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English literature is found remarkably affected by the new political trend. The national literary inspiration of the Elizabethan age is found replaced by the literary inspiration from the continent, particularly from France and Rome. In fact, English literature, after the Restoration, marks a clear deviation from the literary ideal of the Elizabethans and the Puritans

The Restoration introduced a change in the political state of England and secured release from Puritan austerity. The new monarch and his supporters came from France and they had demonstrated two specific trends attachment to French culture and repulsion to Puritanism.

New literature, introduced by the Restoration, has its clear manifestation in poetry. Restoration poetical literature has an altogether different approach from Elizabethan. It has nothing of the impulsivities of the Renaissance. On the other hand, there is a growing dimension of intellectualism in it. There is a distinct turn to classicism. An emphasis on classical order, control and fitness is dominantly distinct in Restoration poetry. Elizabethan lyricism passes away to make room for satire. The satiric spirit is, in fact, found dominant in the poetical literature of the Restoration.

The mark of this new poetical literature, dominated by satire, is perceived first in Hudibras, a work by Samuel Butler. This is actually the first typical work of the Restoration to open the new literary era Published in three parts, it is actually a sharp revolt against Puritanism and won immediate popularity. The author's model is Cervantes's Don Quixote. Through an exhibition of romance and absurdity, he makes open fun of Puritan excesses. The poem remains valuable, as a satirical comedy. This proves to be a source of inspiration for subsequent satirical works, including Swift's A Tale of a Tub.

Satire is found to be the literary fashion of the age. Even the survivors of the Republican age, like Andrew Marvell, noted for excellent lyricism, are found to have recourse to satirical writings. Marvell's later poems are satires in verse in which religious intolerance, autocratic tendencies, the lack of patriotism, and the licence of the new order are delightfully and willingly scoffed at. 

The next name in satirical literature is John Oldham who is found to follow scrupulously the classical authors, like Juvenal, in his satiric writings - Satires against the Jesuits and The Satire against Virtue. 

The lively flashes of satire are tasted in the verses of a group of poets, known as the court poets. Their approach is satiric, but there is much of chivalry as well as obscenity in the works of such court poets. John Wilmont, Earl of Rochester, is noted for his The Session of the Poets and Satire against Mankind. Both the works are full of sarcastic insolence and ironic pessimism.

Sir Charles Sadley, John Sheffield, Shadwell, and several others are the minor satirical poets of the age. Their poetical works, of course, have little worth to deserve recognition and commendation. 

The master of the poetical literature of the age, however, is John Dryden. He characterises the whole literary age which is called after his name. He is distinctly the greatest poet of his age. The perfection of the new poetic style, that is satire, is found fully achieved Dryden. 

Dryden's poetical genius is mainly satiric. He stands out as the greatest force as well as influence in English satirical literature. His celebrated works include Absalom and Achitophel in two parts, Mac Flecknoe, Religio Laici and The Hind and the Panther. He is also noted for his translation of the Verses of Persuis and the Satires of Juvenal as also for the translations of Virgil, Horace, Ovid and Homer. 

In Dryden is seen the great beginning of English satirical literature. This is found to have its wide expansion and range in the hands of Swift and Pope in the next century.


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