AP English Literature and Composition Literary Periods

Classical
The works of ancient Greece and Rome; Homer, Sophocles, and Aeschylus. Major philosophers included Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle’s Poetics described the art of tragedy; Socrates set down the foundation for a human philosophy later expanded upon during the Enlightenment.

Neoclassical
Later works that alluded to characters, settings, and plots based the ideals of Ancient Greece, and to an extent the old and new testament of the bible. ________ works appear throughout literary and artistic works from the seventeenth century through the nineteenth century.

Old English
Also known as the Anglo-Saxon period, includes the epic Beowulf, first half of the fifth century AD

Middle English
Transitional period between the Anglo-Saxon and modern english, 1066-1500; Chaucer is a good example of this period

Metaphysical Poets
A group of 17th century poets who focused on philosophical issues. Their work combined indirect language with complex images, paradoxes, and conceits. Robert Herrick, Abrham Cowley, John Donne, and Andrew Marvel are examples

Elizabethan Era
English writers such as William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, Philip Sidney, and Edmind Spenser, late 1550’s to early 1600s

Enlightenment
An intellectual movement in France and other parts of Europe that emphasizes reason, progress, and liberty. Along with portions of the victorian Period, the Enlightenment is associated with Neo-classicism, or imitation and celebration of Greeks and Roman art and literature. Humanism was an important component, 1600-1790. Major authors included Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Dryden

Romantic Period
Started in 1798, concluded with the crowing of Queen Victoria in 1837. A movement that reacted against the Enlightenment by celebrating subjectivity, imagination, and the purity of nature. _______ often idealized quests for love or poetic glory. Major writers included Samuel Coleridge, John Keats, Lord Byron, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe.

Gothic
In literature, a genre of literature that focuses on romance, dark, mysterious characters and settings. Jane Eyre and the work of Edgar Allen Poe are exemplars.

Victorian Period
An English movement starting in 1837, when Queen Victoria was crowned, and ending in 1901, when she died. This period was marked by prose fiction and non-fiction, with common themes of loss and wistfulness. Realism and its forms were part of this era.

Realism
A 19th century movement that aimed to portray ordinary, contemporary life, 1800-1900, eschews melodrama for forensic attention to social mores. Major authors: Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, Honore de Balzac, Mark Twain, George Eliot.

Naturalism
A literary branch of realism which suggested that social conditions, heredity, and environment helped to shape human character, 1865-1900. Honore de Balzac, Upton Sinclair are examples.

Transcendentalism
An American intellectual and literary movement which emphasized the spiritual and individual espects of philosophy and culture. Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Thoreau are examples of this work which held up the individual over society in civil matters.

Modernism
A movement in art and literature that occurred during the period of 1910-1930, which emphasized intrusive narration and questioning of intellectual authority. Forms included meta-fiction of fiction which comments on art of the art of the art of fiction stream-of-consciousness (a style in which the first-person narrator includes random thoughts along with major plot events).

Harlem Renaissance
A literary, artistic and musical movement that began in the 1920’s in the African-American area of Harlem in New York City. The movement chronicled the lives of black Americans in the south who migrated to the northern cities and celebrated African American culture. Major authors included Zora Neal Hurston, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen.

Post Modernism
often used to described the contemporary work of today, carried many of the same literary elements of modernism, Certain radically experimental works of literature and art produced after world war II. Much of _________ writing reveals and highlights the alienation of individuals the questioning of authority and traditional authority tructures

Existentialism
Writers in the late 19th century and 20th century school pondered the futility of human existence in a seemingly random world absent of theological guides.

Absurdism
can mean an act of irrationality or the idea that humans exist in an irrational meaningless universe

Magical realism
a literary version of surrealism, the twentieth century artistic from which combines fantastic or dreamlike elements with realism. Primary authors include Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.