We use cookies to track usage and preferences

The Augustan Age.

The Augustan Age.

The Great Augustans-London was the biggest city in Europe and England was becoming uncreasingly urbanized

The early part of the century is commonly known as "the Augustan age" meaning that as Latin literature had reached its maximum perfection under Augustus, this could be also seen as a moment of perfection in English literature and life. The great Augustan writers share a belief in reason as capable of imposing some order on an otherwise chaotic world. Such a belief underlies the positions of writers as different as Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Joseph Addison and Richard Steele or Samuel Johnson. They all believed in the superiority of intelligence and good sense over fancy and impulse. They rather feared unrestrained fancy, for the sake of both individual man and society. To defend their world from the intrusion of fantasy and the supernatural, the Augustans erected a great rational system to include all aspects of society. Rules were laid down, usually in the form of elegant heroic couplets, for almost every aspect of life, from religion and philosophy to arts and sports (as boxing and rugby). From this derives the didactic tone of much Augustan literature. The Augustans were convinced that their aesthetic and moral canons were perfect because they conformed to Nature, which they saw as the rational principle guiding the universe, and to classical rules. Nature and the classics were thought to be the same thing and were considered superior to modern ideas and standards. The debate, usually known as the querelle des anciens et des modernes, was taking place all over Europe. In England, the major writers, Swift, Pope and Johnson, all wrote in favour of the classical authors. The Augustan period was the last true classical age. Augustan writers formed a group of gentlemen who shared an aristocratic idea of society. Whigs and Tories, strict and tolerant rationalists, optimists and pessimists, all met in the same coffeehouses and clubs, were unanimous in criticising Prime Minister Walpole's policy, and usually despised popular writers like novelist Daniel Defoe. The Scriblerus Club was typical: it was a writers' club that included Pope, Swift and others: they wrote several papers ridiculing false learning and modern pretensions, under the pseudonym of "Martin Scriblerus". Alexander Pope (1688-1744)-Born in London, Pope was the son of a Catholic linean-draper. As a Catholic, he could not enrol in the universities, was subjected to double taxation and excluded from public officies. Pope's sensitive nature strongly resented such discrimination, and his melancholy temper was also aggravated by his poor health; he suffered from curvature of the spine, as well as several other illness. As a boy, Pope was a keen reader and very talented. His first publication, The Pastorals, included works written while he was very young. The pastoral vein was easily mastered by Pope
Following pages
Versione di Quintiliano su Seneca
Versione di Quintiliano su Seneca
Chiare freschi e dolci acque
Chiare freschi e dolci acque
George Stephenson
George Stephenson
La contrapposizione USA-URSS
La contrapposizione USA-URSS
Quintiliano: riassunto di letteratura latina
Quintiliano: riassunto di letteratura latina
Giuseppe Ungaretti, Sono una creatura: commento e spiegazione
Giuseppe Ungaretti, Sono una creatura: commento e spiegazione
I Sepolcri.
I Sepolcri.
Riassunto breve Amleto
Riassunto breve Amleto
Nietzsche-Schopenhauer
Nietzsche-Schopenhauer