The worst offender is ‘the false Achitophel’ (l. 150), who backs ‘the Peoples Cause, / Against the Crown’ (ll. The 18th century was one in which exaltation of wit and reason came to the forefront of literature in the form of both Horatian and Juvenalian satires, which, through keen observation and sharp nimbleness of thought, exposed the superficial follies and moral corruption of … He certainly had finished it by 1678, though it circulated in manuscript until unauthorized publication in 1682. I. Dryden. The Discourse has its own implied satiric targets, too; it is not just an exercise in satiric theory. Charles II (‘Godlike David’), in Dryden’s telling, has been so merciful that rebels grow ambitious to undermine the present government and the right order of things. Should onely rule, who most resembles me: As in Mac Flecknoe, Dryden shows his talent for personal attack. As in the previous reign, he writes as a loyalist, an establishment man and a staunch defender of the status quo. 1029–31). 100–03). Mac Flecknoe literally means the son of Flecknoe. He was the greatest poet during this period. Political Satire: Absalom and Achitophel, Part I. He was made Poet Laureate in 1668. Though he died in 1700, John Dryden is usually considered a writer of the 18th rather than the 17th century. After their passing, the dawning “Age of Sensibility” discouraged the often harsh and caustic tone of the Augustans, and satire was rendered gentler and more diffuse. Volume VIII. Beginning most likely in the summer of 1676, Dryden wrote one of the two greatest satires in English against rival poets, Mac Flecknoe (the other is Pope’s Dunciad, 1728—1743). The final political satire is Mac Flecknoe, which was directed against Shadwell, the leading Whig poet of the day. He established the heroic couplet as a standard form of English poetry by writing successful satires, religious pieces, fables, epigrams, compliments, prologues, and plays with it; he also introduced the alexandrine and triplet into the form. Satire become popular in the age of Dryden and Pope. Usage terms © National Portrait Gallery, LondonHeld by© National Portrait Gallery. Not only does he imagine his target as a ‘neglected Author,’ but also as an ephemeral – though dangerous – one. It would not serve any purpose to dwell upon the general morigeration of Dryden, who, in this as in other respects, was “hurried down” the times in which he lived, to the leaders of politics and fashion, to the king’s ministers, … The Rape of the Lock (1714) is a satirical jumbling up of in an world of Belles and Beaus. The Restoration poetry was mostly satirical, realistic and written in the heroic couplet, of which Dryden was the supreme master. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). Dryden was an English poet, playwright, and critic. Your views could help shape our site for the future. Or are there other impulses behind his work? Full civilliberty Puritans want thepurity of life. Absalom and Achitophel is a piece of very serious propaganda, more obviously ‘defensive’ than Mac Flecknoe, and its effectiveness depends upon prejudicial character sketches, ad hominem (to the person) satire meant to damage the credibility of popular leaders. The restoration of King Charles II in 1660 marks the beginning of a new era both in the life and the literature of England. In an oft-quoted passage, Dryden alludes to the fact that the leaves of unsold works were recycled in bakers’ shops and outhouses (outdoor toilets): From dusty shops neglected Authors come, Martyrs of Pies, and Reliques of the Bum. The Restoration Age is essentially the age of satire. We see in this poem the elegans and the emptiness, the meanness and the vanity, the jealousies, treacheries and intrigues of the social life of the aristocracy of the 18th century. A high percentage of the satire written in the 1670s is personal, heated and abusive, and Mac Flecknoe â Drydenâs first major satire â is no exception Absalom and Achitophel is a landmark poetic political satire by John Dryden. The villain of the play is the dictatorial tyrant Zeus, who assumes Amphitryon’s shape in order to sleep with his wife; when the treachery is revealed, Zeus’s response amounts to ‘What are you going to do about it?’ The play ends with no resolution: Amphitryon’s wife has been wronged; Amphitryon is furious; that their relationship will survive is unclear; and Zeus is thoroughly unrepentant. She is the author of The Practice of Satire in England, 1650–1770 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013) and Swift and History: Politics and the English Past (Cambridge University Press, 2015), as well as several articles in journals such as The Review of English Studies, The Huntington Library Quarterly, Modern Philology, Eighteenth-century Life, and Swift Studies. The Restoration refers to period of time at which Charles II began his rule of England following the Cromwell's Commonwealth and Protectorate period that ensued after the beheading of Charles I. Ans. Mac Flecknoe and Absalom and Achitophel were both written while Dryden was Poet Laureate under King Charles II, and scholars have tended to whitewash both of them – to read them in terms of the high moral rules and theory outlined in the (later) prose work, Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire (1693). The Age of Dryden: Volume Eight of The Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes: 1907-21 John Dryden (1631-1700) Alexander Pope (1688-1744) Restoration Period (1660-1688) Augustan Age (1690-1744) John Dryden and Alexander Pope were Restoration period and Augustan Age poets. Dryden's dictum for designing a perfect satire is “that it ought only to treat of one subject; to be confined to one particular theme; or at least to one principally. The first half timeperiod of the 17th century is considered as Puritan age. Therefore, wheresover Juvenal mentions Nero, he means Domitian, whom he dares not attack in his own Person, but Scourges him by Proxy. Satire in English literature The period from the Restoration to the middle of the eighteenth century, comprising the ages of Dryden and Pope, was the rich flowering time of satirical literature. Top subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History, Latest answer posted November 19, 2015 at 6:59:23 AM, Latest answer posted August 15, 2011 at 9:57:26 PM, Latest answer posted August 17, 2011 at 11:56:09 PM. Usually the satire is directed against an opponent/enemy or a political process. Usage terms Public Domain in most countries other than the UK. How is it connected with Dr. Samuel Johnson and John Dryden? In the 18th century satires was at its best. The king himself saw his brother as his rightful successor (the Tory position). Already a member? Log in here. Dryden named Poet Laureate in 1668 by King Charles II, as he was pleased and happy with Drydenâs work. Under James II (r. 1685–88), Dryden remained Poet Laureate and a favourite of the king. The poem has come to be seen as a noble critical appraisal of a cultural and sociopolitical crisis of values – a defensive rather than offensive venture. It reflects, primarily, its author’s desire to make what had become in England a disreputable form of writing – often crude, vicious, ephemeral – into a creditable artistic mode. He was the dominating figure of the Restoration period, and he made his mark in the fields of poetry, drama and prose. Ashley Marshall is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, where she specialises in British literature of the long eighteenth century. May 1] 1700) was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator and playwright, who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. The Restoration Age is essentially the age of satire. He was a master craftsman of tremendous literary talent and ambition, and no doubt he was motivated by a desire to uphold the values that he thought were under attack – but his satire is often uncompromisingly political and circumstantial, and he could most certainly play dirty. Walter Scott called him "Glorious John." Ans. A high percentage of the satire written in the 1670s is personal, heated and abusive, and Mac Flecknoe – Dryden’s first major satire – is no exception. Dryden was the imitator of this great age of satire while Swift, Addition, Steele and Pope brought it to perfection. Sh------- alon, of all my Sons, is he Dryden was born to a Puritan family in Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire, and was educated at Westminster School and at the University of cambridge. KingJames I was ruling during the Puritan period. Using references from one poem from each writer, discuss how and why each uses satire and wit as a cutting sword. ” John Dryden and Jonathan Swift became remarkable satirists through their ability to cleverly entwine political innuendos into their writings. Eleonora (1692) uses a seemingly innocent elegy for a countess to convey – very indirectly – criticism of the present regime. (4:69), Nowhere does Dryden name William, but in praising Juvenal Dryden aligns himself with the wrathful critic of tyranny – and as this passage suggests, he is encouraging readers to understand the difference between who is named and who is meant. Walter Scott named him "Glorious John." § 21. Dryden’s satire under William III is vastly different – not in terms of core values, but in terms of technique and the nature of his satiric enterprise.