Early Modern

Early Modern Literature

The Early Modern period precedes the development of the modern novel in the 18th century. During this time, the transition between the epic poem and a new novel form emerges in the plays of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and Ben Jonson. Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen is one of the most important epic Elizabethan poems to come from this period. In poetry, a metaphysical movement focused on the investigation of the spiritual prevailed. Poets such as John Donne, George Herbert, and Andrew Marvell all wrote in this vein while John Milton, whose epic poem Paradise Lost was also written at this time, falls outside of the metaphysical movement. Another pivotal work during the Early Modern period is John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.

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