Dryden an essay of dramatic poesy

Dryden an essay of dramatic poesy

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An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden Summary

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He cites in this context the case of Shakespeare who so deftly exploited elements of the supernatural and elements of popular beliefs and superstitions.

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Of Dramatic Poesie Summary

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He also favors English drama-and has some critical -things to say of French drama:

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An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden: An Overview

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An Essay of Dramatic Poesy

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But you add, that were this let pass, essayy he who wants judgment in the liberty of his fancy, may as well show the defect of it when he is confined to verse:

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It is artificial and the art is too apparent, while true art consists in hiding art. I will not deny but by the variation of painted Scenes, the Dryden an essay of dramatic poesy which in these cases will contribute to its own deceit may sometimes imagine it several places, with some appearance of probability; yet it still carries the greater essay auto biography book of truth, if those places be suppos'd so near each other, as in the same Town or City; which may all be comprehended under the larger Denomination of one place:

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But he is alwayes great, when some great occasion is presented to him:

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V What does Dryden put emphasis on?

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Neander's overall statement on the literary standards is that, the norms can be added to make the work ideal, but the norms will not improve a work which does not contain some degree of perfection. Thunder, or of Swallows in a Chimney:

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Essay on Poetic Theory.

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But he points out that somewhere along the line, and by way of Horace, plays developed five acts the Spanish only 3.

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Dryden is of the view that mingling of the tragic and the comic provides dramatic relief. How many beautifull accidents might naturally happen in two or three dayes, which cannot arrive with any probability in the compass of 24 hours?

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All passions may be lively represented on the Stage, if to the well-writing of them the Actor supplies a good commanded o, and limbs that move easily and without stiffness; but there are many actions which can never be imitated to a just height: Is the sense of the verses tied down to, and limited by, the rhymes, or are the rhymes in service to, and an enhancement of, the sense of the verses?

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Most of their new Plays are like some of ours, derived from the Spanish Novels. His Heautontimoroumenos or Self-Punisher takes up visibly two days; therefore says Scaliger, the two first Acts concluding the first day, were acted over-night; the three essa on the ensuing day:

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They keep their distances as if they were Montagues and Capulets, and seldom begin an acquaintance till the last Scene of the Fifth Act, when they are all to meet upon the Stage.

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In this ridiculous manner the Play goes on, the Stage being never empty all the while:

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For a Play is still an imitation of Nature; we know we are to be deceiv'd, and we desire to be so; but no dryden an essay of dramatic poesy ever was deceiv'd but with a probability of truth, for who will suffer a grose lie to be fasten'd on him? Certainly, to imitate the Essay author her book well, much labor and long study is required:

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Neither was verse then refined so much to be an help to that Age as it is to ours.

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In short, there is no indecorum in any of our modern Plays, which if I would excuse, I could not shadow with some Authority from the Ancients. I am apt to believe the English Language in them arriv'd to its highest perfection; what words have since been taken in, are rather superfluous then necessary.

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This new way consisted in measure or number of feet and rhyme.

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Dryden on The Function of Poetry 1.

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In the mean time I must desire you to take notice, that the greatest man of the last age Ben Jonson was willing to give place to them in all things: The first Play which brought Fletcher and him in esteem was their Philaster:

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But I need not go drysen far to prove that Essay contest dupont, as it succeeds to all other offices of Greek and Latine Verse, so especially to this of Playes, since the custome of all Nations at this day confirms it: He was a Cambridge scholarliterary terms genius and critic.

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For though Tragedy be justly preferred above the drtden, yet there is a great affinity between them as may easily be discovered in that definition of a Play which Lisideius gave us. There ought to be one action, sayes Corneilethat is one compleat action which leaves the mind of the Audience in a full repose:

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He may break off in the Hemistich, and begin another line: In the mean time I must desire you to take notice, that the greatest man of the last age Ben.

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Tragedy we know is wont to image to us the minds and fortunes of noble persons, and to portray these exactly, Heroick Rhime is nearest Nature, as being the noblest kind of modern verse. And you inferr'd from thence, that Rhyme, which you acknowledge to be proper to Epique Poesie cannot equally be proper dryden an essay of dramatic poesy Dramatick, unless we could suppose all men born so much more then Poets, that verses should be made in them, not by them.

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In his works you find little to retrench or alter.

This moderation of Crites, as it was pleasing to all the company, so it put an end to that dispute; which, Eugenius, who seemed to have the better of the Argument, would urge no farther: Email Subscription Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of fryden posts by email.

