17th and 18th Century Poetry (1660-1798)

1. Background

New literary movements emerged after the restoration period:

  • The Enlightenment was a movement that sparked new confidence in human ability, leading to a wave of inventions, research, and new ideas.
  • Mass media production emerged with the rise of the printing press , which quickly spread written works like novels, essays, satire, journalism, etc to the common man.

Notable people in the Enlightenment movement include:

  • John Locke was an English philosopher who wrote the famous Theory of Rights stating that all humans shall have the "rights of life, liberty and property."
  • Voltaire was a French writer who attacked the Catholic Church by advocating for freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state.
  • Isaac Newton published a study of gravity.

2. Monarchs/Rulers

  1. Elizabeth I
  2. James I
  3. Charles I
  4. Oliver Cromwell
  5. Charles II
  6. James II
  7. William & Mary
  8. Anne
  9. George I
  10. George III

My method of memorizing the monarchs goes like this:


First part:

  • Symmetry at the O
  • Before the O is I
  • After the O is II

Second part:

  • What a dog does to its tail (Remember the 2 G's!)

3. Cavaliers vs. Roundheads (Puritans)

Opposing views of ideology in the English Civil War..


  • Loyalty to English King, Charles I
  • Anglican worship similar to Catholic
  • Preferred the Old Church with classical styles


  • Loyalty to Parliament
  • Consisted of Puritans
  • Desired newer simpler churches and forms of worship

4. Puritans

Centered around a "pure" interpretation of the Bible and believed that newer faiths corrupted the world.

John Milton

  • Most notable puritan writer, serving under Oliver Cromwell
  • Wrote epic "Paradise Lost" to "justify the ways of God to men"

5. Writings

Holy Sonnet X

Death is slow, soul reawakens, death can't happen again.


"Sweet/natural" affiliation to nature.

To his Coy Mistress

Compliments a mistress.

A Modest Proposal

Satire essay backed by numbers.

Lower class sacrifice for upper class.

Elements of Gripe

  1. Generalization
  2. Reversal of Incongruity
  3. Parody
  4. Exaggeration

William Blake's 3 Poems

The Tyger, The Lamb, The Poison Tree.