John Dryden Essays Essay Hamlet Question
Although some of the statements made in the preface were later qualified in response to Dryden’s encounters with other classical authors, the themes and issues articulated in this text can be said to form the basis of Dryden’s reflection on translation, and to establish the main tenets of Augustan translation discourse.
However, although the significance of the preface to It remains that I should say somewhat of Poetical Translations in general, and give my Opinion (with submission to better Judgments) which way of Version seems to me most proper.
John Dryden’s An Essay on Dramatic Poesy presents a brief discussion on Neo-classical theory of Literature.
He defends the classical drama saying that it is an imitation of life and reflects human nature clearly.
Crites opposes rhyme in plays and argues that though the moderns excel in sciences, the ancient age was the true age of poetry.
Lisideius defends the French playwrights and attacks the English tendency to mix genres.
But the Parliament made him revoke all his acts and even tried to make him disinherit his Catholic brother James from the throne.
Dryden thus argues against the neo-classical critics.An Essay on Dramatic Poesy is written in the form of a dialogue among four gentlemen: Eugenius, Crites, Lisideius and Neander. Eugenius favours modern English dramatists by attacking the classical playwrights, who did not themselves always observe the unity of place.But Crites defends the ancients and points out that they invited the principles of dramatic art paved by Aristotle and Horace.Neander speaks in favour of the Moderns and respects the Ancients; he is however critical of the rigid rules of dramas and favours rhyme.Neander who is a spokesperson of Dryden, argues that ‘tragic-comedy’ (Dryden’s phrase for what we now call ‘tragi-comedy’) is the best form for a play; because it is closer to life in which emotions are heightened by mirth and sadness.He also finds subplots as an integral part to enrich a play.He finds single action in French dramas to be rather inadequate since it so often has a narrowing and cramping effect.He was a staunch Catholic and wanted to restore Catholicism in the country.He was a tyrant and his rule demonstrated the rise of Roman Catholics to every key position in the country.Also called the Restoration Period, this was an era of change in political and social as well as in literary fields.In politics the period saw the reign of three rulers, two dynasties and a revolution.