The Baroque in English Neoclassical Literature

By J. Douglas Canfield | Go to book overview
Save to active project



1. The generalizations in this first paragraph are, literally, common-sense syntheses based on reading in the standard histories of art and examining countless volumes in the history of architecture, music, painting, sculpture, and literature. For a discussion of the term neoclassical as applied to English literature, see J. Douglas Canfield and J. Paul Hunter, eds., Rhetorics of Order/Ordering Rhetorics in English Neoclassical Literature (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1989), intro. For the vexed concept of the baroque in literature, see the classic studies by René Wellek, “The Concept of the Baroque in Literature,” in Concepts of Criticism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963); Odette de Mourgues, Metaphysical, Baroque & Précieux Poetry (Oxford: Clarendon, 1953); and Frank J. Warnke, Versions of Baroque: European Literature in the Seventeenth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972). Not too long ago the eminent Renaissance scholar John M. Steadman revisited the problem of delimiting the baroque in Redefining a Period Style: “Renaissance,” “Mannerist” and “Baroque” in Literature (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1990). And about the same time Timothy Hampton introduced Baroque, 1–6, and concluded that, whether the term is used to refer to the literature of a specific period or generalized to refer to a tendency in art, it remains indeterminate—or perhaps I would say, overdetermined.

2. J. M. Cohen, The Baroque Lyric (London: Hutchinson University Library, 1963), 14.

3. The Baroque: Literature and Culture in Seventeenth-Century Europe (London: Methuen, 1978), viii.


1. See Allen, Mysteriously Meant; The Rediscovery of Pagan Symbolism and Allegorical Interpretation in the Renaissance (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1970). The phrase itself, of course, is Milton’s own.

2. Kelley, This Great Argument: A Study of Milton’s De Doctrina Christiana as a Gloss upon Paradise Lost (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1941), 94–106.

3. Fowler provided the notes for Paradise Lost in Fowler and John Carey,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Baroque in English Neoclassical Literature


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 252

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?