, information. So, the newspaper was born. The rise of the middle classes, the printing
press, everything led to the dissemination of the spread of knowledge and literature
in its wider sense, including the book, the newspaper, the magazine became the chief instrument
of the nation’s progress; not to speak of the novel which came just after that. Therefore, when we look into this literature
from 1660 to 1785, what we see; we find that it can be divided into three shorter periods
of 40 years each. First period is 1660 to 1700; death of John
Dryden where, we have a neoclassical period where, emphasis on decorum or critical principles;
based on what is elegant, fit and right; the neoclassic age. Then, comes 1700 to 1745; deaths of Jonathan
Swift and Alexander Pope in 1744; another stage where, emphasis on satire, and more
on satire, and on wider public leadership. Then, 1700 to 1745, when we look into that,
the Augustan era of writers like Swift Defoe, Pope Addison Steele, was rich in satire, and
new prose forms that blended fact and fiction, such as news, criminal biographies, travelogues. So, these are new genres of literary representation
which, came into existence; political allegories and romantic tales. So, therefore, early 18th century drama even,
saw a development of sentimental comedy, which we had referred to just now; the excesses
which were there, is the early restoration period in which, goodness and high moral sentiments
are emphasized, and the audience is moved not only to laughter, but also to sympathetic
tears. Well, some of the great figures of the restoration
literature from 1600 to 1700, and we find that Dryden, Butler, Wycherley, Congreve,
Bunyan, Evelyn; not in great order, but yes, you can get an idea about that. Who was John Dryden? He was a greater writer of the age, voiced
general complaint; when he said that in his prose and poetry, he was drawing the outlines
of a new art, because the passion of the Elizabethens and the purpose of the puritan age somewhere,
did not have any effect upon this new age. He wanted to draw the outlines of a new art,
but he mourned that he had no teacher to instruct him. The writers of the age developed two marked
tendencies of their own. What were these new tendencies? The tendency towards realism, the representation
of reality as such, and a different style or technique of writing, which was in the
preciseness, simplicity and elegance of expression. So, this new classicism, if you note this
by the year 1660, Elizabethan romanticism had all, but spent itself. John Milton, we have seen, had still to write
Paradise Lost, but in everything, Milton was of the past, even at this time. At the restoration, he retired and worked
in obscurity, he was blind; you remember, and his great poem reveals no signs of the
time in which, his later years were cast. The age which produced Newton’s principia,
Milton’s Paradise Lost; this is the age, 18th century; Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel,
Purcell’s music and Wren’s churches, and all the varied interests and curiosities of the
daily life, recorded by Evelyn and Pepys; such an age was one of the greatest for English
genius and civilization. Many think that the Augustan age was a significant
age for English genius and civilization; it could not have been what it was, without the
printing press, of course, granted that; yet, it is remarkable, what a small amount of printing,
served its turn. In every preceding age which we have seen,
eventually, especially, the poetical works which constitute the glory of English literature,
had already remarked that the glory of an age is its poetry, but now for the first time,
we must chronicle the triumph of English prose. A multitude of practical interests, arising
from the new social and political conditions; we have seen that there was development in
the social field; there was development in the political field, and there was the age
of reason and enlightenment which, led to a new thinking of every man. Every man was almost literate, you can call
that, and everyone was aware, and that demanded expression, not simply in books, but most
especially, in pamphlets, magazines and news papers. So, poetry was inadequate for such a task. If we look at the Elizabethan age, we find
that the age of Shakespeare; it was where, people sang they did not talk, but here, people
wrote in prose, and the graceful elegance, if you look into Addison’s essays, the terse
vigor of Swift’s satires, the artistic finish of Fielding’s novels, the sonorous eloquence
of Gibbon’s history and Burke’s orations; these have no parallel in the poetry of the
age. Indeed, poetry itself became prosaic. We see the reversal of the trend, in this
respect that it was used not for a creative works of imagination, but for essays, for
satire, for criticism and for exactly, the same practical ends, as was prose. The poetry of the first half of the century,
