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The Combination Of The Terms 'Neo,' Which Means
'New,' And 'Classical,' As In The Day Of The Roman
And Greek Classics. This Was Also The Era Of The
Enlightenment, Which Emphasized Logic And
Reason. It Was Preceded By The Renaissance And
Followed By The Romantic Era.
Neoclassical is characterized by order, accuracy, and
structure. In direct opposition to Renaissance attitudes,
where man was seen as basically good, the Neoclassical
writers portrayed man as inherently flawed. They
emphasized restraint, self-control, and common sense.
This was a time when conservatism flourished in both
politics and literature.
- Renaissance artists looked for - Neoclassical art aimed in reviving
human emotions and realism in art. the European Age of Enlightenment
that was the Greek and Roman
- Humanism approach, placing more classical art forms.
emphasis on man than god, which was
reflected in their sculptures and - Neoclassical art was foremost in
paintings. academic arts

- The Renaissance period brought - Age of Reason; its realistically

about radical developments in arts, limited aspirations, and its
philosophy, and medicine emphasis on the common sense of
society rather than individual
imagination, could all be
characterized as rational.
1. The Restoration Period (1660-1700)
2. Augustan Age (1700-1745)
3. Age of Johnson (1745-1785)
The Restoration Period
• A new era had dawned with epic works
such as Paradise Lost and Areopagitica by
Milton and Sodom by Wilmot, 2nd Earl of

• It also saw a new age of both sexual

comedy and wisdom, with works such as
The Country Wife and The Pilgrim's
Progress respectively.

• The poems were mostly realistic and

satirical, in which, John Dryden reigned
supreme. He further divided poetry into
three heads, that of fables, political satire,
and doctrinal poems.
Augustan Age
• The Augustan Age took its name from
the Roman Emperor Augustus, whose
monarchy brought stability in the social
and political environment.

• Writers such as Pope, Dryden, Daniel

Defoe, Swift, and Addison were the
major contributors to this era.

• Dryden's attempts at satiric verse were

highly admired by many generations.

• This era was also called the Age of

Pope due to his noteworthy
Age of Johnson
• This era made its way into the
literary world by stepping out of the
shadows of its previous age.

• Qualities like balance, reason, and

intellect were the main focus of this
era. Hence, this age is also called
the Age of Sensibility.

• Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) gave a

massive literary contribution, which
till date is a great boon to one an
In part as a reaction to the bold egocentrism of
the Renaissance that saw man as larger than
life and boundless in potential.
The neoclassicists directed their attention to a
smaller scaled concept of man as an individual
a larger social context, seeing human nature as
dualistic, flawed, and needing to be curbed by
reason and decorum.
Neoclassicism is the movement in the
history of English literature, which
laid immense emphasis on revival of
the classical spirit during the period
between 1680 and 1750 in the age of
Pope and Dryden.
It is a prototype of Classicism.
The neoclassical period was framed by specific
historical events.
Scholars generally agree that the movement began
with the return of the Stuarts to the English throne
in 1660 and ended with the 1798 publication of
Lyric Ballads.
Neoclassicism is the movement in the
history of English literature, which
laid immense emphasis on revival of
the classical spirit during the period
between 1680 and 1750 in the age of
Pope and Dryden.
It is a prototype of Classicism.

Neoclassical poetry is a reaction against the

renaissance style of poetry.
It is a unique outcome of intellect, not fancy and
Unlike romantic poetry, which is entirely the result
of sentiments of the poet, neoclassical poetry is a
simulated, fabricated and stereotypical type of

The neoclassical poets laid stress significantly on

the didactic purpose of poetry.
They endeavored hard to fix the teething troubles
of humanity through the magical power of poetry.
The neoclassical poets were chiefly concerned with
the didactic aspects of their poetry.
That is the reason; most of the neoclassical poetry
is replete with didacticism to a great deal.

Hallmark of neoclassical poetry. The neoclassical

poets, unlike romantic poets, were not living in
their own world of imagination. They were hard
realists and they presented the true picture of their
society. They avoided abstract ideas, imaginative
thoughts and idealism in their poetry.
John Milton is considered the most
significant English author after William
Shakespeare. His poetry
was influenced by the historical events
of his time. From a literary point of
view, he was not a man of the age. He
was very much interested in the Latin,
Greek and Italian culture.
Paradise Lost is a secondary/literary epic
poem ( primary epic is oral, for instance
Beowulf, Iliad and Odyssey). It is about
Satan’s rebellion against God. He believed
God was a tyrant.

It retells the story of the loss of the garden of

Eden as narrated in the book of Genesis and
revolves around one great theme: the
rebellion against God.
It consists of two dramas linked with the failure of
the Puritan Revolution: the divine drama of the
fall of the Angels and the human drama of the fall
of Adam and Eve. Milton wants to warn against the
sin of pride. Both Satan and Adam and Eve had the
ambition to become equal to God. They challenged
God and were defeated. The whole meaning of the
divine drama is summoned up in the figure of
`Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,’
Said then the lost archangel, `this the seat
That we must change for heav’n, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who now is sovran can dispose and bid
What shall be right: furthest from him is best
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell happy fields
Where joy for ever dwells: hail horrors, hail
Infernal world, and thou profoundest hell
Receive thy new possessor: one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder bath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Author (1797-1851)

• Born on August 30, 1797, in London, England.

• She married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in
• Two years later, she published her most
famous novel, Frankenstein.
• She wrote several other books,
including Valperga (1823), The Last
Man (1826), the
autobiographical Lodore (1835) and the
posthumously published Mathilde.
• Shelley died of brain cancer on February 1,
1851, in London, England.
Characteristics of Romantic Literature:
Focus on the writer or narrator’s emotions and inner
celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination;
inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements;
interest in the past;
frequent use of personification;
experimental use of language and verse forms,
including blank verse;
and emphasis on individual experience of the sublime.


Victor Frankenstein

Haunting examination of the

maniacal fanaticism filled by
those who thirst for
knowledge and the lengths
someone can be driven to in
the pursuit of their goal.
Frankenstein’s Monster

Tragic examination of
inhumane result of science
taken too far without
discipline or consideration
for consequences.
In telling his own story — which he does at length — the
creature does what so many orators do: seek to stir pity and
identification, to humanise themselves, to shape a narrative.
But the stakes for this creature are much higher than for the
average after-dinner chunterer. He participates in the forensic
branch of oratory, explaining what he did, how he came to do
it and what drove him to it, and in the deliberative branch,
looking to the future. He wants to persuade Frankenstein to
make him a companion: