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The Augustan Age Essays

Augustan Poetry Essay

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Augustan Poetry

Often through hardship and nearly insurmountable difficulty great works of art are born. Although years of bloodshed and civil war had plagued Rome since the death of Julius Caesar, some of the most powerful and influential literature in the western world was developed in that timeframe. During the Age of Augustus (approximately 43 BC – 17 AD) such great writers as Virgil, Horace, Livy, Propertius, and Ovid created epic masterpieces of literature and philosophy. It was through the collective efforts of these great poets and writers as well as Augustus himself, that the rise of a new facet of Roman literature was possible. Seeing the opportunity to foster a great rebirth of Roman culture (specifically literature),…show more content…

The Aeneid in particular “Romanized” epic poetry. Epic Poetry had been the greatest form of storytelling and furthermore the Greeks form of storytelling. It also rivaled the great legends of the Greeks, gained much respect for Rome in the ancient world (where the Greeks were traditionally the great writers and thinkers), and, most importantly, allowed the Roman’s to make their myth’s and history known. (The Aeneid can be seen as a direct response to the great literature of the Greeks, in particular, Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey). Simultaneously, Horace became a prominent author of skill, prominence, and witty satire and the master of Roman lyrical poetry. Horace’s Epodes, like Virgil’s Bucolics, reflected much of the crisis of Roman culture and society prevalent at his time (from 43-8 BC). A series of choral poems, the Epodes became Horace’s response to the growing problems of his day, as well as a proponent for Augustus’s political party. Both Virgil and Horace based much of their writing style and structure on existing Greek models. Through Horace, like Virgil, Roman literature became more influential (through becoming somewhat unique, yet at the same time generally accepted, being based on Greek structure). Livy, the next great author, wrote a colossal, detailed history of Rome called the Ab Urbe Condita. The book was his greatest achievement, and today stands out as one of the great books

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The Augustan Age

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18th century in England, realistic novels... Daniel Defoe (6 pagine formato doc)

Untitled The eighteenth century in English literature has been called the Augustan Age, the Neoclassical Age, and the Age of Reason. The term 'the Augustan Age' comes from the self-conscious imitation of the original Augustan writers, Virgil and Horace, by many of the writers of the period. Specifically, the Augustan Age was the period after the Restoration era to the death of Alexander Pope (~1690 - 1744). The major writers of the age were Pope and John Dryden in poetry, and Jonathan Swift and Joseph Addison in prose. Dryden forms the link between Restoration and Augustan literature; although he wrote ribald comedies in the Restoration vein, his verse satires were highly admired by the generation of poets who followed him, and his writings on literature were very much in a neoclassical spirit. But more than any other it is the name of Alexander Pope which is associated with the epoch known as the Augustan Age, despite the fact that other writers such as Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe had a more lasting influence. This is partly a result of the politics of naming inherent in literary history: many of the early forms of prose narrative common at this time did not fit into a literary era which defined itself as neoclassic. The literature of this period which conformed to Pope's aesthetic principles (and could thus qualify as being 'Augustan') is distinguished by its striving for harmony and precision, its urbanity, and its imitation of classical models such as Homer, Cicero, Virgil, and Horace, for example in the work of the minor poet Matthew Prior. In verse, the tight heroic couplet was common, and in prose essay and satire were the predominant forms. Any facile definition of this period would be misleading, however; as important as it was, the neoclassicist impulse was only one strain in the literature of the first half of the eighteenth century. But its representatives were the defining voices in literary circles, and as a result it is often some aspect of 'neoclassicism' which is used to describe the era. 'Neoclassicism' The works of Dryden, Pope, Swift, Addison and John Gay, as well as many of their contemporaries, exhibit qualities of order, clarity, and stylistic decorum that were formulated in the major critical documents of the age: Dryden's An Essay of Dramatic Poesy (1668), and Pope's Essay on Criticism (1711). These works, forming the basis for modern English literary criticism, insist that 'nature' is the true model and standard of writing. This 'nature' of the Augustans, however, was not the wild, spiritual nature the romantic poets would later idealize, but nature as derived from classical theory: a rational and comprehensible moral order in the universe, demonstrating God's providential design. The literary circle around Pope considered Homer preeminent among ancient poets in his descriptions of nature, and concluded in a circuitous feat of logic that the writer who 'imitates' Homer is also describing nature. From this follows th

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