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A great playwright, exceptional poet, fine translator, solid critic, and an excellent satirist, John Dryden wore many hats during his living. John Dryden (19 August [O.S. After William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, he was the greatest playwright. A fresh presentation of John Dryden's poetry and prose. Four years later, he graduated with top ranks from the college with a degree in arts. Discuss with other readers. Since the work favoured Charles II and attacked the Whigs, it drew support from the royalist and the aristocrats as well. In writing those heroic plays, Dryden had been catering to an audience that was prepared to be stunned into admiration by drums and trumpets, rant and extravagance, stage battles, rich costumes, and exotic scenes. The Revolution of 1688 resulted in ascendance of William III to the throne. In 1667 Dryden also reworked for the stage Molière’s comedy L’Étourdi (translated by William Cavendish, duke of Newcastle) under the title Sir Martin Mar-all. He tied the nuptial knot with Lady Elizabeth, royalist sister of Sir Robert Howard. By the early 1700s, however, John Dryden had written an operatic adaptation of it, and Alexander Pope had parodied it in The Rape of the Lock. The Life and Works of John Dryden John Dryden was considered the most influential man of literature in the second half of the 17th century. Inspired by the tragedies of the year 1666, including the Naval War and the Great Fire of London, he penned the poem, ‘Annus Mirabilis’ in 1667. Soon after his restoration to the throne in 1660, Charles II granted two patents for theatres, which had been closed by the Puritans in 1642. Both the plays had the same fate as their predecessor and were not major hits. In Florimel’s rattling exchanges with Celadon, the Restoration aptitude for witty repartee reached a new level of accomplishment. When in May 1660 Charles II was restored to the throne, Dryden joined the poets of the day in welcoming him, publishing in June Astraea Redux, a poem of more than 300 lines in rhymed couplets. John Dryden (1631-1700) is the greatest literary figure of the Restoration and in his works, we have an excellent reflection of both the good and the evil tendencies of the age in which he lived. He followed it up with his magnum opus, ‘All For Love’ in 1678 which was based on the story of Anthony and Cleopatra. He soon found himself busy writing scripts and plays for theatre. Dryden translated The History of the League (1684), The Life of St. Francis Xavier (1688) and De Arte Graphica (1695). Dryden lost all his offices. Dryden had now entered what may be called his Neoclassical period, and, if his new tragedy was not without some echoes of the old extravagance, it was admirably constructed, with the action developing naturally from situation and character. The new rulers, Mary and William of Orange were Protestants. This poem, though, praises Cromwell in notably monarchical language, calling him ‘our prince’ and suggesting that the people were drawn to bow to him like metal detectors (‘wands of divination’) are drawn to ‘sovereign gold’. Upon completing his studies, he entered the Trinity College, in Cambridge the following year in 1650. His works so much so dominated the Restoration Period that the phase is proudly remembered in the literary circle as the ‘Age of Dryden’. Professor of Modern English Literature, University College, University of London, 1951–67. In this work Dryden was once again gilding the royal image and reinforcing the concept of a loyal nation united under the best of kings. 9 August] 1631 – 12 May [O.S. Following the grand reception of the same, he released ‘A Defence of an Essay’ which was followed by ‘Essay of Heroic Plays’. During the later years, he survived a living by translating the works of Horace, Juvenal, Ovid, Lucretius, and Theocritus. education: Trinity College, Cambridge, Westminster School, University of Cambridge, Quotes By John Dryden | Illustrated with notes, historical, critical, and explanatory, and a life of the author 1808, Printed for William Miller Following this turn of events, he faced a major downfall as he was not only deprived of his laureateship, but replaced by his old enemy, Shadwell. Though the position was most often held for life (until 1999), Dryden was the lone exception. Writing theatrical plays was not what he intended to do in the beginning and as such, thought it to be waste of talent on ‘unworthy’ audience. His easy and lifelong familiarity with classical literature begun at Westminster later resulted in idiomatic English translations. Later Percy Bysshe Shelley modeled Prometheus in Prometheus Unbound (1820) on Milton’s Satan. In June 1669 he gave the company Tyrannick Love, with its blustering and blaspheming hero Maximin. He attended Westminster School as a king's scholar under Richard Busby and … https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/john-dryden-1901.php, Top NBA Players With No Championship Rings. Therein, he took to studying classics, rhetoric and mathematics. John Dryden was a schoolmaster, a Puritan, and honoured, it is said, with the friendship of the celebrated Erasmus, after whom he named his son, who succeeded to the estate of Canons-Ashby, and, besides becoming a sheriff of the county of Northamptonshire, was created a knight under James I. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. His poetry is “public” in nature, not private or sentimental. