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18th-Century Literature: Pirates, Princes and Prostitutes - Essay Example

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The prolonged eighteenth century comprises of the period between 1688 and 1832, commencing with the magnificent uprising when James II was superseded by William II. The period ended with the Reform Act of 1832…
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18th-Century Literature: Pirates, Princes and Prostitutes
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18th-Century Literature: Pirates, Princes and Prostitutes

The eighteenth century literature may be complicated to comprehend. The subject matter seems isolated and the approach of writing is very different from todays’ authors. For the first segment of the eighteenth century, the writers supposed that they should impersonate the natural world. However, from the mid century onwards they paid an increasing attention to imagination (Day & Keegan, 2009, pp.1-5). Literature communicates the thoughts and passions of authors which have a significant influence on the lives of people. (Stephen, 1994, p.1) In the eighteenth century literature, interest was mainly focused on the practical form of life either of culture as a whole or of one’s own community group or set. The majority of authors belonged by origin or society to the upper societal division and inclined to overstress its false customs, often looking with disdain on the other classes (Braudel, 1992, p.184). To them, the conservative good breeding, well conduct, pleasures, and the principles were the only ingredient of life a lot worth appraisal. The effort of the moralists carried over with remarkable sincerity into the literature. It was long-established to apply ethical values to the presentation of a human personality but it was an innovative thing to give too much of consideration to the identification and defining the superior as in fact found in a character and in humanity. This attention was now shared as never earlier by the qualified philosophers and the admired writers (Sanyal, 2006, pp.2-17). Several literature included writings on pirates, princes and prostitutes, who are in general considered as outsiders to a society. The study reveals the insights of the authors’ perceptions on the outsiders of the society, represented by the pirates, prices, or the prostitutes, in their views in the eighteenth century literature. Eighteenth Century Authors’ Perception on “The Outsiders” With the help of famous stories written during the eighteenth century, the perceptions of authors regarding the outsiders meaning the pirates, princes, and prostitutes, can be reflected. Through the stories it can be understood as to how these people used to be treated or accepted in the society. Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was a businessman, correspondent, and an inexhaustible author. Many of Defoe's works are loaded with quirk of fate. Defoe’s story Roxana or The Fortunate Mistress is a classic writing that was published in 1724. It is believed to be a life story of Madamoselle Beleau, the beautiful daughter of French Protestant refugees. She was brought up in England and wedded to a worthless son of an English brewer. The story deals with how she suffers after her marriage and even more after the death of her husband. Another famous autobiography was written by Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African who was born in Nigeria. He was “kidnapped and sold” into captivity in his early days and taken as a slave to a different world. Through a book called The Interesting Narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, he described how he in due course earned the value of his own liberty by careful “trading and saving”. The book had been a best seller and also furthered an anti-slavery cause (Carey, n.d.). John Gay (1685-1732) was another famous personality known particularly for his writing, The Beggar’s Opera. In the story the recipient of stolen merchandise, Peachum, has a beneficial dealing with Macheath. However, Polly who is the daughter of Peachum falls in love with the offender. Peachum reports against Macheath, who is captive in Newgate, in order to save the prize and to get relief of his son-in-law. The daughter of the warden also falls for him and he takes this chance to flee (Liukkonen & Pesonen, 2008). Through the ... Read More
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