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 The Restoration Period (1660-1702)

The Restoration  Period (1660-1702) consists mainly of Comedy of Manners or, The Restoration comedy  , Heroic tragedy or, Heroic Play, The Pilgrim's Progress, John Milton etc. Here, these things are discussed in small areas. 

Comedy of manners Or, The Restoration comedy

Comedy of manners is a type of comedy which portrays the ridiculous behaviour pattern of the individuals of an aristocratic society. It is concerned with the coarseness, immorality, faithlessness, jealousy, intrigue etc. of an artificial society. The Restoration comedy is a kind of comedy written in the Restoration Period (1660-1700). It is identical to the comedy of manners. Because it also ridicules the manners and conventions the faithlessness and intrigues of the members of the upper class society of the Restoration Period of England. The comedy of manners has made the Restoration rich in drama. The term "manners" means a quality acquired by a person free from social intercourse with cultivated men and women. The comedy of manners always seeks to give a read picture of one section of contemporary life. The purpose of this comedy is to give a criticism of society with skilful satiric touches. It is rich with wit and satire and gives the image of time. The Restoration comedy of manners aims at presenting the life of the age. Wycherley, Etherege, Congreve, Vanbrugh, Farquhar and Sheridan are famous writers of the Restoration comedy and the comedy of manners.

Heroic  Tragedy Or, Heroic Play

Heroic tragedy is a kind of drama written in grand and lofty style to show a disastrous and of a conflict between love and honour or love and duty. On the other hand, heroic play is a form mainly specific of the Restoration Period (1660-1700). John Dryden is particularly distinguished in the composition of heroic plays. Heroic plays are not the result of classical influence. They preserve in their composition the freedom of the national theatre. They have taken their rules from neither Latin nor Greek. They are owed much to France. Here are superhuman feats, sentiments refined to absurdity, magnificent and sometimes hateful passion. There are no characters in them. Only extremely effective situations are allowed of high sounding pompous speeches. In heroic plays, the heroes are models. They are unequalled in valour and are incomparable lovers.John Dryden has popularized heroic tragedies or heroic play. He gives at least five of these dramas to the theatre between 1664 and 1677. The Indian Emperor, Tyrannic Love, The Conquest of Granada, Aureng-zebe and All For Love are famous dramas of this kind. Thomas Qtway, Nathaniel Lee, and  Duke of Buckingham have also exercised heroic dramas.

The Pilgrim's Progress

The Pilgrim's Progress is undoubtedly a great achievement of John Bunyan. It is written in the form of novel which is full of allegorical characters. It foreshadows the English novel. It saw the light of the day in the year 1678. However, the book was actually written several years before 1678. Bunyan wrote it most probably in 1676-1677, during the latter part of his first imprisonment.The Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory. It is one of the most famous prose works in the whole history of English literature. Next to the Bible, it is the best-selling book in the world. It has been translated into more than two hundred languages. It is a book which was written by a man of the people, for the people. Popular English prose made an impact on world literature with this book. The characters in The Pilgrim's Progress have been given significant names by the author. Bunyan has done it so that we may at once understand the various virtues, vices and other traits which they symbolize. The major characters in the Part-I of the book are Christian, Faithful and Hopeful. Part-II of the book describes the Journey of Christian's wife, Christiana. She along with her four sons and a young girls Called Mercy has made this Journey. There are many places mentioned in the story including Vanity Fair, the Palace Beautiful, the Celestial City etc. The Pilgrim's Progress is an expression of Bunyan's puritan faith and his Calvinistic beliefs. 

John Milton

John Milton (1608-1674) is one of the greatest literary figures in English literature. He is incomparable and none can be equaled with him. Though he is an intellectual giant, his life was full of vicissitudes. He was a very brilliant student and also a supporter of the Republicans. As he was the champion of democracy, he advocated or defended the execution of Charles-I in 1649. During the Commonwealth Govt. (1649-1660), when Oliver Cromwell was in power, Milton was a Latin Secretary. In 1642, he married Mary Powell who was junior to him at least half of his age. She was the daughter to a royalist family. Their conjugal life was not happy at all. By the year 1652 Milton had become totally blind.Cromwell was the hope of his countrymen. But he failed to fulfill their hope. So in 1660, Charles-II was invited by the countrymen to ascend the British throne. He was the son of Charles -I who was publicly beheaded in 1649. After the restoration of monarchism, the Puritans were being persecuted. Milton, as he was a Puritan, was imprisoned. Besides, Mary Powell had ill-treated with him and at last left him. Some of Milton's daughters also ill-behaved with this helpless and blind man instead of nursing. However, Milton had to go to the country and began to dwell there. Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, Comus, Lycidas, Areopagitica etc. are his immortal as well as his greatest achievements. In his works, Milton has represented himself sometimes a misogynist, sometimes a rebel and sometimes a democratic Satan.


Unknown said...

Nice but give more about restoration

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