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Restoration period ,why is it called the restoration period

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Restoration period In English literacy history, the period from 1660-1700 is termed as the Restoration period. This period gets its name from the great political event I.e. the restoration of Stuart monarchy in England, with Charles II ascending the throne,after the end of commonwealth.Charles II was exiled in France in his youth and on his return to England,he brought with him the French courtly manners and Continental literary tastes.Therefore much of the literature of this age reflects the urbanity,wit and licentiousness of court life.The theatres that were closed down during the puritan regime were reopened. The revival of stage encouraged the emergence of Restoration comedy,popularly known as the comedy of Manners and a distinctive form of tragedy called Heroic Drama.A distinctive feature of this period is the revolt against puritanism.The puritan standards of decency and honesty were ridiculed and replaced with indecency and levity, both in life and literature , which resulted in degradation of morals as well as of literature.The brighter side of this period is that there was an upsurge of scientific spirit, which resulted in the foundation of the ‘Royal society of London for the Improvement of Natural knowledge.

The period produced many intellectuals like Sir Issac Newton. Dryden was the flag bearer amongst the poets, playwrights and prose writers during the Restoration period.He was the greatest man of letters of his era and therefore, sometimes this period is also called the ‘age of Dryden’.He was applauded for his poetic works like Annus Mirabilis (1666),Absalam and Achitophel (1681), The Medal(1682),MacFlecknoe (1682),Religio Laici (1682) and The Hind and the Panther (1687). His satirical poems in particular,won him renown.Samuel Butler also gained fame with his poetic work Hudibras , which was inspired by Don Quixote, the poem has a satirical vein throughout.Swift’s Tale of a Tub is yet another remarkable satire of this period. With the revival of theatre in 1642, the public hanged around the theatre.The respectable middle class kept a distance from theatre but the pleasure-seekers and the corrupt courtiers were frequent visitor to the theatre.The theatres thus became hotspots for amusement seekers.To cater to the needs of its new class of audience, Restoration Drama became extremely licentious. A new genre of serious drama called ‘Heroic Drama’ replaced tragedy in this period.Inspired by French novels,the playwrights produced dramas depicting extra- ordinary adventures, superhuman feats,absurd sentiments, sordid Passions, coupled with high-sounding pompous speeches. Some of the outstanding Heroic Dramas of this period are Davenant’s Siege of Rhodes;Sir Robert Howard’s Indian Queen; Dryden’s The Indian Emperor, Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards and Aurengzebe or The Great Mogal. Thomas Otway was also one of the influential dramatists of this age who wrote powerful plays like The Orphan (1680) and Venice Preserved (1682),The Princess of Cleve (1690) and The Massacre of Paris (1690), deserve to be mentioned here.Thomas Southerne won name and fame with his plays Fatal Marriage(1694) and Oroonoko (1896).

style of comedy that became very popular during the Restoration in England (1600s) sometimes called Restoration Comedy or Drawing-Room Comedy. influenced by the comedies of Molière.

This age saw the rise of a new form of comedy, popularly known as the Restoration comedy or the comedy of Manners. This kind of comedy reflect the intrigues and religion of ladies and gentlemen of the refined and sophisticated society.Here comic environment is build with the aid of witty dialogues, violation of social traditions and typical manner of stupid characters like jealous husbands, merry wives and fashionable beaux.

Some fine examples of restoration Comedy are Dryden’s Wild Gallant (1663); Shadwell’s Epsom Wells (1673);Sir George Etherege’s The Man of Mode or Sir Fopling Flutler (1676);Wycherely’s The CountryWife (1675) and The Plain Dealer(1676) ;Congreve’s The Way of the world (1700);Vanbrugh’s The Confederacy and Farquhar’s The Beaux Stratagem. This period is also remembered for a growing number of Historians and Biographers.A historical narrative, The History of the Rebellion and Civil wars in England by Edward Hyde,Earl of Clarendon,was produced in this period.Remarkable biographies such as The life of Colonel Huchinson, written by his own wife and the life of William Cavandish Duke of Newcastle, written by the Duchess (his wife) are products of this era which received warm reception.Valuable diaries of Evelyne and Pepys.further enriched the literature of this age .Danel Defoe came out with the pioneering model for the realistic novel.Moll Flanders,a realistic novel that won him applause in literary circles. The writers of this period had an aptitude for critical writings.Dryden’s critical essays, prefaces, dedication and prologues were published in bulk. The most remarkable ones are the essay of dramatic poesy and the preface to the Fables.Bunyan,a voluminous writer produced about sixty books. His outstanding work a Grace Abounding, The Pilgrim’s progress, The life and Death of Mr.Badman (1680) and The Holy War (1682).Sir William Temples, George Savile,Marques of Halifax and John Locke were the majors essayists of this period. Locke’s important essay concerning Human Understanding (1690),Some Thoughts concerning Education (1693) and The Reasonableness of Christianity (1698).

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