The American Romantic period was essentially a Renaissance of American literature. “It was a Renaissance in the sense of a flowering, excitement over human possibilities, and a high regard for individual ego” (English). American romantics were influenced by the literary eras that came before them,...
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During the 20th Century, much advancement and change occurred throughout English Literature. All of the works we studied from this period were heavily influenced by current events in the world. The writers all examined the world around them and tried to express it through their writings. The three things that weave a common thread throughout all 20th Century English Literature are global warfare, radical artistic experimentation, and the effects of colonial expansion.
English Literature: Early 17th Century (1603-1660)
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The energy of England's writers matched that of its mariners and merchants. Accounts by men such as Richard , Samuel , and Sir Walter were eagerly read. The activities and literature of the Elizabethans reflected a new nationalism, which expressed itself also in the works of chroniclers (John , Raphael , and others), historians, and translators and even in political and religious tracts. A myriad of new genres, themes, and ideas were incorporated into English literature. Italian poetic forms, especially the , became models for English poets.Jacobean literature begins with the drama, including some of Shakespeare's greatest, and darkest, plays. The dominant literary figure of James's reign was Ben Jonson, whose varied and dramatic works followed classical models and were enriched by his worldly, peculiarly English wit. His satiric dramas, notably the great Volpone (1606), all take a cynical view of human nature. Also cynical were the horrific revenge tragedies of John Ford, Thomas Middleton, Cyril Tourneur, and John Webster (the best poet of this grim genre). Novelty was in great demand, and the possibilities of plot and genre were exploited almost to exhaustion. Still, many excellent plays were written by men such as George Chapman, the masters of comedy Thomas Dekker and Philip Massinger, and the team of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher. Drama continued to flourish until the closing of the theaters at the onset of the English Revolution in 1642.New Exam for Classroom Use
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