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Transcript of The
a time of illumination
The Age of Reason
In England and Europe late 17th - 18th ce.
Changes in England (1)
England achieves great power in the world and becomes a commercial nation
New inventions and discoveries (spinning jenny, power loom, steam engine) lead to the 19th ce Industrial Revolution.
Science and philosophy
Isaac Newton (1687) - discovery of the law of gravitation
The Universe as an ordered and never changing world
English writers' attitudes:
rejection of the superstitions and violence of the Middle Ages
rationality as the basis of civilized human behaviour
publications of journals about manners and morals
common sense, order and reason - the ideals of the Age of Reason
in literature (18th ce)
R. B. Sheridan
Changes in England (2)
Changes in England (3)
The Enlightenment period
Robinson Crusoe’s parents want him to stay in his home town of York but he has other ideas. He wants to become a sailor and travel the world. He leaves home and sails to Brazil where he makes his fortune. On his way from Brazil to Africa, he is shipwrecked on an uninhabited island and
he spends twenty-seven years alone there before he finally manages to return to England.
Gulliver is a married surgeon from England who likes travelling. One day he goes on a fateful voyage to the South Seas but gets caught in a storm and is washed up on an island. This island, Lilliput, has a population of tiny people. They capture Gulliver as he sleeps and carry him to their capital city, where they keep him chained inside a large abandoned temple outside the city walls.
a cultural movement of intellectuals
emphasis on reason and individualism
purpose - to reform society and move from ignorance towards science and rational thought
'any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them'