About This Chapter
Literature of the Enlightenment - Chapter Summary
This chapter is designed to give you a crash course on the Enlightenment and its literature. Review engaging lessons to better understand the works, major authors and thinkers of the time. Learn more about Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and other prominent figures. When ready, test your knowledge of the concepts explored in this chapter by taking the short quiz with each lesson. Upon completion of this chapter, you will understand:
- Basics of the Enlightenment, including its thinkers and their ideas
- The Enlightenment's political thinkers
- Major works and authors of the 17th and 18th centuries
- The politics and essays of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft
- Sermons of Jonathan Edwards and his relationship to the Great Awakening
- The life of Benjamin Franklin and influence of Thomas Paine
1. The Roots of the Enlightenment
In this lesson, we will learn about the roots of the Enlightenment. We will learn when and how the Enlightenment began, and we will identify the central themes associated with its beginning.
2. The Enlightenment Thinkers & Their Ideas
In this lesson, we discuss the varied and diverse 18th-century intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment. In addition to exploring its background and nature, we highlight several of the era's chief philosophers and their ideas.
3. Political Thinkers of the Enlightenment
In this lesson, you will explore the ideas of major political thinkers who lived and wrote during the Enlightenment in Europe. Then, you can test your understanding with a brief quiz.
4. 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!
5. Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin: Politics and Essays
Meet THE power couple of the 1790s: Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin. Watch how Wollstonecraft inspires the feminist movement, and thrill to Godwin's early anarchic ways! Plus: how does one betray the other, even after death?
6. Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening: Sermons & Biography
Jonathan Edwards was an American minister whose sermon 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God' became one of the most famous sermons of the 18th century. In this lesson, we'll look at Edwards' sermon and analyze it for Puritan beliefs and style.
7. Benjamin Franklin: Quotes and Autobiography
Everyone knows Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a storm and that he signed the Declaration of Independence. But how much do you know about his writing? In this lesson, we'll look at two of his most famous works and how they influenced American literature.
8. Thomas Paine: Common Sense and The Crisis
Thomas Paine was an influential writer during the American Revolution. In this lesson, we'll explore the content and style of two of his most famous pamphlets and how they helped shape American history.
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Other chapters within the Humanities 101: Intro to the Humanities course
- Literary Analysis and Movements
- Humanities in the Ancient World
- Oral Tradition
- Humanities in Rome and Late Antiquity (250 CE-550 CE)
- Literature of the Middle Ages
- The Medieval Period in Music
- Art and Architecture of the Middle Ages
- Literature of the Renaissance
- Renaissance Music
- Art & Architecture of the Renaissance & Reformation
- The Baroque Era in Music
- The Classical Era in Music
- The Romantic Period in Literature
- The Romantic Era in Music
- Literature of the Victorian Era
- Modern Thought and Expression (1800-Present)
- Literary Modernism in the 19th & 20th Centuries
- Modern Music
- World Music
- Prominent American Novelists
- Studying for Humanities 101