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The Eighteenth Century. “The Age of Reason”. Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744). The foremost English poet of the period. He became well known as a satirical poet, and a master of the heroic couplet, notably in The Rape of the Lock (1712-14).

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The Eighteenth Century


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    1. The Eighteenth Century “The Age of Reason”

    2. AlexanderPope (1688 – 1744) • The foremost English poet of the period. • He became well known as a satirical poet, and a master of the heroic couplet, notably in The Rape of the Lock (1712-14). • He turned to translation with the Iliad (1715--20), whose success enabled him to set up a home in Twickenham. • There he wrote his major poem, The Dunciad (1728, continued 1742).

    3. JonathanSwift (1667 – 1745) • Clergyman and satirist, born in Dublin, Ireland. • He studied at Dublin, then moved to England. • During a visit to Ireland, he was ordained in the Anglican Church (1695). • He wrote several poems, then turned to prose satire, exposing religious and intellectual complacency. • His world-famous satire, Gulliver's Travels, appeared (anonymously, like all his works) in 1726.

    4. HenryFielding (1707 – 1754) • English playwright and novelist. • He began to write theatrical comedies, becoming author/manager of the Little Theatre in the Haymarket (1736). • On Richardson's publication of Pamela (1740), he wrote his famous parody, Joseph Andrews (1742). • Several other works followed, notably The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling (1749), which established his reputation as a founder of the English novel.

    5. Samuel Johnson (known as Dr Johnson) (1709 – 1784) • English lexicographer, critic, and poet. • He studied at Lichfield and Oxford, but left before taking a degree, and became a teacher. • From 1747 he worked for eight years on his Dictionary of the English Language, started the moralistic periodical, The Rambler (1750), and wrote his prose tale of Abyssinia, Rasselas (1759). • In 1765 he produced his edition of Shakespeare • From 1772 engaged in political pamphleteering.

    6. DanielDefoe (1660 – 1731) • English writer. • He was heavily involved in politics, supporting William III,a king of foreign origin. Eventually he was imprisoned for his writings. • On his release in 1704 he started The Review, writing it single-handed, three times a week, until 1713. • In 1720, he achieved lasting fame with Robinson Crusoe. • His other major works include A Journal of the Plague Year, Moll Flanders (both 1722), and Roxana (1724). • He is considered one of the most important authors contributing to the development of the modern novel.

    7. Graveyard poetry • A kind of poetry that flourished in the first half of the Eighteenth Century and continued the ground work which would eventually become the Gothic. • The Graveyard poets used imagery which later became staples in Gothic literature: graves and churchyards, night, ruins, death and ghosts. • The main goal of the graveyard school was to glory in the spiritual end that the tomb represented by turning the trappings of death into objects of aesthetic appreciation. • Some Graveyard Poets were William Cowper, Edward Young, Thomas Gray, Robert Blair & William Collins.

    8. ThomasGray (1716 – 1771) • English Poet. • He studied at Cambridge, where in 1768 he became professor of history and modern languages. • In 1742 he wrote his "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College', and began his masterpiece, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard' (1751). • He then settled in Cambridge, where he wrote his Pindaric Odes (1757).

    9. RobertBurns (1759 – 1796) • Scotland's national poet. • As a young man Burns developed a reputation for charm and wit, engaging in several love affairs that brought him into conflict with the Presbyterian Church. • With the successful publication of his Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, Burns traveled to Edinburgh, where he was much admired in literary circles. • Burns subsequently traveled throughout the country, collecting over 300 songs, which were printed in 1787.

    10. WilliamBlake (1757 – 1827) • English poet, painter, engraver, and mystic. • In 1790, Blake and his wife moved to Lambeth, where Blake began developing his own symbolic and literary mythology, which used highly personal images and metaphors to convey his interpretation of history and vision of the universe. • This mythology is expressed in such works as The First Book of Urizen (1794) and The Song of Los (1795). • During this time Blake also wrote the poems included in Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794).

    11. The Gothic Novel In 1764 Horace Walpole published his novel Castle of Otranto, thus giving birth to a short-lived but influential sub-genre in English Literature: the Gothic Novel. The novel by Walpole was so popular that it immediately spawned several imitations of varying quality. The characteristics of the gothic novel as they appeared in many subsequent works can be summarised in the following elements: • A castle, inhabited or otherwise. • Foreign (exotic) countries. • Darkness & shadow. • Supernatural events. • Ancient phropecies. • Ancient cathedrals, abbeys or churches. • Medieval manuscripts. • Atmosphere of suspense. • Visions, spirits, ghosts & other portents. • Women in distress, with a tendency to faint.

    12. HoraceWalpole (1717 – 1797): English Writer. Apart from The Castle of Otranto (1764) which initiated a vogue for Gothic romances, his literary reputation rests chiefly upon his letters, which deal, in the most vivacious way, with party politics, foreign affairs, literature, art, and gossip. Ann Radcliffe (1764 – 1823): English novelist. She lived a retired life, and became well known for her Gothic novels, notably The Romance of the Forest (1791), The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), and The Italian (1797). She greatly influenced the romantic poets of the beginning of the 19th century.

    13. An illustration by William BlakeThe Ancient 1794

    14. The concept of Gothic • Gothic is a name applied to the architecture that flourished in Western Europe between the 12th and 16th century. • The term was first applied, contemptuously, by Giorgio Vasari during the renassaince to refer to the architecture of the middle ages that was not inspired by the classical models of Rome and Greece. • It was a term that was associated with the barbarian germanic tribes of the Goths, Ostrogoths and Visigoths that invaded Western Europe during the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries. • During the 18th century the term was applied, generically, to the middle ages, as an age of darkness and chaos. • In England, people like Horace Walpole, began to “rescue” the middle ages as a romantic age, and used it as its setting for novels. • By association, the term Gothic was applied to the literature that was inspired by the middle ages.

    15. Gothic Architecture Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France York Minster, York, England

    16. To A Mouse Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,O, what a panic's in thy breastie!Thou need na start awa sae hasty,Wi bickering brattle!I wad be laith to rin an chase thee,Wi murdering pattle! Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,    The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,   And leaves the world to darkness and to me.  

    17. The Novel • The novel in its modern form was developed in the 18th century. In a short period of time it became established as the most popular genre within literature. • A novel can be described as a work of narrative fiction, often of considerable length. One of the characteristic of the novel was the use of a third person omniscient narrator. • A novel is also characterized by a careful, consistent and realistic construction of character, setting and plot