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Same year, he attacked Shaftesbury supporters with his work entitled, ‘The Medal’. John Dryden - life and works in Bengali, জন ড্রাইডেন জীবন, Mac Flecknoe, Absalom Achitophel, Updates? Romanticist writer Sir Walter Scott called him "Glorious John". A great playwright, exceptional poet, fine translator, solid critic, and an excellent satirist, John Dryden wore many hats during his living. About 1644 Dryden was admitted to Westminster School, where he received a predominantly classical education under the celebrated Richard Busby. As far as we can tell, Dryden’s sympathies in early life were Royalist, even though he briefly served in Cromwell’s government and eulogised him with some ‘Heroic Stanzas’. By deploying his disputants so as to break down the conventional oppositions of ancient and modern, French and English, Elizabethan and Restoration, Dryden deepens and complicates the discussion. On December 1, 1663, he married Elizabeth Howard, the youngest daughter of Thomas Howard, 1st earl of Berkshire. His works were well known throughout the world. It was a comparative failure, but in January 1664 he had some share in the success of The Indian Queen, a heroic tragedy in rhymed couplets in which he had collaborated with Sir Robert Howard, his brother-in-law. His first play, The Wild Gallant, a farcical comedy with some strokes of humour and a good deal of licentious dialogue, was produced in 1663. John Dryden was born at the vicarage of Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire, on August 9, 1631, son of Erasmus Dryden and Mary Pickering. The Works Of John Dryden Illustrated With Notes, Historical, Critical, and Explanatory, and A Life Of the Author, By Walter Scott The Poetical Works Of John Dryden, V1 Aureng-Zebe, a Tragedy Acted At the Royal Theatre / Written By John Dryden Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. From 1678 to 1681, he came up with several dramas including the prose comedy, ‘Limberham’, adaptation of ‘Troilus and Cressida’ and the play ‘Spanish Fair’ However, none of them were successful which led him o give up as a dramatist and instead concentrated towards satire. John Dryden died in 1700. In 1649, while still at Westminster, he came up with his first published verse, an elegy titled, ‘Upon the Death of Lord Hastings’. Illustrated with notes, historical, critical, and explanatory, and a life of the author 1808, Printed for William Miller Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. He had earlier adapted The Tempest (1667), and later he reworked yet another Shakespeare play, Troilus and Cressida (1679). But the vein had now been almost worked out, as seen in the 1671 production of that witty burlesque of heroic drama The Rehearsal, by George Villiers, 2nd duke of Buckingham, in which Dryden (Mr. Bayes) was the main satirical victim. Besides being the greatest English poet of the later 17th century, he wrote almost 30 tragedies, comedies, and dramatic operas. Young Dryden spent much of his early days in the village of Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire, wherein he received his preliminary education. His abandonment of crowd-pleasing rant and bombast was symbolized in 1672 with his brilliant comedy Marriage A-la-Mode, in which the Restoration battle of the sexes was given a sophisticated and civilized expression that only Sir George Etherege and William Congreve at their best would equal. Dryden's most famous works are MackFlecknoe (published 1682) and Absalom and Achitophel. (Version 2) * Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Dryden's life and works * Concise introductions to the poetry and other works He was a legendary figure of the seventeenth century who ranks amongst the greatest English poets such as John Donne and John Milton and the greatest playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Ben Johnson. Dryden is credited with writing the greatest heroic play of the century, ‘The Conquest of Granada’, the greatest tragicomedy, ‘Marriage A-la-Mode’, the greatest tragedy of the Restoration, ‘All for Love’, the greatest comitragedy, ‘Don Sebastian’ and one of the greatest comedies, ‘Amphitryon’. It was hardly surprising that when the poet laureate, Sir William Davenant, died in 1668, Dryden was appointed poet laureate in his place and two years later was appointed royal historiographer. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Dryden was appointed poet laureate and royal historiographer in 1668, a position he retained for twenty years. In 1668 Dryden agreed to write exclusively for Thomas Killigrew’s company at the rate of three plays a year and became a shareholder entitled to one-tenth of the profits. These two poems were designed to dignify and strengthen the monarchy and to invest the young monarch with an aura of majesty, permanence, and even divinity. The change of place turned profitable for this budding playwright who came up with his next venture, a heroic drama by the title, ‘The Indian Emperor’ in 1665. What Dryden did between leaving the university in 1654 and the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 is not known with certainty. In 1674, he wrote a tribute for Milton in the form of a musical adaptation of the latter’s Paradise Lost entitled, ‘The State of Innocence’. John Dryden, English poet, dramatist, and literary critic who so dominated the literary scene of his day that it came to be known as the Age of Dryden. https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Dryden, Poetry Foundation - Biography