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John Dryden 1631-1700.

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Presentation on theme: "John Dryden 1631-1700."— Presentation transcript:

1 John Dryden

2 Poet and Critic He wrote plays until the plague closed the play houses. 1668 Wrote “An Essay on Dramatic Poesy” argued to be his best work written as a discussion between 4 men.

3 Dryden He aimed at expressing his thoughts in the most precise and concentrated way possible. Although he uses formal poetic structures such as heroic stanzas and heroic couplets, he tried to achieve the rhythms of speech. He appreciates Verisimilitude

4 Faults His reasoning is flawed by this need to flatter
He relied on both authority and common sense and when they did not coincide, he had a hard time deciding which to believe.

5 Dryden Invited to be part of the Royal Society in 1662.
He did not pay his dues and was not active and thus kicked out in 1666. The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, known simply as The Royal Society, is a learned society for science that was founded in 1660

6 Dramatic Poesy The classical unities are rules for drama derived from Aristotle. In their neoclassical form they are as follows: The unity of action: a play should have one main action that it follows, with no or few subplots. The unity of place: a play should cover a single physical space and should not attempt to compress geography, nor should the stage represent more than one place. The unity of time: the action in a play should take place over no more than 24 hours.

7 Poesy The main point of Dryden's essay seems to be a valuation of becoming (the striving, nature-imitating, large scope of tragicomedy and Shakespeare) over being (the static perfection of the ideal-imitating Classical/French/Jonsonian drama).

8 Poesy Five issues: 1)Ancients vs. Moderns 2) Unities 3) French vs. English Drama 4) Separation of Tragedy and Comedy vs. Tragicomedy 5) Appropriateness of Rhyme in Drama

9 What did you think?

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