Dryden an essay on dramatic poesy summary
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An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden: An Overview
John Dryden Excerpt from "Essay Of Dramatick Poesy" ()
John Dryden was an English poet, playwright, and literary critic. Dryden's characters, in a kind of Platonic dialogue, discuss the methods of playwrights both ancient and modern. Through this dialogue a preference for the achievements of the British emerges. Crites, a little while considering upon this demand, told Eugenius he approved his propositions and, if he pleased, he would limit their dispute to dramatic poesy; in which he thought it not difficult to prove either that the Ancients were superior to the Moderns, or the last age to this of ours. Eugenius was somewhat surprised when he heard Crites make choice of that subject. They can produce nothing so courtly writ, or, which expresses so much the conversation of a gentleman, as Sir John Suckling; nothing so even, sweet, and flowing, as Mr Wailer; nothing so majestic, so correct as Sir John Denham; nothing so elevated, so copious, and full of spirit, as Mr Cowley; as for the Italian, French and Spanish plays, I can make it evident that those who now write surpass them; and that the drama is wholly ours. All of them were thus far of Eugenius his opinion that the sweetness of English verse was never understood or practised by our fathers; even Crites himself did not much oppose it: and every one was willing to acknowledge how much our poesy is improved by the happiness of some writers yet living, who first taught us to mould our thoughts into easy and significant words, to retrench the superfluities of expression, and to make our rhyme so properly a part of the verse that it should never mislead the sense, but itself be led and governed by it.
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An Essay of Dramatic Poesy
The powerful and popular rivals like Thomas Shadwell and Richard Flecknoe and the swift changes in the authority of literature, religion and politics pressured Dryden to produce a bunch of literary works that were solely to express his support to either of the groups. An Essay on Dramatic Poesy is a work where he, by using a dialogue device modelled on the ancient masters, brings various critical arguments of his contemporary England regarding dramatic poetry. A seemingly desperate and embarrassing justification of English theatre by Dryden through his alter ego as a fine English man called Neander indicates a period in the British history where not only creating poetry was important but also the marketing of culture and fashioning of new idioms of art. Crites : He represents Sir Robert Howard. He is a person of sharp judgement.
Best Translation Agencies. Search This Blog. The speakers actually contrast Ben Jonson who wrote regular plays and also obeyed all the Classical rules, with William Shakespeare who broke these dramatic rules and unities with great abandon:. Eugenius, as his counterpart favors the moderns over the ancients, arguing that the moderns exceed the ancients because of having learned and profited from their example. Unlike the ancients, moderns have the chance of benefiting from the works of elder generations.
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