17 th /18 th Century Goals of the 17 th and 18 th Century Be familiar with the turmoil of the time period and how it is reflected in the diversity of the literature. Understand the significance of metaphysical poetry and the metaphysical conceit.
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1625 – Charles I of French descent becomes King. Charles was constantly at odds with Parliament. He insisted that all clergy conform to the guidelines and services of the Church of England, placing him in direct conflict with the Puritans who were members of Parliament. Charles dissolved Parliament and a Civil War broke out. The troops supported by Parliament and led by Oliver Cromwell took over the royal forces. Charles I was tried for treason and beheaded.
1685 – James II ascend to the throne following the death of Charles II. James tried to reestablish the Catholic church as the official church of England; however, because of public opinion and the strength of Parliament, rather than face a revolution and possible death, he ran away to France and Parliament requested his cousin Mary and her husband William take over the throne. This flight of James and the ascension by William and Mary is known as the “Glorious Revolution of 1688.”
1714 – George I, a cousin of Mary and Anne’s from Germany, takes over the throne.
DIVERSITY & VARIETY OF THOUGHT
The Age of Enlightenment: natural phenomena was accounted for by scientific investigation.
Reformation: varied religious sects – new questions, theories, rituals, and interpretations.
Political Scene: began to question the government and “divine right.”
Restoration: Just as Emperor Augustus had restored order to ancient Rome, the Stuart family, beginning with Charles II restored order to England.
Parliament developed the two party system: Whigs – liberal, known as the Labor Party today; Tories – conservative, goes by the same name today.
Cavalier poets: light and carefree, they support the “carpe diem” philosophy. They glorify the temporary pleasures in life—love, youth, and happiness. EX: Robert Herrick