of John Dryden, Westminster Abbey - Biography of John Dryden, Academy of American Poets - Biography of John Dryden, John Dryden - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). All three plays were highly successful; and in the character Almanzor, the intrepid hero of The Conquest of Granada, the theme of love and honour reached its climax. Both his father’s and mother’s families sided with Parliament against the king, but Dryden’s own sympathies in his youth are unknown. Beginning 1670, he came up with the two parts ‘The Conquest of Granada’ and the comedy, ‘Marriage a la Mode’. The Works of John Dryden, Volume XX: Prose 1691-1698 De Arte Graphica and Shorter Works by John Dryden (Author), George R. Guffey (Editor), Alan … However, the play remained unperformed. Although Dryden averaged only a play a year, the contract apparently was mutually profitable. As a poet, Dryden is best known as a satirist and was England's first poet laureate in 1668. His most ambitious project as a translator was released in 1697 under the title, ‘The Works of Virgil’ and in 1700 as ‘Fables Ancient and Modern’. Omissions? In the spring of 1665 Dryden had his own first outstanding success with The Indian Emperour, a play that was a sequel to The Indian Queen. The poem was grandly received and secured him the title of Poet Laureate in 1668 and Historiographer Royal in 1670. Following year, he came up with a sequel of his first satirical work, this time in collaboration with Nahum Tate, Second Part of Absalom and Achitophel. His work involved making classic English literary work accessible and readable to the general public. He portrayed a royal image of Charles II as the restorer of peace and order. It was at Westminster that he developed the art of rhetoric and presentation of both sides of the argument, a skill that stayed with him for life and influenced much of his later works and thinking. Having a royalist feel, the poem was a written emotional tale of the death of his schoolmate Henry, Lord Hastings from smallpox. Dryden, having exhibited that particular dexterity with his earlier panegyrics, was a natural choice. This quiz and worksheet will help you assess your understand of John Dryden's life, works, and the time period he lived in. Dryden's work is presented in chronological order, allowing students to study his development and growth. 19: Prose; The Life of St. Francis Xavier; 1688 Eds Alan Roper and Vinton A. Dearing (1979) The Works of John Dryden, Vol. Dryden was soon to successfully exploit this new and popular genre, with its conflicts between love and honour and its lovely heroines before whose charms the blustering heroes sank down in awed submission. Includes a separate Chronology at the opening of the volume, which provides details of Dryden's life, career, and the publication of his works. For the coronation in 1661, he wrote To His Sacred Majesty. The content of the poem was cautiously written with prudent emotional presentation. Translated as ‘A Layman’s Faith’ the work argued Christianity over Deism. In December of the next year came the first part of The Conquest of Granada by the Spaniards, followed by the second part about a month later. His first stint at the same was for the theatrical comedy of humors, ‘A Wild Gallant’. John Dryden was an English poet, critic, and playwright active in the second half of the 17th century. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. JJohn Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the. The establishment of the monarchy coincided with his establishment as the leading poet and critic of the time. His poems are based on true people and events, which according to Stanley Archer, “sometimes causes modern readers to have a difficult time understanding the many parallels and analogies of his work” (1223). The Poetical Works of John Dryden, Vol I by John Dryden. The part of Florimel, a gay and witty maid of honour, was played to perfection by the king’s latest mistress, Nell Gwynn. The son of a country gentleman, Dryden grew up in the country. John Dryden was born in Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire, England, the eldest of fourteen children of Erasmus Dryden (c.1602–1654) and Mary Pickering (d. 1676). This work is a defense of English drama against the champions of both ancient Classical drama and the Neoclassical French theatre; it is also an attempt to discover general principles of dramatic criticism. With the appointment of Charles II as the leader, society witnessed an upsurge in the demand for entertainment and showbiz. Meanwhile, a plague erupted in London due to which the King’s Court relocated to Oxford. Following the unsuccessful debut venture, in 1664 he came up with two more plays, ‘The Rival Ladies’ and ‘The Indian Queen’. A Poet Laureate, he dominated the literary life during the Restoration Period. The Age of Dryden John Dryden's poems represent his age. John Dryden was not only the greatest literary man of his age, but also to a great extent the man who determined the literary characteristics of his age. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/sir-john-dryden-17041770-7th-bt-of-canons-ashby-171192. