Images of adolescence in English literature: the middle ages to the modern period.

C. Violato, A. J. Wiley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is argued that modern images of adolescence are also reflected in English literary tradition. Thus, relevant works of the major authors, Chaucer, More, Locke, Shakespeare, Bayly, Milton, Prior, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Hazlitt, and Dickens, are analyzed for their imagery of youth and adolescence. It is concluded that, with minor exceptions, the way that youth are depicted in these works remains remarkably stable over time. The main theme of adolescence throughout these works is that it is a time of turbulence, excess, and passion. This is in consonance with the modern-day view of adolescence as a time of storm and stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-264
Number of pages12
Issue number98
StatePublished - Jun 1990
Externally publishedYes

Cite this