Romance in Peril: A Survey of the Genre in Seventeenth Century English Literature

Mustafa Bal


The seventeenth century in England can be seen as the age which marked the beginning of modernity as well as the beginning of empirical thought. Rationalization of viewpoints combined with the political turmoil of the century, causing immense setbacks within the English literary traditions. One of these setbacks took place within the romance tradition which had been a major mode of writing during the earlier centuries. In this sense, this article analyses reasons of the decline of the romance tradition throughout seventeenth century English literature as well as examining how the genre managed to survive either implicitly or explicitly in several works like Oroonoko by Aphra Behn, pastoral poems by Andrew Marvel and Milton, and in some parts of Milton’s Paradise Lost.


romance; seventeenth century

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