Writing Styles in Neoclassicism

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An allegory is a narrative technique in which symbolic characters or actions are used to convey a message or teach a lesson. Typically used to teach moral, ethical, or religious ideals, it is also used for political purposes. In the case of the neoclassicists, the latter was often the case, often in conjunction with satire.

Swift's criticism of English politics was so harsh that he felt it necessary to publish his work Gulliver's Travels anonymously. On the surface, the work is mere fiction, but on a deeper level it is an account of the bitter political struggles between the two major political parties of the early eighteenth century, the Tories and the Whigs.

Johnson lampoons those intimate with the British political scene in his depiction of certain characters. For example, the Lilliputian emperor is characterized as being tyrannical and corrupt and is also easily recognized as George I...

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Literary Movements for Students
Neoclassicism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.