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Bunyan, from the literary point of view also a true English genius, represents the substratum of religious earnestGeneral Char- ness in the nation which underlay the frivolity acteristics of and corruption of the court and aristocratic the Literature
society. For that society Samuel Butler jested Restoration. thoughtlessly, and Wycherley and Congreve wrote plays uninspired by the highest ideal of dramatic art. Under their influence the stage ceased to be what it had once been, a medium for the expression of the national life, and became what it has been ever since, an amusement and distraction for fashionable society.
It seems incredible that a poet like Dryden could have so far prostituted his powers as to write, even in so dissolute an age as that of Charles II., a parody of Shakespeare's • Tempest,” and defile so pure and artistic a creation with lewd suggestions. The fact that this poet, who so fully appreciated the supreme excellence of Shakespeare, was guilty in collaboration with another playwright of such profanation is one of the most striking evidences of the low taste of the times.
A play or a novel may be said to contain elements of character, of manners, and of incident. Its tone may be romantic or realistic, it may cast ideal and poetic light over life or it may use the language of ordinary conversation and represent “life as it is.” In either case it may be true or false, strong or weak. In the Elizabethan drama, both in the poetic and romantic and in the realistic plays, the reader usually finds the characters interesting, and many of the personages were conceived by the writers as human beings of strong passions and marked individuality. They are plays of character. The element of manners is also present but subordinate; that is, we find some persons who are types of a social class in whom the
qualities which are induced by environment are made prominent at the expense of the real man. This element gives us the stage figures, the fop, the villain, the lover, and the rest, sufficiently amusing in representation but not discriminated by individual qualities. The drama of the Restoration gives us little but these. The dialogue is witty and lively, sometimes brilliant, but the comedies are comedies of manners rather than of character. In this respect, however, they are literature, for the pure comedy of manners, though an outcome of the French rather than of the English mind, has its own charm if the art which produced it be of sufficient delicacy and the spirit of true comic gayety preside at its birth. In incident, too, or lively and amusing plot and striking situations, the comedies of the Restoration are not inferior. But their weakness lies in the fact that they reflect a life the standards of which are not only artificial, but vicious. Charles Lamb criticised them very ingeniously as moving in a world where the laws of morality are ignored and honesty is regarded as non-existent. But such a world as that is so unreal that it soon ceases to be amusing, at least to healthy English minds. For these reasons the drama of the Restoration, though representative literature, is unpleasant literature even when it abounds in wit and vivacity. It represents a phase of the English mind which is not in the true line of its development. Glittering wit cannot long hide the essential ugliness and tiresomeness of impurity, and we are relieved that the period of the Restoration came to an end as soon as it did.
What famous American burlesque found its model and inspiration in Butler's “Hudibras"?
What effect did the Restoration have on the English drama ?
Who introduced the comedy of manners, and what French plays in particular formed the models?
Show by a citation of examples, or otherwise, how French literature influenced English literature at this time as to (a) more correct and elegant syntax, (b) directness of expression, (c) symmetry of form.
Compare fifty lines of Dryden's “Palamon and Arcite” with Chaucer's original, and show where the former loses in idiomatic force and poetic picturesqueness.
What Spanish dramatists were imitated by the English play writers at this time?
GARNETT, R. Age of Dryden.
tion.) Warn, A. W. History of English Dramatic Literature, v. 3 (New
Ed.). MACAULAY, T. B. Comic Dramatists of the Restoration. (In his
THE QUEEN ANNE OR AUGUSTAN PERIOD (1702 to 1744)
LECKY, W. E. H. England in the Eighteenth Century.
prising the Reign of Queen Anne until the Peace of Utrecht,
1701-13. 1870. WYON, F. W. History of Great Britain during the Reign of Queen
Anne. 2 v. 1876. Burton, J. H. History of the Reign of Queen Anne. 3 v. Morris, E. E. Age of Anne. (Epochs of English History.) OLIPHANT, M. O. Historical Sketches of the Reign of Queen Anne.
HISTORICALLY the period of the Restoration ends with the expulsion of James II., as dangerous a man to progress Historical
and true national development as was his father, Sketch; Charles I. The various constitutional barriers by which the English nation has limited the sovereign's power, until it is now true that the “king can do no wrong,” are of great moment to the human race. The accession of William and Mary (1689) marks the final defeat of absolutism in England, and the period of literary license might be said to terminate with the same date. But the changed literary tone is not manifest till the eighteenth century, although in the last decade of the
seventeenth the grossness of thought and freedom of expression of the Restoration drama was severely rebuked in 1698, by a pamphlet written by Jeremy Collier, a High Church, non-juring clergyman. Again, the name of Queen Anne is associated in a peculiar way with the well-known group of writers of the early eighteenth century. Her accession (1702) is, therefore, made the beginning of a new literary period although the carnival of the Restoration had already ended.
During this period the military and maritime power of England increased. The victories of Marlborough on the continent aggravated the confidence and pride of the national temper. The union of England and Scotland under the name of Great Britain removed the danger of internal dissension and promoted the material prosperity of both nations. The settlement of the succession in the Protestant line by an act of Parliament made a religious dynastic war impossible. The first two Hanoverian kings allowed their ministers to govern and made little attempt to assert the royal prerogative. The beginning of the singular combination of executive responsibility and hereditary kingship which the English government presents to-day was made.
In literature this period witnessed the beginning of periodical pamphlets the precursors of the magazine and Literary
the daily journal. Writers now address the Patronage. reading public directly through the instrumentality of publishing houses and no longer seek the aid and protection of a wealthy patron. This commercial relation in one way increases and in another diminishes the independence of authors and the dignity of the literary profession. They address the public, or at least some portion of the public, and are subservient to public opin