Or, Write a note on restoration Period.
Introduction: Restoration period (1660-1770) is one of the most important periods in the history of English Literature because English literary tradition had been restored in this period with the restoration of monarchy.
Political and Historical Background: In the Commonwealth Period (1649-1660), after the death of Charles I, Oliver Cromwell who was the puritan leader, came to the power. Then Charles II, Son of Charles I, fled to France. After death of Richard Cromwell, people again wanted to Monarchy in England that is why they brought Charles II and made him king of England on May 29, 1660. He stayed in power till his death in 1685. Then James II, another son of Charles I, took the throne but he was catholic that is why many Protestants wanted to destroy him. So in 1688, there was the Glorious Revolution against James II but he escaped to France. Then the throne had been given William III, son-in-law of James II. Now it is transparent that the last part of Restoration was politically unrest.
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Features of this period:
Acute Puritanism: Puritanism is considered to the soul of Restoration because of religious purification.
Prose and Reason: This period was dominated by the term ‘prose and reason’. The people of this period did not believe in anything with logical reasons that is why even poetry has been written from the point of view of prose and reason. In Victorian period, Matthew Arnold has represented this in his famous critical essay “The Study of Poetry”.
Satire and Criticism: Satire and criticism are seen from positive perspective because without satire a society can not be rectified. In Restoration Age, this was acute. The satirical poem of John Dryden “Absalom and Achitophel” is one of the best examples.
Evaluation of upper Class: The subject matter of Restoration literature was the life style of upper-class people. What they did it was main matter of concern for the writers.
Neglecting Common People and nature: The urban life style was the main fact of representation that is why the nature and the common people were totally absent in literature. This tendency continues till 1785. For this reason, William Wordsworth with S. T. Coleridge started a new journey in literature that is called Romantic Period (1778-1832).
Contribution of this Period:
- Paradise Lost (1667), Paradise Regained (1671) by John Milton.
- All for Love (1778), Absalom and Achitophel (1681) by John Dryden.
- Oroonoko (1688) by Aphra Behn.
- The Way of the World (1700), Love for Love (1695) by William Congreve.
Conclusion: We can say that restoration period is the exceptional period because it has the great contribution in the history of English literature. It had changed the character of the English People.