as typified in the work of Pope and Dryden, is polished and witty enough, but somehow,
there is that lack of spontaneity; it lacks fire, enthusiasm, the glow of the Elizabethan
age. In a word, it interests us as a study of life;
yes, rather than delights or inspires us by its appeal to the imagination. So, we concentrate in this age on the prose;
the triumph of prose. The variety and excellence of prose works
and the development of a serviceable prose style, which had been begun by Dryden; these
are the chief literary glories of the 18th centuries. Therefore, I had referred to it all together
already, in the beginning of the lecture that why do we study literature, right. In studying the different stages of the development
of history of English literature, we find that the whole opening up of our ecstatic
of our intellectual domain, or in the way that it had developed through the evaluation
of ideas which has come in, helps us to understand that there has been so many things, which
has gone into the making of literature of a period. It is not that we forget the past; it is the
past, which determines the present, and at the same time, we are aware, we are not ignorant
of what is happening all around. May be, this is what was said by TS Eliot
when he said that a writer must have the historical sense, and when one has the historical sense,
one has to be aware of what is going on all around, and only then, can you write of something,
or you can represent something, which is of your own type, and of the people surrounding
you. Well, this was the age of satire. Writers were often found observing nature,
therefore, in their attempts to express their beliefs. So, satire comes for the first time in English literature. Human nature was considered a constant that
observation and reason could be applied to for the advancement of knowledge. Within these circumstances, the age of satire
was born. You could analyze yourself; you could laugh
at yourself; and at the same time, you can become a subject of observation. So, it became the most popular form of literary
tool that was utilized by the writers of the time, and with the help of satire, writers
were able to educate the public through literature. So, you might ask what is the role of satire
and comedy. In comedy too, also, we have satire, but it
is very graceful. The border line between satire and the comedy
is thin. At the same time, we find that the purpose
is almost, where, we expose human frailties probably, and at the same time, we tried to
redeem the false, which are there. So, when we come to John Dryden, who towers
over this age, not as Milton towers over his age, or as Shakespeare had towered over his
age, and that is why, we have termed the age of Shakespeare or the age of Milton, and not
the age of Dryden here, or the Augustan period; because we have many scholars, many writers,
who are equally important to discuss. So, Dryden is the greatest literary figure
of the restoration, and this is a quote from William J Long, and he says that if we can
think for a moment of literature, as a canal of water; we are talking about a literary
journey that we are taking, isn’t it, from the beginning to the moderns; we may appreciate
the figure that Dryden is the lock by which, the waters of English poetry were let
down, from the mountains of Shakespeare and Milton to the plain of Pope. So, we have gone from the heights to the real
pavilions pope; that is he stands between two very different ages, and serves as a transition
from one to the other; beautiful quote, this is from William J Long. So, when we look at Dryden; what do we see,
what did he write about? He wrote in every form important to the period;
Annus Mirabilis, a narrative poem, All for Love, which was written in blank verse. Then, tragedy, heroic plays, odes, satires,
translations of classical work, his Absalom and Achitophel has been undoubtedly, the most
powerful political satire in the language in English literature and restoration prose
style, somehow, grew out of this, and it became more witty, and it became not rural, not pastoral;
it became urbane, confined to the towns, to the cities, to the upper class; urbane conversation
and less like a intricate rhetorical style of previous writers, like John Milton and
John Donne, simultaneously, we have found that restoration literature continued to appeal
to heroic ideals of love and honor, particularly, on stage in heroic tragedy. So, the religious question, when we come back
into this, we find the strength of the religious political passions of the time is reflected
also, in the current literature. There was a prevalent suspicion of the Catholics. The famous poem of Dryden, which we have referred
to just now; Absalom and Achitophel, is an outstanding example of a kind of poem that
abounded during those troubled years. So, it was a critique of the time of what
was going on; the conflict between the search and governance. At the restoration, the break with the past
