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Survey of English Literature 19 th & 20 th Centuries. Scope of this course Romanticism Victorianism Modernism Review syllabus 18 th -century backgrounds to Romanticism. The 18 th -Century in a Nutshell. Politics Socio-Economics Religion & Philosophy Literature.

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survey of english literature 19 th 20 th centuries
Survey of English Literature19th & 20th Centuries
  • Scope of this course
    • Romanticism
    • Victorianism
    • Modernism
  • Review syllabus
  • 18th-century backgrounds to Romanticism
the 18 th century in a nutshell
The 18th-Century in a Nutshell
  • Politics
  • Socio-Economics
  • Religion & Philosophy
  • Literature
18 th century politics economics
18th-Century Politics & Economics
  • In America and France, what occurred in the late 18th-century?
  • War & violence
  • Hierarchies toppled
  • Shift away from land & agriculture-based economy
  • Middle-classes gain importance
18 th century england
18th-Century England
  • What happened in England at this time?
  • Ever hear of the English Revolution?
  • Hierarchies remained intact
  • Without violence, order was maintained
  • Political & economic conservatism
18 th century religion philosophy
18th-Century Religion & Philosophy
  • Religion after the Renaissance
  • In England, religious diversity tolerated; conservatism still reigns
  • Philosophy of Reason dominates
  • Shift from Hobbes’ view of man (greed)to Rousseau’s view (goodness)
18 th century also known as
18th-Century also known as:
  • Georgian Age

(4 King Georges in a row!)

  • Augustan Age
  • Neoclassical Age
  • Age of Reason:
    • Descartes: “I think, therefore I am”
reason order control submission
Reason, Order, Control, Submission

Natural hierarchies

  • God over Man
  • Man over Animals
  • Men over Women
  • Aristocracy over Middle/Working classes
  • Reason over
      • Passion
      • Imagination
      • Appetites
18 th century english literature
18th-Century English Literature
  • Reflected society’s conservatism
  • Focus on man’s proper place
  • Emphasis on didactic, philosophic poetry and essays
  • Style: formal, regular, orderly
alexander pope an essay on man
Alexander Pope: An Essay on Man
  • A deeply philosophic poem, deals with:
    • Life-Death, Man-God, Earth-Heaven
  • Written for a very elite audience
  • Didactic, i.e. educational
  • Justifying the ways of God to man
slide10
Chain of Being (ll. 237-41)
    • Why might this be appealing?
  • Sin of Pride (ll. 123-30)
    • Pride breeds chaos (ll. 241-46; 251-58)
  • Pope’s advice: Submit (ll. 279-92)
    • Beauty of the status quo
samuel johnson rasselas
Samuel Johnson: Rasselas
  • Another didactic work, this time fictional
  • Age of Reason, imagination seen as enemy
  • Solitude feeds imagination
  • Imagination akin to madness
    • “All power of fancy over reason

is a degree of insanity.”

romanticism revolution
Romanticism & Revolution
  • Romantic poets responded to 18th-century rationalism
  • Romantic poets were inspired by the revolutions in America & France
  • Romantic poets saw themselves as applying revolutionary principles to literature