18th Century Literature (1700-1800)
Characteristics of this era:
a. Most of the people of this era were uneducated and the houses of those uneducated were marked so that people could recognize those uneducated people easily.
b. Coffee house was the most popular place for the educated person. Most of the time, they were found there in discussing or gossiping.
c. England became the center of trading and civilizing.
Famous writers of this Century:
Alexander Pope (1688-1744):
Alexander Pope was born in London in 1688 that is considered as the year of revolution. Both of his parents were Catholics. In physical he was not active. In dangerous dieses he became short and his size became small; so people made joke with him. Several times in his life he was insulted and people made many slang words and bad commands him. He died in 1744. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Works: We can divide the works of Pope into three periods which are as given bellow:
In his first he has created:
b. Windsor on Criticism
c. Essay on Criticism
d. The Rope of the Lock
In his second periods he has translated two books
One is the Iliad and another is the Odyssey.
In the final period he has written “The Dunciad”, Moral Essays, “Essay on Man”, and “Prologue to the Satires.”
Pope is a classical poet. Among his creations “The Rape of The Lock” is his best creation.
Daniel Defoe: He was born in England in 1661 in a middle class family. He father was rich so he could receive proper education. His father wanted to make him a priest; but he rejected his father’s proposal and he wanted to be a businessman but at last he failed. Finally he became a writer and worked a lot. All of his creations are not famous. Among all his creations only one novel has made him famous. It’s Robinson Crusoe.
Jonathon Swift (1667-1745): He was born in Ireland but he was English as the race. In his life he worked a lot and tried much to change his destiny. Though his family was not poor but the situation and society destroyed their fate. He worked hard and studied with a lot of sorrows and sufferings. He achieved his post-graduate degree. Firstly he was insulted by many people. With his sections he wrote, “A tale of a tub.” But it was not a successful novel. In 1726, he wrote, “Gulliver’s Travels” and became famous. Only for this novel, he will be always remembered. His last life was not so happy. He died as a mad and in that time he lost his sense.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719): He was born in Milston, Wiltshire in 1672. His father was a comedian person. He joked with social problems. His writing is very simple but there are a lot of knowledge and matter about the world contain in his writings.
Tatler and Spectator is his famous work.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784): Jonson was born in Litchfield in 1709. He was the son of a poor book seller. He had not enough money to continue his study; but he wanted to be an educated man. He expressed his wish to his university. But all the students insulted him very much. So, he was bound to leave the university. At last he wanted to change his life by working and gradually he became famous for his criticism.
Works: London helped him to introduce himself as a poet. He has written the first English Dictionary. He was the editor of many newspapers and he also discussed about the faults of genius poets and writers.
Thomas Gray (1716-1771): The life of Thomas Gray has not very bad. He was very simple in his personal life. And he had also written his poems for the mass people. His “Elegy Written in Country Churchyard” is one of them. It is a good and great poem. Here, he had introduced the rustic people and their life style. In his creation he was very sincere and he was also the follower of the history.
William Blake (1757-1827): William Blake was born in 1757. His father was an Irish. The condition of his family was so poor, so he did not get much opportunity to make him an educated person. He had learnt everything by his own effort. He worked hard. Several times he wanted to be a businessman and started business but each he failed in his business.
His three epics are famous: a. Poetical Sketches b. Song of Innocence and c. Songs of Experiences
He always used rustic language. The subject matters of his writing were about rustic people, nature, God and God’s creations etc.
In his personal life he was so much religious. He loved God very much. He always thought God was everything for him.