was almost, absolute. Subject and style took on a new spirit and
outlook, as Dryden said, I was trying to find out new avenues, which will suit the age,
a different attitude and aim. Hence, the post restoration period is often,
set up as the converse and antithesis of the previous Elizabethan stage. If you want to show the dividing line, then
you will find that it was the post restoration; it serves as a dividing line between the previous
Elizabethan age. It is called classical as opposed to the Elizabethan
romanticism. The period, which will come just after the
Augustan age is also called the romantic age; romanticism, but this romanticism is different
from the Elizabethan romanticism. Though, the contrast between the two epochs
need not be over emphasized, yet the differences are very great. You find striking dissimilarities and when
we see that, the first thing that strikes you was the interest in reading and publishing
houses. Which, we have already said that it was not
the age of poetry; it was the age of prose. Here, the reading and publishing houses; they
became very alert and active, and the rising interest in politics, witnesses the decline
of drama. It resulted in a remarkable increase in the
number of reading public, and they became the forerunners of modern public houses. They employed hack writers of the period;
they lived in miserable hovels in the Grub Street. The rise of the middle class, which is a very
important sociological dimension to the age of this period, the Augustan age, and this
period of literature, saw the emergence of a powerful middle class. The supremacy of the middle class made it
an age of tolerance, moderation and common sense. It sought to refine manners, introduce into
life; the rule of sweet reasonableness. The industrial revolution was just, sometime
away. The middle class writers were greatly, influenced
by moral considerations; therefore, it was an era of assimilation of the aristocracy
and the middle class. Middle class tried to bring in all the manners
of the aristocracy. They tried not to imitate, but to bring in
their own standards of living. So, may be, there was the difference in class;
there was a difference in the aristocracy of the middle class. The emergence of middle class led to the rise
of sentimentalism, feelings and emotions, which influenced the literature of the latter
half of the 18th century. Therefore, the first half of the 18th century
was remarkable for the rapid social development in England. While we are doing this age; you must have
noted that we are giving more emphasis to the social and the political background, more
than the literary representation. Of course, the literary representation is
coming, but at the same time, we cannot ignore what is happening on the surroundings. For the first time, they began themselves,
the task of learning art of living together, in a single generation. Nearly, 2000 public coffeehouses sprang up
in London alone. This new social status had a superb effect
in polishing men’s words and manners. First number of ‘The Tatler’ Steele announces
that the activities of his new journal will be based upon the clubs, the coffee clubs. All accounts of gallantry, pleasure, everything;
shall be under the article of White’s chocolate-house, etc. Then, comes the question of copy-right, which
we are so much concerned with, nowadays. During this reign, the law of copy-right,
1709 was passed and the freedom of the press was restored in 1682, and large numbers of
periodicals appeared and flourished in their different fashion. We have Steele, who published this Tatler,
spectator; we have Johnson, he also published others short lived periodicals. Let us see in what respects therefore, this
new spirit is shown. Therefore, we find this completely, new concentration
on something, which is different from the other ages. First, we will see the imitation of the ancients,
because it was called the Augustan age. Lacking the genius of the Elizabethans, the
authors of this period, turned to the great classical writers, and that was in the beginning
to the Latin writers for guidance and inspiration, and as we have seen, during the time of Dryden,
deepened and hardened during the succeeding era of Pope- so much so that the latter laid
down as a final test of excellence. Pope had said that the imitation of the ancients,
learn hence for ancient rules, a just esteem to copy nature, is to copy them. Though, Dryden and Pope are classified as
neoclassical writers, and about nature in neoclassicism is returning to the classics. Aside from the Dryden, pope also commends
Aristotle, Homer, Horace, etc. Now, imitation of French, especially, in the
comedies; Charles second had spent most of his years of exile, in France. Naturally, he will bring in the influences
of the French court. In particular, the effects of this, penetrated
very deeply into the drama of French comedy. Moliere was the outstanding exponent and his
