Definition of Neoclassicism
First of all, it is mandatory to know about the etymology of the word Neoclassicism. The term Neoclassicism is a combination of two words: Neo and Classic. The word neo has been derived from a Greek word neos, which means young or new, while the word classic, according to the Webster Dictionary, refers to the style and works of the ancient authors of Greece and Rome. To combine these words, we get the meaning of Neoclassicism as the rebirth and restoration of Classicism. Hence, Neoclassicism is the movement in the history of English literature, which laid immense emphasis on revival of the classical spirit during the period between 1680 and 1750 in the age of Pope and Dryden. It is a prototype of Classicism. Writers of this period immensely endeavoured to follow the footpaths of the writers of the period of Augustus, emperor of Rome, which produced unparalleled writers as Horace, Virgil and Ovid. That is the reason; the age of Pope and Dryden is also called Augustan Age.
Neoclassical Poetry is a type of poetry, which follows the pattern of poetry authored by the poets of ancient time i.e., Greek and Rome. Pope and Dryden were the leading writers, who deviated from the traditional schools of poetry and sought guidance in the works of ancient Greek and Roman writers. They tried to follow the writers of the antiquity in letter and spirit in the Augustan Age.
According to Britannica Encyclopaedia:
"Classicism and Neoclassicism, in the arts, historical tradition or aesthetic attitudes based on the art of Greece and Rome in antiquity. In the context of the tradition, Classicism refers either to the art produced in antiquity or to later art inspired by that of antiquity; Neoclassicism always refers to the art produced later but inspired by antiquity. Thus the terms Classicism and Neoclassicism are often used interchangeably."