Though its origins were much earlier, Neoclassicism dominated English literature from the Restoration in 1660 until the end of the 18th century. Work of Shakespeare, the novel of sensibility & emergence of Gothic attitudes in the development of a cult of Nature, influence of German romantic thought, rise of Methodism & political events like American & French revolutions established the intellectual & emotional foundations of English Romanticism. Neoclassicism was a reaction against the optimistic, exuberant & enthusiastic Renaissance view of man as a being fundamentally good & possessed of an infinite potential for spiritual & intellectual growth. Neoclassical theorists, saw man as an imperfect being, inherently sinful, whose potential was limited. They replaced the Renaissance emphasis on imagination, on invention & experimentation & mysticism with an emphasis on order & reason, on restraint, on common sense, & on religious, political, economic & philosophical conservatism. They maintained that man himself was the most appropriate subject of art & saw art itself as essentially pragmatic/as valuable because it was somehow useful/as something which was properly intellectual rather than emotional. Hence their emphasis on proper subject matter; & their attempts to subordinate details to an overall design, to employ in their work concepts like symmetry, proportion, unity, harmony & grace, which would facilitate the process of delighting, instructing, educating & correcting the social animal which they believed man to be. Their favorite prose literary forms were the essay, letter, satire, parody, burlesque & moral fable; in poetry, favorite verse form was rhymed couplet, which reached its greatest sophistication in heroic couplet of Pope; theatre saw the development of the heroic drama, melodrama, sentimental comedy & comedy of manners. The fading away of Neoclassicism appeared to represent the last flicker of Enlightenment, but artistic movements never really die.