RESTORATION PERIOD IN ENGLISH LITERATURE: RIASSUNTO IN LINGUA INGLESE
1660 starts the restoration period with the return with the return of of Charles the II (that was a Stuart king) from exile.
1640 – 1660 Commonwealth. Oliver Cromwell hated the monarchy.
(See Steven Fries film “the queen” that shows a different kind of communication)
With Charles I we had a situation of total monarchy (THE DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS), -he was beheaded in 1649.- He was unable to compromise.
There are contrast between ROYALIST (cavaliers, like Charles I-II, who supported more expression of emotions) and PURITANS ( round heads) like Oliver Crommwell: their life was very simple. No music, no parties, no heater. It was a very difficult period for people who liked to enjoy their life.
The importance of work embedded in English psyche derives from this kind of life.
RESTORATION LITERATURE CHARACTERISTICS
When Cromwell founded the Commonwealth there was a civil war, but, there were the LEVELLERS, people who believed in equality.
In Commonwealth women had an amount of freedom that they never had before; this is the positive aspec of that period.
Cavaliers liked catholic countries like France, where people can express their faith.
1660 Cromwell dies. The Monarchy returns after many years abroad. Around Charles II there is a group of writers and artists who were supposed to celebrate monarchy. He came back wanting to find a MIDDLE WAY, because he still had in his eyes the destruction, murders of the previous period.
(Shakespeare and Johnson: during renaissance “the court masque” to celebrate monarchy.)
In commonwealth sympathizer towards Catholicism couldn’t show off.
Alexander Pope, that was catholic, had to be very careful.
IMPACT OF RESTORATION ON ENGLISH LITERATURE
This MIDDLE WAY reflects also in literature.
REASON/ RESTRAINT ; this is what the middle way emphasizes.
Reflection about the political and religious turbulence in Britain. There were a lot of problem in controlling extremism.
This age is also know as Augustan Age (because of the emperor Augustus).
Charles II was the one who could organize Britain.
PARADOX: (because neoclassical age is full of contrasts)
- NEOCLASSICISM express the need to go back to the ancients. A lot of translations were going on. Neoclasscal authors are Dryden and Pope.
- Awful lot of new writers coming from middle class with no classical education.
London was the first expanding city, so, in the first period we had a urban literature. With the development of the press, beginning of newspaper and periodicals (the Specator….): new way of spreading culture and inform people about politics.