John Dryden Essays

John Dryden Essays-41
He issued orders to repeal the penal laws against his favoured faction.

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The power of the Church of England over the king and the Parliament was tremendous.

He made a secret treaty with the French king to restore Catholic faith in England and repealed the penal laws against the Roman Catholics and the Non Conformists.

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.

When the young publisher Jacob Tonson approached him to contribute to a miscellany edition of Ovid translations, Dryden was at the height of his reputation, as Poet Laureate and critic.

marks at once the beginning of Dryden’s late and prolific career as a translator of the classics, and that of his collaboration with Jacob Tonson.

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.

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[2] It remains that I should say somewhat of Poetical Translations in general,[3] and give my Opinion (with submission to better Judgments) which way of Version seems to me most proper.


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