But that the Poet might entertain you with more variety all this while, he reserves some new Characters to show you, which he opens not till the second and third Act. Writer you ever read: Yet this Argument, if granted, would only prove that we may write better in Verse, but not more naturally. In the characterization they imitates nature. Crites objects to rhyme in plays: On the language of the ancients: He belived that rhyme is only allwed in comedies not in a serious play.

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. We call Dryden a neoclassical critic, just as Boileau. For a Play is the imitation of Nature; and since no man, without premeditation speaks in Rhyme, neither ought he to do it on the Stage; this hinders not but the Fancy may be there elevated to a higher pitch of thought than it is in ordinary discourse: But a long sober shower gives them leisure to run out as they came in, without troubling the ordinary current. Dryden on The Nature of Poetry 1. Similarly the French are more skilled than the Ancients. Elizabethan dramatized had used blank verse for their play on the other land restorations used rhymed verse or heroic couplet as weapon of expression of tragedy.

John Dryden: An Essay of Dramatic Poesy

Dryden carried out his critical thoughts effectively, stating his own ideas but leaving some room for difference of opinion. Eugenius, Crites, Lisideius and Neander d. French poetry more beautiful than English. When his famous Poem first came out in the year, I have seen them reading it in the midst of Change-time; many so vehement they were at it, that they lost their bargain by the Candles ends: Another, reason behind the superiority of French play is play Wright devote themselves to one single passion and they portray very well.

drydens essay on dramatic poesy analysis

Elizabethan dramatized had drydnes blank verse for their play on the other land restorations used rhymed verse or heroic couplet as weapon of expression of tragedy. One fault he finds in their plots is that the regularity also makes the plays too much alike.


And you inferred from thence, that Rhyme, which you acknowledge to be proper to Epic Poesy cannot equally be proper to Dramatick, unless we could suppose all men born so much more than Poets, that verses should be made in them, not by them.

Abalysis these, you say, the Majesty of Verse suffers. Neander questions this assumption and replies to it by saying why should he imagine the soul of man more heavy than his senses?

They strictly adhere to the poetic justice i. Just and lively image of human nature, representing its passions and humours, and the changes of fortune to which it is subject, for the delight and instruction of mankind. Perhaps, French plays, are regular but not as lively.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy

V What does Dryden put emphasis on? That it is the greatest perfection of Art drydend keep it self undiscovered. The third unity, that of action, requires that the play “aim at one great and complete action”, but the English have all kinds poesj sub-plots which destroy the unity of the action. No man is tied in modern Poesy to observe any farther rule in the feet of his verse, but that they be disyllables; whether Spondee, Trochee, or Iambic, it matters not; only he is obliged to rhyme: 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: In presenting his argument, Dryden takes up the subject that Philip Sidney had set forth in his Defence of Poesie in Homer described his Heroes men of great appetites, lovers of beef broiled upon the coals, and good fellows; contrary to the practice of the French Romances, whose Heroes neither eat, nor drink, nor sleep, for love.

In Catiline you may see the Parliament of Women; the little envies of them to one another; and all that passes betwixt Curio and Fulvia: This French drama having single plot lacks this vividness.


Both sadness as well as joy are heightened and are set side by side.

drydens essay on dramatic poesy analysis

He also gives reason for considering English best English are best at lively imagination of nature? He finds single action dtamatic French dramas to be rather inadequate since it so often has a narrowing and cramping effect. At first, Morose, or an old Man, to whom all noise but his own talking is offensive. Text and notes, unless otherwise indicated, are adapted from Essays of John Drydened. For the Genius of every Age is different; and though ours excel in this, I deny not but that to imitate Nature in that perfection which they did in Prose, is a greater commendation than to write in verse exactly.

Dryden is a neoclassic critic, and as such he deals in his criticism with issues of form abalysis morality in drama. drydenw

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden: An Overview

I deny not but this may suit well enough with the French; for as we, who are a more sullen people, come to be diverted at our Plays; they who are of an airy and gay temper come thither to make themselves more serious: XI Whose plays are over loaded with sub-plots?

He later went to Trinity College, Cambridge. The third unity, that of action, requires that the play “aim at one great and complete action”, but the English have all kinds of sub-plots which destroy the unity of the action. Instead of providing the necessary information to the audience through dialogues the Ancients often do so through monologues. Violent actions take place off stage and are told by messengers rather than showing them in real.