THE RESTORATION PERIOD and Genres of the Dryden Age | History of English Literature

   Another period in the history of English Literature is the Restoration Period, which lasted from the years 1660 to 1700. It is also called the age of Dryden Charles-II was ascended to the throne in 1660 and John Dryden (1631-1700) was the major figure of the age. In this age, the English revolution occurred in 1688 when William of Orange was entitled to the throne as opposed to the Puritan age when literature was suppressed especially in the genre of Drama. French writers were followed regarding drama writing and imitating the French drama writers in this age realism in literature was promoted in this age. The classical style was the dominant which was highlighting reasoning rather than romantics in literature.
Genres of the Dryden Age:
The genres in the Puritan age were poetry, drama, and prose in which the well-known genre of the phase was poetry.
Major Figures and Works of the Restoration Period in the genre of Poetry:
The most noticeable name in the genre of poetry was John Dryden (1631-1700) who wrote poetry, drama, and prose as well. In poetry, he wrote satirical, realistic, and heroic couplets. He was a prominent poet of the Restoration Period who wrote reasoning verses and started his poetry under the influence of Abraham Cowley. His well-known poems ‘Absalom and Achitophel’ was a political satire in favor of King against Earl Shaftesbury. ‘The Medal’ is also another satirical poem that was also to the previous poem. Dryden also wrote religious kind poems such as ‘Religio Laici’ written as Protestant doctrinal and ‘The Hind and the Panther’ in the favor of Catholic doctrines. Dryden also wrote another kind of poetry which is considered the Fables in poetry ‘The Palamon and Arcite’ was the storytelling the type of poetical work ‘Annus Mirabilis’ a narrative poem and ‘Alexander’s Feast is one of the best Odes in the history of English Literature.
Major Figures and Works of the Restoration Period in the genre of Drama:
When theatre reopened in 1660 drama was started again in its best way after Monarchy came in the era of Charles-II, which is why called Restoration Drama. The drama of that age was full of prose expression which was the standard of drama. In this age Comedy of Manner was promoted which described the life of the dominant class.
In this way, John Dryden (1631-1700) also wrote the drama, ‘Wild Gallant’ which was a famous drama in that age. Heroic tragedy introduced by Dryden such as, ‘Tyrannic Love’ and ‘The Conquest of Garanda’ was the most famous tragedies of this age. Moreover ‘Aurangzeb’ and ‘All for Love’ were also his well-known plays.
Sir George Etherege (1635-1691) was famous for dramas such as, ‘The Comical Revenge’ and ‘Love in a Tub’.
Similarly, Wycherley (16?-17?) wrote ‘The Country’s Wife’ and the ‘Plane Dealer’ famed dramas.
William Congreve (1670-1720) was the greatest figure in the Restoration drama and wrote the best plays of that age. ‘The Way of the World’ and ‘Love for Love’ was his famous dramas and is a comedy.
Major Figures and Works of the Restoration Period in the genre of Prose:
Again In this way, John Dryden (1631-1700) also wrote Prose which was considered the best prose in English Literature. His famous work in prose was ‘Essays on Dramatic Poesy’ which was a new kind of prose written simply.
John Bunyan (1628-1688) was also a famous prose writer of the age. He wrote the best prose after Dryden such as, ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ which was religious work considered most similar to ‘Paradise Lost’ by Milton. His further work was ‘Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners’ a spiritual autobiography and ‘The Holy War’ was an allegory written under the influence of the Bible which Authorized Version written in 1611.
Thomas Sprat (16?-17?) wrote also good prose such as, ‘History of the Royal Society’ a better prose writing.

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