John dryden essay on satire

For the Will is only to be reclaim'd in the one; but the Understanding is to be inform'd in the other. Some sprinklings of this kind Iliad also formerly in my plays; but they were casual, and not designed.

Editor's Introduction

So that Andronicus was the first, who wrote after the manner of the Old Comedy, in his Plays; he was imitated by Ennius, about Thirty Years afterwards. The low Style of Horace, is according to his Subject; that is generally groveling.

Juvenal was as proper for his times, as they for theirs; his was an age that deserved a more severe chastisement; vices were more gross and open, more flagitious, more encouraged by the example of a tyrant, and more protected by his authority.

Dryden's portrayals of Charles II, an inveterate philanderer; his illegitimate son Monmouth, who planned to dethrone his father; and Shaftesbury, the chief orchestrator of the Popish Plot; are admired by critics not only for their liveliness but for the judicious manner in which they are presented.

I see not why Persius shou'd call upon Brutus, to revenge him on his Adversary: Heinsius urges in praise of Horace, that, according to the ancient art and law of satire, it should be nearer to comedy than tragedy; not declaiming against vice, but only laughing at it.

Here is the difference of no less than seven syllables in a line, betwixt the English and the Latin. His kind of philosophy is one which is the stoic; and every satire is a comment on one particular dogma of that sect, unless we will except the first, which is against bad writers; and yet even there he forgets not the precepts of the Porch.

And this being the manifest defect of Horace, 'tis no wonder, that finding it supply'd in Juvenal, we are more Delighted with him.

John Dryden

So difficult it is, to find any Sense in the former, and the best Sense of the latter. For Ireland he would go; faith, let him reign; For if some odd, fantastic lord would fain Carry in trunks, and all my drudgery do, I'll not only pay him, but admire him too.

In general, all virtues are everywhere to be praised and recommended to practice; and all vices to be reprehended, and made either odious or ridiculous; or else there is a fundamental error in the whole design.

In this work Dryden was once again gilding the royal image and reinforcing the concept of a loyal nation united under the best of kings. Even in the Sixth, which seems only an Arraignment of the whole Sex of Womankind; there is a latent Admonition to avoid Ill Women, by shewing how very few, who are Virtuous and Good, are to be found amongst them.

But sure we all mistake this pious man, Who mortifies his person all he can: Amongst men, those who are prosperously unjust are entitled to a panegyric; but afflicted virtue is insolently stabbed with all manner of reproaches.

When he gives over, 'tis a sign the Subject is exhausted; and the Wit of Man can carry it no farther. Since then, historians have argued that Dryden maintained throughout his life a belief in religious tolerance and moderate government and switched allegiance from the republicans to the royalists in keeping with the majority of the English people.

The clause in the beginning of it, without a series of action, distinguishes satire properly from stage-plays, which are all of one action, and one continued series of action. Therefore, wheresoever Juvenal mentions Nero, he means Domitian, whom he dares not attack in his own person, but scourges him by proxy.

If other vices occur in the management of the chief, they should only be transiently lashed, and not be insisted on, so as to make the design double. Epodes of Horace are to stand excluded. They go down the river to hear the guns at sea, and judge by the sound whether the Dutch fleet be advancing or retreating.

Dryden on Satire Essay Sample

Juvenal is of a more vigorous and Masculine Wit, he gives me as much Pleasure as I can bear: Casaubon has observ'd this before me, in his Preference of Persius to Horace: I will proceed to the versification which is most proper for it, and add somewhat to what I have said already on that subject.

Other Virtues, subordinate to the first, may be recommended, under that Chief Head; and other Vices or Follies may be scourg'd, besides that which he principally intends.

A witty Man is tickl'd while he is hurt in this manner and a Fool feels it not. Anything, though never so little, which a man speaks of himself, in my opinion, is still too much; and therefore I will waive this subject, and proceed to give the second reason which may justify a poet when he writes against a particular person; and that is, when he is become a public nuisance.

Shortly thereafter he published his first important poem, Heroic Stanzasa eulogy on Cromwell's death which is cautious and prudent in its emotional display. There can be no pleasantry where there is no wit; no impression can be made where there is no truth for the foundation.

John Dryden, in his essay “Of Dramatick Poesie” () and other essays, condemned the improbabilities of Shakespeare’s late romances. Shakespeare lacked decorum, in Dryden’s view, largely because he had written for an ignorant age and poorly educated audiences. It is not a belittling form of satire, but rather one which makes his object great in ways which are unexpected, transferring the ridiculous into poetry.

This line Eliot, T. S., "John Dryden", in Selected Essays (London: Faber and Faber, ) Hopkins, David. John Dryden (/ ˈ d r aɪ d ən /; 19 It is not a belittling form of satire, However, in the same essay, Eliot accused Dryden of having a "commonplace mind".

Critical interest in Dryden has increased recently, but, as a relatively straightforward writer (William Empson. John Dryden's critical essays foreshadow the satire of which eighteenth-century writer? - /5(27).

Mac Flecknoe as a Satire

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. Absalom and Achitophel is a landmark political satire by John Dryden.

Dryden marks his satire with a concentrated and convincing poetic style. His satiric verse is majestic, what Pope calls: “The long majestic march and energy divine”.

John Dryden- Absalom and Achitophel Essay Sample

Essay about Absalom and Achitophel.

John dryden essay on satire
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John Dryden | British author |