Video appunto: Restoration: main literary genres and authors
Restoration prose marked the transition from antiquity to modernity, in fact, prose was considered as a vehicle of reason. New genres flourished, one of the most important was the satire.
The most important Restoration philosophers were Hobbes and Locke.
Hobbes’s most famous work was “The Leviathan”, in which he expressed his pessimistic view of man and politics.
The Leviathan represented the State, an artificial man composed by citizens, territory and commerce. Hobbes affirmed that “man is wolf to man”, for this reason was necessary to impose a single sovereign, in order to avoid a situation of anarchy.
Locke’s most important work was “Essay concerning Human understanding” in which he affirmed that knowledge was acquired through experiences.
The most important poets during the Restoration were Dryden and Butler.
Butler’s most famous poem was “Hudibras”. It was a satirical poem in which he criticized ideas of Puritans.
Dryden’s most important poems were “Astrae Redux” and “Annus Mirabilis”. In the first one he celebrated the Restoration of monarchy; instead, in the second one he described the Great Fire of London.
The Restoration theatre was characterized by the flourishing of a new genre: the comedy of manners. Plays were typically set in the world of the upper classes, for this reason theatres were restricted to these social classes. Moreover, women could recite and there were a lot of innovations in stage design.