influence was very great. Development of the literary forms, therefore,
viewed as a whole; this period is seen to be one of transition, isn’t it? So, the Elizabethan fervor had spent itself,
and the new classicism was still in the making. Yet the time is important in the development
of literary, new literary forms. Political and social changes exhibiting the
supremacy of good sense, rationality, on the literature of days of age of Pope and Doctor
Johnson, and why it is called age of prose and reason; we have to see, not of poetry,
because a large number of practical interests arising from the new social and political
conditions, demanded expression; not simply in books, but in pamphlets, magazines and
news papers. The poetry of the first half of the 18th century
was represented by the works of Pope and polished and witty ,but lacks fire feeling. Matthew Arnold rightly, calls the 18th century,
the age of prose. Well, when we had talked about Satire, then
will see that the predominance of Satire is an important literary characteristic of the
age. Nearly, every writer of the first half of
the 18th century was used and rewarded by the two parties; the Whigs or Tories, for
satirizing their enemies. They were employed by these two different
groups, and Pope was an exception, but he too was a satirist par excellence, and WJ
Long writes now, satire that is a literary work which, searches out the faults of men
or institutions, in order to hold them up to ridicule, is at best a destructive type
of criticism; so, where it had a negative dimension to it. Restoration literary movement; when we go
back to the restoration, having its impact upon the Augustan age, we find, were extremely
varied, with philosophical, political or sexual elements. Pastoral literature, somewhere or the other,
was present during the restoration, but the Augustan age focuses,
not on country life. The school of nature poetry uses a contrary
definition of nature to pope’s; this is wild and grand. Then, poetry, we find the lyric. So, little change in bulk; it is inconsiderable
for the lyrical, largely abeyance. Outside Dryden, who is the best of the lyrical
poets, we have the slight work of the courtiers, the Earl of Dorset, and Sir Charles Sedly,
and the Earl of Rochester. Epic poetry; we come into epic poetry, how
it was; somehow, have limitation. Long narrative poems on heroic subjects, mark
the best work of classical Greek. We have seen how, latter in Paradise Lost. John Dryden also wrote epic poetry, but on
classical and biblical poems. The comic parody of the epic form; we have
the mock heroic, as we have found in Dryden where, he experimented with that, and the
best example is Pope’s; the Rape of the Lock. Though Dryden’s work is little read today,
it leads to a the best poetry of the mid 18th century, is the comic writing of Alexander
Pope and pope is the best regarded comic writer and satirist of English poetry. Among his many masterpieces, the mock heroic
is the Rape of the Lock. The ode, once more, Dryden towers are eminent
in this class of poem. His two odes on the anniversary of Saint Cecilias
day, and his other ode on the death of Mrs. Anne Killigrew, are among the best of any
period and we have already done that. Drama, therefore, we will have to see how
from the sentimental comedy that tragedy and to the heroic play. So, tragedy, the most novel in the matter
of form is the heroic play. The tragical faculty is weakening, all through
the period even in comparison, with the post Shakespearean plays. Other major dramatic genre was the restoration,
which was a very significant mark. Comedy of manners; which emphasizes sexual
intrigue and satirizes the elite’s social behavior with very witty dialogue. So, it was the dialogue which was this, at
the stage of this place. Comedy of humours is dying out, though considerable
traces of it; Johnson’s, Ben Johnson’s comedy of humours, was still visible and was replaced
by the comedy of manners. So, restoration comedy; when we look into
it, were no longer prohibited on the death of Oliver Cromwell. A new kind of comic drama, which dealt with
issues of sexual politics among the wealthy, and the bourgeois arose, and this is restoration
comedy. Many lack merit, many say, but the best drama
uses the restoration convention for a serious examination of contemporary morality, a play
which exemplifies this well is the country wife by William Wycherley. The theatre in England during the 18thcentury,
therefore, was dominated by the actor David Garrick. His performances had a tremendous impact on
the art of acting from which, ultimately, grew movements such as realism and naturalism. Of course, there were plays which dealt with
ordinary people as characters, such as in she stoops to conquer by Oliver Goldsmith,
and we have the school for scandal by Richard Sheridan. The growing desire for freedom, both in Europe
and North America; it was also in the 18th century that commercial theatre began to make
