John dryden essay on satire

John Dryden — English poet, critic, playwright, and translator.

John dryden essay on satire

A Song for St. Cecilia's Day The Works of Virgil Overview Regarded by many scholars as the father of modern English poetry and criticism, John Dryden dominated literary life in England during the last four decades of the seventeenth century.

Although initially famous for his plays, Dryden is today highly regarded for his critical writings as well as his satirical and didactic poems. Throughout his lengthy, varied career, Dryden fashioned a vital, concise, and refined language that served as a foundation for the writers of English prose and verse who followed him.

He grew up during the seven-year-long English Civil Wara conflict between the Puritans, who wanted to abolish the monarchy, and the Royalists, who supported the monarchy. A royal scholarship allowed Dryden to attend Westminster School, where he received a classical education and published his first poem.

The Puritans came to power under Oliver Cromwell indeposing the monarchy and executing King Charles I not a half mile from where Dryden was studying.

It is believed that Dryden's lifelong concern for political stability was John dryden essay on satire result of growing up during the war. InDryden began studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree. Published First Poems Following Cromwell's death and during the short-lived government of Cromwell's son Richard, Dryden published Heroique Stanzaa group of verses that portray Cromwell as the architect of a great new age.

In the following years, Dryden continued to publish politically oriented poems, including the notable Astraea Redux This poem celebrated Charles II's return from exile and restoration to the English throne. Dryden's change of position instigated attacks in later years by his literary enemies, who charged him with political inconsistency and selfish motivation.

Popular Playwright Dryden next began a career as a playwright. The Indian EmperourDryden's sequel to The Indian Queen, represents his first entirely original play and was written wholly in rhymed couplets. It was extremely popular. The bubonic plague a then common infectious bacterial disease that attacks the lungs and lymph nodes and is spread by overcrowding and poor sanitationwhich had begun to spread during the same winter, also ravaged London the following spring.

Because of these situations, theaters were closed by royal order in Juneand they remained so until December of Dryden's first important piece of criticism, Of Dramatick Poesie, was published inbut probably written in —, when he moved with his family to the country to avoid the plague.

Dryden's essay, which examines and challenges theatrical notions, remains the best-known example of his prose, primarily because it is his only freestanding essay not written to commemorate a specific occasion. He soon returned to writing plays and also took on an important post for his country.

Although he had yet to write any of the poems for which he is chiefly remembered today, he had done all the right things, in all the right ways, to make himself the logical choice for the post.

Byhe was England's leading playwright—in alone, five of his plays were in production on the London stage. He showed himself to be a loyal defender of the court in Annus Mirabilisa poem about the naval campaign during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and the Great Fire of London, which had destroyed much of London in The poem demonstrates his skills at political argument and effectively defends the court against those who blamed disaster on royal immorality.


Dryden even lent the king five hundred pounds—a large sum, considering that the stipend for poet laureate was one hundred pounds per year. Dryden wrote his longest piece of literary criticism, Of Dramatick Poesie, in as well.

Shortly thereafter, he reconsidered his earlier arguments in favor of rhymed play and adopted blank verse, or unrhymed metered poetry.

All for Love; or, The World Well Lostadapted from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra and written in blank verse, was a great success and solidified Dryden's reputation as the most talented and accomplished writer of the time.

In fact, All for Love, performed inwas so highly regarded that it displaced the original Shakespearean play from the English stage for a century.

Dryden was part owner of the Bridges Street Theatre, which was destroyed by a fire on January 25, He had to contribute toward the construction of a new theater and scene house, and his company was at a serious disadvantage while waiting for those facilities to be constructed.

John dryden essay on satire

Satire in Later Poems The Popish Plot —81a thwarted attempt by the Earl of Shaftesbury and others to exclude Charles's Catholic brother, James, from the English throne, provided Dryden with the topic for what critics consider his greatest work, Absalom and Achitophel This poem is a satirical attack on Shaftesbury and his confederates.

This work launched a phase of satirical and didactic verse that directly influenced the development of Augustan poetry in the next century, especially that of Alexander Pope. Dryden's first major satire was followed in by Mac Flecknoe, a mock-heroic poem.

John dryden essay on satire

Related to Absalom and Achitophel in tone, Mac Flecknoe displays Dryden's mastery of word order, rhythm, and cunning verbal attack.

The same year, he debuted a shorter, more serious satiric poem titled The Medall, which again was aimed at Shaftesbury, who escaped sentencing for treason. As political and religious matters repeatedly overlapped in Dryden's time, an era much concerned with the question of whether Protestant or Roman Catholic monarchs were the legitimate rulers of Britain, it is not surprising that Dryden also began to address religious issues during this period of national turmoil.

Religio Laici; or, A Layman's Faith appeared when new plots to assassinate the king were being formed. In this poem, Dryden proclaimed a compromise between Anglicans and the Roman Catholic belief in the absolute authority of the pope, clearly expressing the king's stance in favor of religious toleration.

Catholic Convert InJames II ascended the English throne and soon enacted a declaration of toleration, placing many of his sympathizers in high government positions. Within the first year of James's reign, Dryden converted from Protestantism to Catholicism.

Once he converted, the man who had argued for the Anglican cause in Religio Laici daringly published a poem arguing for the Catholic cause, The Hind and the Panther Written about and published in Mac Flecknoe (full title: Mac Flecknoe; or, A satyr upon the True-Blew-Protestant Poet, T.S.[1]) is a verse mock-heroic satire written by John Dryden.

It is a direct attack on Thomas Shadwell, another prominent poet of the time. and Progress of Satire John Dryden Edited by Jack Lynch. From The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis: Essay of Dramatick Poesy Dryden's Essay of Dramatic Poesy is one of his most important works of criticism.

Johnson Ben Jonson, playwright and contemporary of Shakespeare. Horace. and Progress of Satire John Dryden Edited by Jack Lynch. John Dryden. Notes Titus Vespasian Titus Vespasian, Roman Emperor from A.D. 69 to 79, known as a beloved ruler. Essay of Dramatick Poesy Dryden's Essay of Dramatic Poesy is one of his most important works of criticism.

Johnson Ben Jonson, playwright and contemporary of Shakespeare. John Dryden's critical essays foreshadow the satire of which eighteenth-century writer? - /5(27). The correct answer of this question is option C. Essays of John Dryden foreshadow the satire of Samuel Johnson.

According to Johnson, Dryden has the ability to create a refined poetry using rough words.4/4(12). Dryden on Satire Essay Sample The following handout is an abridged version of John Dryden’s A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire (). You must read this document carefully.

John Dryden |