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read The Works of John Dryden: Life. He is seen as dominating the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. Dryden’s longest poem to date, Annus Mirabilis (1667), was a celebration of two victories by the English fleet over the Dutch and the Londoners’ survival of the Great Fire of 1666. This kind of public poetry was always one of the things Dryden did best. epitaphs: Here lies Du Vall; reader, if male thou art,, Look to thy purse; if female, to thy heart. degree in 1654. He was England’s first Poet Laureate in 1668. John Dryden, (1631-1700), English poet, literary critic, dramatist and leader in Restoration comedy wrote the comedic play Marriage A-la-Mode (1672), and the tragedy All for Love (1678). Dryden’s approach in this and all his best criticism is characteristically speculative and shows the influence of detached scientific inquiry. Author of. To know more about his life and works, read through the following lines. His glorified success and fame was not well received by many who plotted against him, which led to him being attacked in an alley near his home in Covent Garden. He did not let go of his essay writing as well and in 1668 came up with his first major critical work, ‘Essay of Dramatic Poesy’. This is the first substantial piece of modern dramatic criticism; it is sensible, judicious, and exploratory and combines general principles and analysis in a gracefully informal style. Over the span of nearly 40 years, he dabbled in a wide range of genres to great success and acclaim. However, the membership was withdrawn four years later due to non-payment of the dues. The State of Innocence was another famous work which was modelled on Miltons Paradise Lost. Following his father’s death in June 1654, he acquired possession of a land that generated some income, but not enough to sustain a living. His writing style was unique, mostly employing the daily patterns and rhythms used in everyday speech. He was a legendary figure of the seventeenth century who ranks amongst the greatest English poets such as John Donne and John Milton and the greatest playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Ben Johnson. His later works include the poems, ‘Threnodia Augustalis’, ‘To the Pious Memory ... of Mrs Anne Killigrew’ and ‘A Song for Saint Cecilia's Day’. Same year, he was conferred with an MA by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Alongside satirical work, he build his interest in theology and came with his first venture in the genre titled, ‘Religio Laici’. [Dryden and other translators; Dryden general editor and author of the prefatory "Life of Plutarch"] Facsimile of 1711 Vol. And he has no peer as a writer of prose, especially literary criticism, and as a translator. In 1650 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his B.A. The play was received well by the audience. The works of John Dryden: now first collected in eighteen volumes. He rendered his complete support, loyalty and commitment to the new government which was visible with the publication of his works, ‘To His Sacred Majesty: A Panegyric on his Coronation’ and ‘To My Lord Chancellor’ both released in 1662. Quiz & Worksheet Goals As far as prose, literary criticism and translation are concerned, he had no peers who matched his capability and competence. By 1678 Dryden was at loggerheads with his fellow shareholders in the Killigrew company, which was in grave difficulties owing to mismanagement. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? He breathed his last on May 12, 1700. John Dryden (9 August 1631 – 12 May 1700) was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. John Dryden was the eldest of the fourteen children born to Erasmus Dryden and wife Mary Pickering in the village church house of Aldwincle near Thrapston in Northamptonshire. ... John Dryden and Alexander Pope are the most distinguished and influential poets from this time and it is through them and their work that the spirit of the Restoration is best understood. When he was 11 years old the Civil War broke out. The theatres, which had closed down due to the Puritan ban, reopened to packed audiences. The royal office carried the responsibility of composing occasional works in celebration of public events. Later in 1644, he was enrolled as a King’s Scholar at the Westminster School, which was going through a period of unrest on religious and political matters. Thereafter, Dryden’s ambitions and fortunes as a writer were shaped by his relationship with the monarchy. The Rehearsal did not kill the heroic play, however; as late as November 1675, Dryden staged his last and most intelligent example of the genre, Aureng-Zebe. As such, he moved to London to acquire work with Cromwell's Secretary of State, John Thurloe. After John Donne and John Milton, John Dryden was the greatest English poet of the 17th century. Who Is The Greatest Female Warrior In History? Two years later, he celebrated the Restoration of the Monarchy and the jubilant return of Charles II with the penned verse, ‘Astraea Redux’ which was an authentic royalist panegyric. Celebrities Who Are Not In The Limelight Anymore. He dominated the literary life of ‘Restoration England’ in such a manner that the period was known in the age of literary circles as the Age of Dryden. To check your knowledge his writing style was unique, mostly employing the daily patterns and rhythms used in speech., he came out with the appointment of Charles II in 1660 not... 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Beginning 1670, he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, where he to! Later years, he was the greatest English poet, Dryden ’ s Satan in chronological order, allowing to! Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox Plutarch '' ] Facsimile 1711!

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