its appearance in the colonies of North America. Well, in prose, therefore, when we say that
it is the time of prose in this age, with the exception of the work of Dryden and Bunyan;
the prose work of the time was of little moment, even then. Dryden’s prose is almost entirely, devoted
to literary criticism. Bunyan’s contribution shows a remarkable development
of the prose allegory, and Samuel Johnson and his literary and intellectual circle,
when we come to the prose work, we find that he had the greatest early novels of the English
language comes in; Richardson’s Clarissa and Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones; this was in 1749. By the year 1700, during the reign of Charles
second, the term Whig party stood for the pre eminance of personal freedom as opposed,
the Hanoverian succession, whereas the Tories were Jacobites. So, this age was also, the age of literary
patronage; the age of journalism and periodical essay. When we look at the essay in our lecture on
genres, we had done that; that the Tatler and the spectator, the names which sang very
permanently, are those of Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, and how the breezy conversational
style or a journalistic prose of our times, went back to these days, to these efforts. When we look into the historical rise of the
political parties, therefore, as we have seen that a Whig and the Tory, first became current,
and the domestic affairs, where also, somehow influencing the representation of the type,
and after the succession of the house of Hanover, the first half of the 18th century
was a period of stabilization, and steadily growing wealth and prosperity. Their neoclassical style employed Roman forms,
such as the ode, as we have seen, and emphasized over emotion and elegance over brevity. When we come to Alexander Pope from 1688 to
1744, we can see Pope’s work into three groups, corresponding to the early, middle and later
period of his life. The first part are the pastorals. . The second is the translations of Homer, and
the third is the Dunciad and the Epistles. The latter containing the famous essay on
man, and the epistle to doctor Arbuthnot. So, the literature of this period which, conformed
to Pope’s aesthetic principles; I had remarked that this was the growing of the aesthetic
principles, which was coming into the literature, and could thus, qualify as being Augustan,
is distinguished by its striving for harmony of form and precision. So, it was a different form of aesthetic,
a different form of technique which, they were looking at. So, it became literature, became a tool of
representation, and its urbanity and its imitation of classical models, such as homer, Cicero,
Virgil and Horace. So, when we come after pope, the emergence
of new literary themes and mode, we see that with the death of Samuel Johnson in 1784,
novelists became better known than poets, and intellectual prose forms, such as the
essay proliferated. Mid 18th century is often, referred to as
the age of Johnson 2, after the renowned essayist, Samuel Johnson, who in 1755, wrote one of
the first English dictionaries, to define word meanings. So, the first English dictionary is attributed
to him, by employing quotations, taken from the best English writers, past and present,
and also, by the 1740s, the novel rose to dominate the literary marketplace with writers
like Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Laurence Sterne, defining the form and its mode of
representing the private lives of individuals. So, mind you; while we are doing these forms,
what do you think of; literature as representation or literature as imitation; you must be going
through so many different ways of reading a text, of interpreting a text, and when we
look into it, we sometimes think that literature has different dimensions of understanding
an individual or a society. These writers, in different ways, were occupied,
preoccupied, with form with a way of representation, with the way of how literature can be written;
right. Therefore, I feel that you as students of
technical field also, will understand the importance of form, the importance of system
takes in writing something, which is of imagination, may be; but ultimately, it leads to a technique
in representation. So, when we come to Samuel Johnson; what did
he say; a book says Dr Johnson should help us, either to enjoy life or to endure it. So, the question of aesthetic pleasure or
delight is something which, we must take into consideration, when we study language and
literature, right. It is somewhere, another dimension, another
perspective in which, we understand literature. Judged by this standard, one is puzzled what
to recommend among Johnson’s numerous books, we have seen, are his dictionary and his lives
of the poets, which were almost like biographies of all the leading writers of
the time. He was also called the greatest essayist of
