Restoration Age in England

Restoration Age in England

The various ages in the English literature contributed something or the other to this world with their unique style of writing as well as their unique subjects. The Restoration Age was one such age that added a new flavour to the field of literature.

The poets, authors, writers, novelists, all came up with their own exclusive style to contribute to readers. Above all, the restoration age marked a great breakaway from its preceding age and therefore all the complexities of this age must be dealt with in order to understand it and so that literature students may not need assignment help for the same.

Puritan age was just before the Restoration age. The age had all the religious fervour since the Parliament rule under Oliver Cromwell prohibited all sorts of recreational activities that were against the religion of the day.

Cromwell thus allowed only religious writings and prohibited drama. With the restoration of King Charles II to the throne of England, things in the country took a turn for good.

Charles II gave more liberty to people than the earlier monarchs and therefore theatres were again opened. And this time, unlike the Elizabethan era, even women could participate in it.

In fact, several research paper writing on the era state that more and more coffee houses were being opened and with all this liberty and freedom licentiousness too increased and took a great deal of society under it.

Therefore, the writers in this age took to their hands to expose this society to themselves so that they understand how they actually live and interact.

The Restoration Age had various prominent writers that gave the age its deserved place in the literary world. Although Charles II was the King during this time, but John Dryden came out to be the king of the Restoration literature.

Be it prose or poetry or even critical writing, Dryden mastered all.  His writings set a bar for all the literary works; therefore he was the most important literary figure in this age.

Dryden’s most important contribution is in the popularization of heroic couplet in the English poetry. It was due to his efforts that satire became the most prominent form of writing in this age.

Another most popular contribution of Dryden was his MacFlecknoe, in which Dryden mocks one of his literary rival, Thomas Shadwell.

The importance of the poem lies in it following the mock epic style of writing (all characteristics of epic are used yet the subject chosen is trivial enough to make the work a mock epic).

This style of Dryden was followed by his contemporaries as well as his successors, most prominent among whom was Alexander Pope, who wrote his famous Rape of the Lock in the mock epic style.

Dryden’s most famous comedy Marriage-à-la-Mode was yet again one of his most popular works. The play is set in Sicily and involves several plotlines. Following the lines of other romantic comedies of the age,

the play revolves around misrecognition and trickery. And among all this we see how versatile a writer Dryden was who not only wrote poetry but also drama and whose works shot him to skies.

Another important writer of this age was William Congreve. Congreve was a disciple of Dryden. His comedies were written in such a manner that they catered to the demands of the people of that period. But by the end of the Restoration era in 1700, his works also lost prominence because people were turning away from the Comedy of Manners. The writer himself took a step back from theatres. Nonetheless, his Way of the World remains a timeless popular.

Although initially it lost its popularity but later it was highlighted by the critics in their research paper writings. The play is a romantic comedy which deals with two lovers trying to convince an aunt for their marriage.

His Love for Love is yet again a perfect example of Restoration comedy, wherein we witness a love triangle between a father-son duo and a girl, whom they both like. Therefore, Congreve’s works yet again offer the readers a look into the Restoration society.

Another prominent and the first professional women writers, Aphra Behn, survived in this age. She was not only a writer but also worked for British Government, as a spy.

Although she gained prominence as a playwright, yet she is also famous for her novel Oroonoko, which revolves around slavery.  She also wrote the popular romantic comedy known as The Rover which satisfies all conditions of comedy of manners.

Next, we come to William Wycherley who was yet again an important playwright in this era and particularly specialised in Comedy of Manners. He spent most of his early life in France and was therefore largely influenced by French literature. 

Wycherley’s famous works were The Plain Dealer and The Country Wife. The latter is a comedy, and a scandalous one, scandalous at its extreme ends, full of sexual intrigue and sex jokes.

The former is largely influenced by Molière’s Misanthrope and deals with a sailor who plans revenge on his ex-lover as well as his friend. Both these works would make a reader burst into laughter.

John Milton too was writing in this era, though his prominence declined after the Puritan age. His most famous works of this period are Samson Agonistes and Paradise Lost.

John Dryden also came up with his political works like To His Sacred Majesty: A Panegyrick on His Coronation, 1661—on the Coronation of Charles II and Astraea Redux:

A Poem on the Happy Restoration and Return of His Sacred Majesty Charles the Second. Then George Etheredge came up with his romance and revenge work- The Comical Revenge or Love in a Tub.

John Bunyan wrote a book dealing with his own spiritual awakening, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners and of course his famous religious allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Therefore, these were a few famous works that the Restoration era dealt with, in general. The writers of this age gave a new turn to the car of literature and took it absolutely on a new road.

Their works inspired their successors and thus remained evergreen. The points stated above on the Restoration era are sufficient to offer assignment help to literature students.

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