Who are the neo classical poets? Why are they called that?

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Neoclassicism is a term used to describe poets and writers of the late 17th century and 18th century. The are called neo-classical because they tried to imitate the classical Greek and Roman poets. The word "neo" means "new", hence they were the new-classical poets (as opposed to the original classical poets of Greece and Rome).

Major poets of this genre were Pope, Dryden, Swift, Addison and Gay. The neo-classical movement also spilled over into other literature (fiction, plays), art and architecture.

The Romantic period, which followed, was in opposition to what was considered a stilted, classical writing style of the neo-classical period.

See the links below for information.