all time, especially, to the Tatler and the Spectator and where, colloquial English, language
of the people was shown, and also written in elevated prose. With Johnson, who succeeded Dryden and Pope,
in the chief place of English letters, the classic movement had largely spent its forms. So, now we can see that how it had taken its
form through the different period, through the different writers, and the latter half
of the 18th century, gives us an imposing array of writers, who differ so widely that
it was almost, impossible to classify them. In general, three schools of writers are noticeable. First, the classicists just after Dr Johnson,
and the Johnson leads; second, the romantic poets. The pre-romantics like Collins, Gray Thompson
and Burns, who were the precursors of the romanticism, and also, the early novelists
like Defoe and Fielding, who introduced a new type of literature. So, when we come into Daniel Defoe, we can
see that he shows an account of a historian; it is almost, as if he is documenting what
is going on around him. When a survey is demanded of Queen Annes,
England, and its everyday life, our thoughts always, turn to Daniel Defoe; riding solitary
and observant through the countryside. This is what Trevelyan has said in the social
history of English literature. He first perfected the art of the reporter,
and you have to see; it was not Addison and Steele, but it was Daniel Defoe, who could
report on what he had seen and put it into literature. Even his novels, such as Robinson Crusoe and
Moll Flanders, are imaginary reports of daily life, whether on a desert island or in a thief’s
den. For Defoe was one of the first, who saw the
old world through a pair of sharp modern eyes. So, the first modern, you can term him. Who was the first novelist, therefore? If you can say that it was Spanish Cerventes
and the very English Daniel Defoe. So, both of them can occupy the same position. Verily, the novel became the dominant form
of creative literature in the mid 18th century. Daniel Defoe and his novel Robinson Crusoe
in 1719, and later, Moll Flanders, 1722; the reading public has increased, and you see
that it was something that he had a great followers. Then, comes Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, published
in 1740; supposed to be the first mature novel; Henry fielding with characters, became prominent
and essential quality to the novel appear; the bildungsroman or whatever, you call it;
how a character develops in the process of the whole novel and the rise of the novel
in the 18th century, written by Defoe, Richardson and fielding, was partly due to its milieu
and particularly, the changing political, social, economic shifts as a result of the
industrial revolution, granted this. You have to grant that it was the milieu,
which ultimately, gave place to the rise of the novel. So, the industrial revolution from 1750 to
1850 became the dominant form of creative literature, even in the mid 19th century. When we go to the romantic age, will find
that it was, apart from poetry, it was also one of the dominant genres. Though, neoclassicism was spread in the English
Augustine period, there were other movements during the period. What was coming around after Johnson? There was the graveyard poets, had a melancholy
tone, both movements presuppose the oncoming romanticism literary movement. Serious poetry of the period is well represented
by the neoclassical Thomas Gray, from 1716 to 1771, whose elegy written in a country
such as, this is a poem I think each one of you should read, and it is an excellent poem,
and a classic poem, virtually perfects the elegant style, favored at the time. Some critics also, place the end of the 18th
century at 1776, linking it to the American Revolution; others at 1789, the beginning
of the French Revolution; still, others in 1798, and the publication of Wordsworth and
Coleridge’s lyrical ballads. So, you have to note these landmarks; you
have to note these times; whether it was the French revolution, or it was the American
revolution, or the publication of Wordsworth and Coleridge’s lyrical ballads, because it
shows a link or it shows the dividing line between one age and the other. So, this transition between the Augustan period
and the romantic period was a drastic shift in literary ideas. The Augustans followed the works of former
classical writers as we have seen, such as Horace, Virgil and Homer. The attention to detail, the attention to
the rules, the attention to the perfection, and elegance of prose; where, everything was
somehow went under great scrutiny; everything was not just spontaneous imagination or spontaneous
overflow of feelings. To them, this was a proper and only way to
write. They followed the views of Aristotle, which
led them to an empirical way of teaching. Therefore, some characteristics of Augustan
poetry are the concept of individualism versus society; the imitation of the classics, if
