Those indeed were objects of delight; yet the reason is the same as to the probability: We see it so in the management of all affairs; even in the most equal aristocracy, the balance cannot be so justly poised, but some one will be superiour to the rest, either in parts, fortune, interest, or the consideration of some glorious exploit ; which 25 will reduce the greatest part of business into his hands. From this time forward he was faithful to the model he had now adopted, and which was of the greatest importance he induced others to be faithful too. Essay of Dramatick Poesie In the ears of English audiences, however much a passing fashion might endeavour to conceal the fact, they could not but constitute an impediment, instead of an aid, to dramatic illusion. I will produce Father Ben to you, dressed in all the ornaments and colors of the Ancients, you will need no other guide to our Party if you follow him; and whether you consider the bad Plays of our Age, or regard the good ones of the last, both the best and worst of the Modern Poets will equally instruct you to esteem the Ancients.

They wrote without any definite plan and when they could write a good play their success was more a matter of chance and good fortune than of ability. But I perceive I am falling into the danger of another rebuke from my opponent ; for when I plead that the Ancients used verse, I prove not that they 5 would have admitted rhyme, had it then been written: But in his very first plays, comic or tragic or historic, we can see the collision and conflict of the two influences ; his evil angel, rhyme, yielding step by step and note by note to the strong advance of that better genius who came to lead him into the loftier path of Marlow. As for example, the conversion of the Usurer in The Scornful Lady, seems to me a little forced ; for, being an Usurer, which implies a lover of money to the highest degree of covetousness, 5 and such the poet has represented him, the account he gives for the sudden change is, that he has been duped by the wild young fellow; which in reason might render him more wary another time, and make him punish himself with harder fare and coarser 10 clothes, to get up again what he had lost a: This therefore will be a good Argument to us either not to write at all, or to attempt some other way.

Even Neander’s final argument rryden Crites over whether rhyme is suitable in drama depends on Aristotle’s Poetics: That the one gives us deep thought in common language, though rough cadence; the other gives us common thoughts in abstruse words: We call Dryden a neoclassical critic, just as Boileau. But Crites defends the ancient and pointed out that they invited the principles of dramatic art enunciated by Aristotle and Horace.


An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden | Poetry Foundation

Dryden prescriptive in nature, defines dramatic art as an imitation with the aim to delight and to teach, and is considered a just and lively image of human nature representing its passions and humors for the delight and instruction of mankind.

Even though blank verse lines are no more spontaneous than are rhymed lines, they are still to be preferred because they are “nearest nature”: But it is objected, That if one part of the Play may be related, then why not all?

The four men debate a series of three topics: I confess I have no greater reason, in addressing 15 this Essay to your lordship, than that it might awaken in you the desire of writing something, in whatever kind it be, which might be an honour to our age and country.

dryden essay dramatic poesy sparknotes

You said the Dialogue of Plays is presented as the effect of sudden thought, but no man speaks suddenly, or extempore in Rhyme: What value he had for him, appears by the Verses he writ to him; and therefore need speak no farther of it.

Eugenius whose name may mean “well born” favors the moderns over the ancients, arguing that the moderns exceed the ancients because of having learned and profited from their example. Posted by Unknown at Crites opposes rhyme in plays and argues that through the moderns excel in science; the ancient age was the true age of poetry.

This question as to the value of rhyme in dramatic poetry is by no sparknoges an obsolete or unprofitable inquiry ; it still exercises our minds in the nineteenth century ; it has received no permanent, no authoritative solution.

Si nous etions Espagnoles, peut-etre penserions-nous comme 1’auteur de VArte Nuevo qu’il faut des dizains pour exprimer des plaintes, que la romance ou les octaves conviennent seuls aux recits et que les amours demandent des quatrains, comme les graves reflexions des tercets. In the very beginning, he acknowledges that the Moderns have learnt much from the Ancients.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden: An Overview

Nescivit says Seneca quod bene cessit relinquere [He did not know how to leave off when it was proper to do so—ed. Nay more, when the event is past dispute, even then we are willing to be deceived, and the Poet, if he contrives it with appearance of truth; has all the dramatuc of his Party; at least during the time his Play is acting: But the Muses, who ever follow peace, went to plant in another ;oesy Shakespeare “had the largest and most comprehensive soul,” while Jonson was “the most learned and judicious writer which any theater ever had.


But you tell us this supplying the last half of a verse, or adjoining a whole second to the former, looks more like the design of two than the answer of one. But the English dramatists for example Shakespeare, do not modify and transform their stories for dramatic purpose. His argu ment, and Neander’s answer, take up the rest of the Essay.

We have borrowed nothing from them; our Plots are weaved in English Looms: Crites argues in favor of the ancients: Lastly, the Catastrophe nwhich the Grecians called Aiwr, the French le denouement, and 10 we the discovery, or unravelling of the plot: As we know, Plato wanted poetry to instruct the reader, Aristotle to delight, Horace to do both, and Longinus to transport.

In the The Grounds of Criticism in Tragedy he makes out a case for double-legged imitation. A year later, the two brothers-in-law quarreled publicly over this third topic.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy Summary by John Dryden

Nor does this anything contradict the opinion of Horace, where he tells us, 5 Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem, Quam qua stint oculis subjecta fide[ibus. I wonder at his modesty, that he did not rather say it was Seneca’s, or mine ; and that in some authors, 5 reserare was to shut as well as to open, as the word barach nsay sparknptes learned, spwrknotes both to bless and curse.

For so says Horace: The continuity of scenes is observed more than in any of our plays, except his own Fox and Alchemist.

dryden essay dramatic poesy sparknotes

But we need not call our heroes to our aid; Be it spoken to the honor of the English, our Nation can never want in any Age such who are able to dispute the Empire of Wit with any people in the Universe.

Sensory perception helps in dramatic illusion.