Neoclassicism (sometimes rendered as Neo-Classicism or Neo-classicism) is the name given to quite distinct movements in the visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture.

The arts do not always march in step, and "neoclassicism" in English literature is associated with the "Augustan" writers of the early 18th century, all the heirs of John Dryden and Milton. The giant among their inspiring Latin classics was Virgil. Major writers of the period have included Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope. The ensuing period of "Romantic" writers had its origins at the height of neoclassicism in the visual arts, about 1800.

In France, the hallmark of neoclassicism is the theater of Jean Racine, with his balanced lines of verse, restraint in emotion, refinement in diction, without excesses, his artistic consistency, so that the tragic tone was not offset by moments of realism or humor (as in Shakespeare), and his formal adherence to the "three unities" extracted from Aristotle's Poetics.

It should also be noted that there was also a 20th Century literary movement termed neoclassicism. This is a post-World War I movement that rejected the extreme romanticism of (for example) dada, in favour of restraint, religion (specifically Christianity) and a reactionary political programme. Although the foundations for this movement were laid by T.E. Hulme, the most famous neoclassicists were T.S. Eliot and Wyndham Lewis.

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