Without exploring the eventful eighteenth century, it is impossible to realize and define an indispensable literature component. Yes, the period of momentous incidents bears the identity of an era of prose.
The appearance of a new social and political dynamism in the eighteenth century unlocked umpteen practicable interests in human society. And these interests desperately searched for a robust way of expression to manifest and solidify their importance in society. Moreover, there was a clear indication that this expression could not get confined to books and newspapers only. Also, poetry remained an inadequate platform for this job.
Now, the said scarcity helped develop a new tool of expression that is prose. This unique literary device amazed both readers and authors with its ample space for voicing and the manifestation of thoughts interests through words. It appeared as an excellent acceptable medium for writers of all different genres.
The charm of the famous English essayist Joseph Addison’s elegant essays or the mastery of the eminent novelist Henry Fielding’s novels emerged unbeatable when compared to the limited periphery of the poetry of the eighteenth century.
The impact of the prose was so high during this period that even poetry seemed to acquire a prosaic shape. Sometimes, the said poetic verses looked like a medium not exploring the space for creative imagination. Additionally, it looked as if poetry itself created a platform for essays, satire, and criticism.
Apart from the scarcity, there remained one more significant cause behind the development of this chief literary component in the eighteenth century. Several sharp criticisms made the reason evident. According to these fault-finding opinions, the age became entitled as a barren and tedious era. And the writers of this period faced reproval for being devoid of “poetical sensibilities.”
These criticisms even pinpointed towards the famous representative poet, Alexander Pope. These evaluations specified that his poems got restricted to specific subject matter and writing style. They even pointed out a monotony inhabited in his works.
However, there is no denying that the first half of the eighteenth century, no doubt, witnessed polished, more refined, and sharp-witted poetic works, like the creations of the English poet, Pope. Nonetheless, Pope’s works, in reality, looked artificial. It lacked the sense of succession, and the elegance of poetic enthusiasm existed in the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries. In truth, the shine of creative inventions of the sixteenth century or Elizabethan Age became almost unseeable. In addition, the most discussed and morally accepted Puritanism of these two centuries lost its visibility in the said poetic works.
Because of the prolonged usage for so many centuries, poetry no more remained adequately appealing to the human intellect. Its comparison with prose made the readers believe it was a good study but not alluring to human imagination.
On the contrary, the diversity in the prose style that astonishingly started the journey from seventeenth-century English poet playwright John Dryden emerged so incredible and engaging that it excelled the glow of writing existed so far. At once, it unveiled a new opportunity to explore and inspire creative inventions that embraced human emotions. In a word, an era of prose solidified its footprint with the meaningful variety that got seeded in several famous masterpieces.