AD's English Literature : Definitions of Restoration, Mock Epic, Cavalier Poets, Romantic prose, Essay written in letter form, omniscient point of view in Novels

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Definitions of Restoration, Mock Epic, Cavalier Poets, Romantic prose, Essay written in letter form, omniscient point of view in Novels

After the death of Cromwell, his son was unable to carry forward his father’s policies. He did not have the confidence of the army and hence he was removed. Royalist elements began to stir and in the face of civil unrest and inadequate leadership, in 1660 after the promises made by Charles II in the declaration of Breda, he was once again restored to the throne. Many royalist exiles returned from France and were rewarded. This return of Charles II to the throne is known as “The Restoration”. The literature and drama (heavily influenced by French drama) are known as Restoration literature and Restoration Comedy respectively.

 A Mock Epic is a poem employing lofty style and conventions of epic poetry to describe trivial and undignified series of events. It is thus a kind of satire that mocks a subject by treating it in an inappropriately grandiose manner. Mock epics incidentally make fun of the elaborate conventions of epic poetry, including invocations, battles, supernatural machinery and epic similes. The major examples of this form are Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock and The Dunciad. 
Cavalier Poets are a group of 17th-century English lyric poets, associated with the Royalists, who were the followers of King Charles I at the time of the English Civil War. Three of them—Thomas Carew, Sir John Suckling, and Richard Lovelace—were attached to the court of Charles, and one, Robert Herrick, was a clergyman. 

These poets were influenced by Ben Jonson and formed an informal social, as well as literary circle. The term Cavalier lyrics is often applied to the poetry of these authors and to that of some of their contemporaries, such as John Cleveland. Generally marked by brevity, correct and polished form, and restrained emotion, these poems deal with loyalty, beauty, and love.

 Despite the fact that the literature of the Romantic age is dominated by poetry, its prose is equally important. The herald of the Romantic Age itself, the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads was a prose piece which brought in a new era in poetry and introduced new critical principles in literature. Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria was another such work. Other important critical works are Keats’ Letters and Shelley’s Defence of Poetry. Charles Lamb and Hazlitt also wrote a significant amount of essays and practical criticism which commented on 18th Century drama. The periodical essay also became popular and autobiographical elements introduced to it by Lamb’s Essays of Elia and De Quincy’s. Confessions of an English Opium Eater.

An essay may adopt the form of a letter, embodying whimsical comments on contemporary values, as in the works of the British writers Oliver Goldsmith Citizen of the World and C. S. Lewis Screwtape Letters.

 In a novel written from the point of view of an omniscient narrator, the reader knows what each character does and thinks. The reader maintains this knowledge as the plot moves from place to place or era to era. An omniscient narrator can also provide the reader with direct assessment of action, character, and environment. For example, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by American writer Carson McCullers or In Tom Jones by English novelist Henry Fielding

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An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

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