Thunder, or of Swallows in a Chimney:

But he has done his Robberies so openly, that one may see he fears not to be taxed by any Law. For what is more ridiculous then to represent an Army with a Drum and five men behind it; all which, the Heroe of the other side is to drive in before him, or to see a Duel dryden an essay of dramatic poesy, and one slain with two or three thrusts of the foyles, which we know are so blunted, that we might give a man an hour to kill another in good earnest with them.

He proposes that Crites choose one literary genre for comparison and initiate the discussion. All the French , Italian and Spanish Tragedies are generally writ in it, and sure the Universal consent of the most civiliz'd parts of the world, ought in this, as it doth in other customs, include the rest.

Such narrations are common in the plays of the Ancients and the great English dramatists like Ben Jonson and Fletcher. Drama is, as Aristotle wrote, an imitation of life, and it is successful as it reflects human nature clearly. That praise or censure is certainly the most sincere which unbribed posterity shall give us. We neither find it in Aristotle, Horace, of any who have written of it, till in our age the French Poets first made it a Precept of the Stage.

On the other side, if you consider the Historical Playes of Shakespeare , they are rather so many Chronicles of Kings, or the business many times of thirty or forty years, crampt into a representation of two hours and a half, which is not to imitate or paint Nature, but rather to draw her in miniature, to take her in little; to look upon her through the wrong end of a Perspective, and receive her Images not onely much less, but infinitely more imperfect then the life: The French omit the same mistake.

Narration has, to an extent, replaced action, so that the performances are no longer embarrassed by inept death scenes and acts of violence. The result is, their play becomes monotonous and tiresome. This new way consisted in measure or number of feet and rhyme.

Eugenius was going to continue this Discourse, when Lisideius told him it was necessary, before they proceeded further, to take a standing measure of their Controversy; for how was it possible to be decided who writ the best Plays, before we know what a Play should be? Farther, as to that quotation of Aristotle , our Couplet Verses may be rendred as near Prose as blank verse it self, by using those advantages I lately nam'd, as breaks in a Hemistick, or running the sence into another line, thereby making Art and Order appear as loose and free as Nature: As for your own particular, My Lord, you have yet youth, and time enough to give part of it to the divertisement of the Publick, before you enter into the serious and more unpleasant business of the world.

For the due choice of your words expresses your sense naturally, and the due placing them adapts the rhyme to it. Doubtless many things appear flat to us, whose wit depended upon some custome or story which never came to our knowledge, or perhaps upon some Criticism in their language, which being so long dead, and onely remaining in their Books, 'tis not possible they should make us know it perfectly.

Variety of cadences is the best rule, the greatest help to the Actors, and refreshment to the Audience. Thus, in Bartholomew Fair he gives you the Pictures of Numps and Cokes , and in this those of Daw , Lasocle , Morose , and the Collegiate Ladies ; all which you hear describ'd before you see them.

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, 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 courser clothes to get it up again: So that before they come upon the Stage you have a longing expectation of them, which prepares you to receive them favourably; and when they are there, even from their first appearance you are so far acquainted with them, that nothing of their humour is lost to you.

Farther, I will not argue whether we received it originally from our own Countrymen, or from the French; for that is an inquiry of as little benefit, as theirs who in the midst of the great Plague were not so solicitous to provide against it, as to know whether we had it from the malignity of our own air, or by transportation from Holland.

Verse 'tis true is not the effect of sudden thought; but this hinders not that sudden thought may be represented in verse, since those thoughts are such as must be higher then Nature can raise them without premeditation, especially to a continuance of them even out of verse, and consequently you cannot imagine them to have been sudden either in the Poet, or the Actors.

But you add, that were this let pass, yet he who wants judgment in the liberty of his fancy, may as well show the defect of it when he is confined to verse: What the Philosophers say of motion, that when it is once begun it continues of it self, and will do so to Eternity without some stop put to it, is clearly true on this occasion; the soul being already moved with the Characters and Fortunes of those imaginary persons, continues going of its own accord, and we are no more weary to hear what becomes of them when they are not on the Stage, then we are to listen to the news of an absent Mistress.

For they are always the effect of some hasty concernment, and something of consequence depends upon them. It is wrong to believe that the French represent no part of their action on the stage. This Humor of which Ben Jonson derived from particular persons, they made it not their business to describe:

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