Ch 16: English Literature in the 17th & 18th Century

About This Chapter

Watch these videos to get information about English literature in the 1600s and 1700s. These lessons and quizzes look at several important authors and their writings.

English Literature in the 17th & 18th Century - Chapter Summary

Review information about 17th and 18th century English writers and their works. Our instructors will help you refresh your knowledge of the themes of Paradise Lost, and you'll explore the works of Alexander Pope. Another lesson looks at theatre of the Restoration period.

You'll look at Daniel Defoe's writings, discuss the satire of Jonathan Swift and look at the development of the epistolary novel. When you've finished these works, you should be familiar with:

  • Pilgrim's Progress
  • Major poems of John Milton
  • The Rape of the Lock
  • Themes in Robinson Crusoe
  • Analysis of Swift's work
  • Samuel Richardson's Pamela
  • Ann Radcliffe and Gothic literature

These video lessons are developed and taught by experts in the field that you can contact them if you have questions. Key terms and phrases are highlighted in lesson transcripts that let you follow along with the narrator. You can use the links in our Timeline to quickly return to points in the lesson that you want to review.

12 Lessons in Chapter 16: English Literature in the 17th & 18th Century
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works

1. Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works

A lot can happen in 200 years, as you'll see on our lesson that introduces you to British literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. Go from Shakespeare to the invention of the novel to the introduction of a prominent dictionary in our video below!

John Bunyan and Pilgrim's Progress

2. John Bunyan and Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim's Progress is a Christian allegory by John Bunyan. It was published in 1678 and is a highly influential work of religious text in the English language. Follow along as you learn about some of the most memorable characters from this novel.

Introduction to John Milton: Life and Major Poems

3. Introduction to John Milton: Life and Major Poems

English poet, essayist and political figure John Milton ranks right up there with William Shakespeare in a list of literary greats. Check out this lesson for an overview of Milton's life and most important works.

Milton's Paradise Lost: Summary, Theme, and Quotes

4. Milton's Paradise Lost: Summary, Theme, and Quotes

John Milton's 1667 epic poem 'Paradise Lost' is often considered one of the greatest works in the English language. Watch this lesson to learn about the text and its complicated themes.

Introduction to Alexander Pope: Biography, Essays and Poems

5. Introduction to Alexander Pope: Biography, Essays and Poems

Alexander Pope is one of the most quoted writers in the English language, which means you've probably heard his stuff before - you just don't know it yet. Watch this lesson for an overview of Pope's life and key works!

The Rape of the Lock: Pope's Mock Heroic Poetry

6. The Rape of the Lock: Pope's Mock Heroic Poetry

Alexander Pope is one of the premiere satirists in the English language, and The Rape of the Lock is his crowning achievement. Here, Pope writes about an incredibly trivial event as though it's a war involving gods and epic heroes. Watch our lesson for more details on this classic!

Restoration Comedy: Theatre of the 1700s

7. Restoration Comedy: Theatre of the 1700s

Despite their name, Restoration comedies have nothing to do with fixing up a theater. Rather, these were shockingly explicit works that were created after almost two decades of live performances being outlawed in England. Watch our video lesson to learn about this surprising and hilarious time in English theatrical history.

Introduction to Daniel Defoe: Biography and Major Works

8. Introduction to Daniel Defoe: Biography and Major Works

Castaways, pirates, spies and political prisoners. Some of it is fiction and some of it is the author's real life. In this lesson, you'll learn more about Daniel Defoe, one of England's most prolific and exciting authors.

Robinson Crusoe: Summary and Themes

9. Robinson Crusoe: Summary and Themes

In this lesson, we'll explore Daniel Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe' while examining themes present in the work. You may also learn some handy skills if you ever find yourself shipwrecked and having to survive on an island for 28 years.

Jonathan Swift and Satire: Examples and Analysis

10. Jonathan Swift and Satire: Examples and Analysis

When it comes to English-language satire, few authors can top the legendary Jonathan Swift. Watch this lesson to learn about his two most important works, ~'A Modest Proposal~' and ~'Gulliver's Travels~'.

Samuel Richardson: Biography, Pamela and the Epistolary Novel

11. Samuel Richardson: Biography, Pamela and the Epistolary Novel

Samuel Richardson was the first writer to produce a true bestseller in the modern sense. Watch our lesson to learn about 'Pamela,' his groundbreaking epistolary novel.

Ann Radcliffe and Gothic Literature

12. Ann Radcliffe and Gothic Literature

Meet the mysterious Ann Radcliffe, a pioneering author who helped create the genre we know today as Gothic literature. As you learn more about her works and style, we'll also look at what constitutes a Gothic novel.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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