What are the main characteristics of Neoclassical poetry?

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Neoclassicism, or neoclassical poetry, started in the 18th century in England. Alexander Pope and John Dryden are amongst the most famous poets writing in this style. Neoclassicism developed as a contrast to the renaissance era.

There was a new focus on the old, “classic” writing style of the ancient Romans...

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Neoclassicism, or neoclassical poetry, started in the 18th century in England. Alexander Pope and John Dryden are amongst the most famous poets writing in this style. Neoclassicism developed as a contrast to the renaissance era.

There was a new focus on the old, “classic” writing style of the ancient Romans and the ancient Greeks, which led to its revival. Therefore, one can say that neoclassical poetry rediscovered this style of writing, which explains the name of this era: “neo” means “new,” and “classical” refers to the times of the ancient Romans and Greeks. In fact, it is very typical for neoclassical writing to refer to and to pay homage to works of the famous ancient Roman or Greek writers, such as Virgil.

Furthermore, following the style of writing in classical times, poets in the neoclassical age tried to write in a less emotional style. Their writing is a lot more descriptive and factual than the typical writing of the previous renaissance era had been. Poets during the renaissance had focussed a lot more on emotions, beauty, and love. The neoclassical poets, on the other hand, were a lot more descriptive, realistic and factual in their work. Logic and reason are therefore the main inspiration for a neoclassical poet, as in neoclassicism the main goal of writing was to educate people and to create intellectual challenge.

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