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The prefix "neo" means "new" and the word "classic" refers to the Greeks and Romans. If one were a neoclassicist, s/he would value the values, thinking, and ideals of the great orators and philosophers. As the Renaissance period led people back to learning and education, many referred back to the great thinkers like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The medieval period was overwhelmed with superstition, paganism and Christianity. By the time the Renaissance promoted free thinking, many thought it would be best to follow the great examples of the past. Those examples in literature included using language in order to communicate and to instruct. Due to the hot political nature of the time period, though, many authors needed to hide their teachings in works of satire and fiction. The most notable of these are Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.
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