The French dramatists interweave truth with fiction to make it interesting bringing elements that lead to fate and borrow from history to reward the virtuous which he was earlier deprived of. I answer you therefore, by distinguishing betwixt what is nearest to the nature of Comedy, which is the imitation of common persons and ordinary speaking, and what is nearest the nature of a serious Play: I answer, Some parts of the action are more fit to be represented, some to be related. He was educated at Westminister School under the famous headmastership of Dr. But to do this always, and never be able to write a line without it, though it may be admired by some few Pedants, will not pass upon those who know that wit is best conveyed to us in the most easy language; and is most to be admired when a great thought comes dressed in words so commonly received that it is understood by the meanest apprehensions, as the best meat is the most easily digested:

Crites opposes rhyme in plays and argues that through the moderns excel in science; the ancient age was the true age of poetry. I can assure you he is, this day, the envy of a great person, who is Lord in the Art of Quibbling; and who does not take it well, that any man should intrude so far into his Province. In these, you say, the Majesty of Verse suffers. Art History Descriptions John Dryden: Farther, as to that quotation of Aristotle, our Couplet Verses may be rendered as near Prose as blank verse it self, by using those advantages I lately named, as breaks in a Hemistich, or running the sense into another line, thereby making Art and Order appear as loose and free as Nature:

Instead, they make proper selection. Crites objects to rhyme in plays: Log In Sign Up.

Literary Theory Essay on Dryden’s ‘an Essay on Dramatic Poesy’ | Free Essays –

Dryden was both a writer and a critic and he had rather a dogmatic bent. He praises may fit the poetry as well. The age of Dryden roughly spans the period from the restoration of Charles II in to vives year He makes us see the achievement of the Ancients and the gratitude of the Moderns to them.


drydens an essay of dramatic poesy gives us his views on

The Master piece of Seneca I hold to be that Scene in the Troadeswhere Ulysses is seeking for Astyanax to kill him; There you see the tenderness of a Mother, so represented in Andromache, that it raises compassion to a high degree in the Reader, and bears the nearest resemblance of any thing in their Tragedies to the excellent Scenes of Passion in Shakespeare, or in Fletcher: He asks him to find relative merit in Greeks and Moderns.

He was the further becomes clear that a base imitation will not serve the first man to draw attention to the higher function of criticism ends of poetry instruction is secondary while delight is the which is the appreciation of positive literary excellences.

Latin verse was as great a confinement to the imagination of those Poets, as Rhyme to ours: Walking thence together to the Piazze they parted there; Eugenius and Lysideius to some pleasant appointment they had made, and Crites and Neander to their several Lodgings.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden: An Overview

According to Dryden, the poet is neither a teacher nor a bare imitator — like a photographer — but a creator, one who, with life or Nature as his raw material, creates new things altogether resembling the original.

Then they had their Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher. He complains that the Ancients were either tragedians or comedians, and that it is easier to attain perfection in this way, writing only the kind of thing one does best. Unity of tragedy, comedy and poetry. The neoclassical era is not particularly sensitive to originality and invention, but Dryden believes that originality is to be preferred to good imitation, and is a greater proof of genius.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy

When we see death represented we are convinced it is but Fiction; but when we hear it related, our eyes the strongest witnesses are wanting, which might have undeceived us; and we are all willing to favor the sleight when the Poet does not too grossly impose upon us. There is scarce one of them without a veil, and a trusty Diego, who drolls much after the rate of The Adventures.


The tragic-comedy with rssay greater action and supported by Eugeniusz and the respective merits of French variety of characters suit the genius of the English people. The French follow this rule in practice and so avoid much of the tumult of the English plays by reducing their plots to reasonable limits.

Further, he suggests that English plays are more entertaining and instructive because they offer an element zn surprise that the Ancients and the French do not. He was educated at Westminister School under the famous headmastership of Dr. Wit and Language, and Humor also in some measure we had before him; but something of Art was wanting to the Drama till he came.

However, instead of telling about the virtues dryvens moderns, he criticises the faults of Classical playwrights. Indignatur enim privatis, et prope socco.

Literary Theory Essay on Dryden’s ‘an Essay on Dramatic Poesy’

Had Cain been Scot God would have changed his doom; Not forced him wander, but confined him home. Is there anything in rhyme more constrained than this line in blank verse? Dryden died inand na buried in Westminster Abbey. Does not the eye pass from an unpleasant object to a pleasant in a much shorter time than is required to this?

drydens an essay of dramatic poesy gives us his views on

For you hear your Horace saying. Ddamatic Dryden occupies a rare position in the history of English literature; he was the greatest man of letters in his age as he was also the greatest critic in his country. But you foresaw when you said this, that it might be answered; neither does any man speak in blank verse, or in measure without rhyme.

Though he died inJohn Dryden is usually considered a writer of the 18th rather than the 17th century. Help Center Find new research papers in: