Dryden, Mac Flex, Elizabeth discussed on Harvard Classics

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Introductory note the age of elizabeth memorable for so many reasons in the history of england was especially brilliant in literature and within literature and the drama with some falling off in spontaneity. The impulse to great dramatic production lasted till the long parliament closed the theatres in sixteen forty two and when they were reopened at the restoration in sixteen sixty the stage only to faithfully reflected the debased moral tone of the court society of charles. The second john dryden six thirty one to seventeen hundred. The great representative figure in the literature of the latter part of the seventeenth century exemplifies in his work most of the main tendencies of the time he came into notice with a poem on the death of cromwell in sixteen fifty. Eight and two years later was composing couplets expressing his loyalty to the return. King he married lady. Elizabeth howard the daughter of a royalist house and for practically all the rest of his life. Remained an adherent of the tory party in sixteen sixty three. He began writing for the stage and during the next thirty years he attempted. Nearly all the current forms of drama his annus mirabilis sixteen sixty six celebrating. The english naval victories over the dutch brought him in sixteen seventy the poet laureate chip. He had meantime begun the writing of those admirable. Critical essays represented in the present series by his preface to the fables and his dedication to the translation of virgil in. These shows himself not only a critic of sound and penetrating judgment. But the first master of modern english prose style with absalom and a cheeto full a satire on the whig leader shaftesbury dryden entered a new phase and achieved what is regarded as the finest of all political satires. This was followed by the metal again directed against the whigs. And this by mac flex a fierce attack on his enemy and rival chadwell. The government rewarded his services by a lucrative appointment after triumphing in the three fields of drama criticism and satire. dryden appears next. As a religious poet in his religio lacey an exposition of the doctrines of the church of england from a layman's point of view in the same year that the catholic james the second ascended the throne dryden joined the roman church in two years later defended his new religion in the hind and the panther an allegorical debate between two animals standing respectively for catholicism and anglicanism the revolution of sixteen eighty eight put an end to dryden's prosperity and after a short return to dramatic composition. He turned two translation as a means of supporting himself. He had already done something in this line. And after a series of translations from juvenile perseus and of it he undertook at the age of sixty three the enormous task of turning the entire works of virgil into english. Verse how he succeeded in this readers of the any it in a companion volume of these classics can judge for themselves. Dryden's production closes with the collection of narrative poems called fables published in seventeen hundred in which year he died and was buried in the poet's corner in westminster abbey. Dryden lived in an age of reaction against excessive religious idealism and both his character and his works are marked by the somewhat unheard roic traits of such a period but he was on the whole an honest man. Open-minded genial candidate and modest. The wielder of style both in verse and prose unmatched clearness vigor and sanity. Three types of comedy appeared in england in the time of dryden. The comedy of humor's the comedy of intrigue and the comedy of manners and in all heated dryden's work classed him with the ablest. He developed the somewhat bombastic type of drama known as the heroic play and brought it to its height in his conquest of granada then becoming dissatisfied with this form he cultivated the french classic tragedy on the model of racine this. He modified by combining the regularity of the french treatment of dramatic action or richness of characterization in which he showed himself a disciple of shakespeare and of this mixed type his best example as all for love here. He has the daring to challenge comparison with his master and the greatest testimony to his achievement. As the fact that as professor noise has said fresh from shakespeare's antony and cleopatra we can still read with intense pleasure dryden's version of the story..

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