you look into that; political and social issues, which are equally important; satire and irony;
irony that is a way that rhetoric or prosodic come into form empiricism and comedy. Let us sum up. The social and historical aspects of restoration
period; though, you have seen the rise of neo classicism, imitations of the ancient
masters and their impact on the writings of the restoration age; you can say it was a
conscious imitation of the classics and introduction of correctness and appropriateness, as well
as formalism and realism in their writings. So, when we talk about the imitation, the
conscious imitation of the classic, then we know that it was a self conscious imitation,
and somewhere that national character of the literature was lost flown; somewhere, it was
way of imitation, which gave a hurdle, place the hurdle to representation. It also speaks of the prose and verse of the
age. The emphasis is placed on the dramatic activities
of restoration age, especially, the birth of new tragedy called heroic tragedy, and
comedy called comedy of manners, on the decline and decay of drama, during restoration age. The political time, therefore, the reign of
Queen Anne in early 18th century, England was called the Augustan age and the style
in motion, employed Roman forms such as ode, emphasized common sense, moderation, the transitional
period from rapid social development in England. They, themselves, began the task of learning
art of living together. The emancipation of the political parties
by the year 1700, the term Whig party stood for the pre eminence of personal freedom,
as opposed the Hanoverian succession . The spirit of the age, the clubs and the coffee
houses, periodical and publishing houses the new morality; so, the transition between the
Augustan period and the romantic period was a drastic shift in literary ideas. We will see in the next lecture, the Augustans
followed the works of former classical writers. To them, this was the proper and only way
to write; they followed the views of Aristotle. Therefore, we have to see how, we look into
this age and how it became the precursor of the next age. So, in the discussion, let us see; describe
briefly the social development of the 18th century; what effect did this have on literature;
what accounts for the prevalence of prose; why was it, the prose became the hallmark
of that age; what influence did the first newspapers exert on life and literature; how
do the readers of this age compared with those of the age of Elizabeth, and when you do the
difference stages of English history, especially, the history of English literature; you will
have to see the different genres that has become very prominent during these ages. How do you explain the fact that satire was
largely, based on both prose and poetry; name the principal satires of the age, whether
it was in drama, whether it was in poetry, whether it was in prose; what is the meaning
of the term classicism, as applied to the literature of this age; did the classicism
of Johnson, for instance, have any relation to classic literature in its true sense; you
have to go and explore how, the classic literature after the Latin period after period of Augustans,
had the same elements of decorum or elegance of prose or the system of writing. Why is this period called the Augustan age? Why was Shakespeare, not regarded by this
age as a classical writer? In what respect, is Pope a unique writer? How does he reflect the critical spirit of
his age in different ways, whether it is in his poetry or in his prose? What are the chief characteristics of his
poetry? What great work did Addison and Steele do
for literature? So, they were the beginners, initiators of
the journals of thesis. How is their work, a preparation for the novel? For what is, Dr Johnson is famous in literature? Can you explain his great influence? You know, not only, was he hallmark; you can
call him a pioneer, an icon, in biography, but also in the way that he was the first,
who had brought out the dictionary. What is meant by the modern novel; how does
it differ from the early romances and from the adventure story? Refer texts, especially, if you want to look
into any history of English literature. One text that you will find very helpful for
you, especially, for engineering students is Edward Albert’s history of English literature,
and William J Long’s English literature; its history and its significance. If you want to see the English social history
the GM Trevelyan’s, and then, AW Ward of Cambridge history of English literature, and David Daiches,
which is a must for every student of English literature, but you can also go through that
critical history of English literature, which is in four volumes, and Margaret Drabble,
Robert Scholes’ elements of literature where, you see how literature is to be enjoyed, and
how you can give more time to understanding different texts. Thank you.

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