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His masterpiece, Paradise Lost which recounts Satan's engineering of the fall of humanity from the Garden of Eden , is considered the greatest epic poem in English, and the greatest modern ca.


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Milton also penned a sequel, Paradise Regained , in which Satan fails to corrupt Jesus. While many novels long prose stories were produced by ancient and medieval writers, the form received unprecedented attention in modern times. The modern history of the novel can be divided into two ages: the formative age of the novel, ca.


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Formative age novel-writing flourished primarily in Spanish , French , English , and German. As the novel did not achieve its supreme position until the nineteenth century, novelists of the formative age are generally less prominent than other literary figures namely poets and dramatists.

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Nonetheless, a list of the principal novelists of the formative age will be attempted here: in Spanish , Cervantes; in French , Rabelais; in English , Fielding; in German , Goethe. The most widely familiar novels of the formative age are likely Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.


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Two of the primary targets of critical examination during the Enlightenment were governments and religious authorities. Many Enlightenment thinkers campaigned vigorously against restrictions on freedoms e. These calls for reform were raised by some of the most eloquent writers in history, such that the Enlightenment is also known as the golden age of satire. He is known primarily for his many philosophical and satirical works , including novels, short stories, and essays.

Voltaire was also an accomplished poet, tragedian, and historian.

21.1: The Age of Enlightenment

Irish-English author Jonathon Swift , perhaps the most widely famous satirist in history, penned many works of satirical prose on a wide range of issues; a key personal grievance was English mistreatment of the Irish. Swift's masterpiece is the novel Gulliver's Travels , a broad examination of ethics, politics, and society framed in a series of fantastic adventures. Enlightenment scholars argued that the exercise of disciplined reason was the key to truth and progress. While this was proved largely true most dramatically in the field of science , many Western thinkers wondered whether reason alone was sufficient.

In the late eighteenth century, the strictly rational approach of the Enlightenment came to be rivalled by an alternative worldview that emphasized emotion as the key to great truth. This worldview, known as Romanticism , flourished in both literature and art.

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Romanticism ca. The first few decades of Romanticism in Germany are known as the Sturm und Drang period. Quote image for "Enlightenment".

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Production Enquiry. Acts: 2.

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Scenes: Roles: Male 3 , Female 4 , Neutral 0. Enlightenment is a powerful study of the mechanisms of grief, identity and absence. Enlightenment premiered at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in From Enlightenment Imprint Dedication.

Period Introduction Overview