But English drama has decayed and declined since then. In that excellent Play The King and No King , Fletcher goes yet farther; for the whole unraveling of the Plot is done by narration in the fifth Act, after the manner of the Ancients; and it moves great concernment in the Audience, though it be only a relation of what was done many years before the Play. Their Plots are single, they carry on one design which is pushed forward by all the Actors, every Scene in the Play contributing and moving towards it: Crites develops the main points in defending the ancients and raises objections to modern plays. But I dare not take upon me to commend the Fabric of it, because it is altogether so full of Art, that I must unravel every Scene in it to commend it as I ought. But when Laberius, a Roman Knight, at his request contended in the Mime with another Poet, he was forced to cry out, Etiam favente me victus es Laben [Even with me favoring you, Laberius, you are beaten—ed. The unity of time, even Terence himself who was the best and the most regular of them has neglected:

He may place them in the beginning of Verse, and break it off, as unfit, when so debased for any other use: Since nobody speaks in rhyme in real life, he supports the use of blank verse in drama and says that the use of rhyme in serious plays is justifiable in place of the blank verse. Cowley; as for the Italian, French, and Spanish Plays, I can make it evident that those who now write, surpass them; and that the Drama is wholly ours. Quantum lenta solent, inter viburna cupressi. Dryden’s theory of criticism in ” an essay of dramatic poesy “.

He also discusses the three unities, rules that require a play to take place in one place, during one day, and that it develops one single action or plot. Then they had their Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher. The period of translations and miscellaneous production.

He says that both classical and neoclassical favour rules and unities time, place and action. For they are always the effect of some hasty concernment, and something of consequence depends upon them.


Dryden Dramatic Poesy – WikiEducator

Therefore, Crites, you must either prove that words, though well chosen, and duly placed, yet render not Rhyme natural in it self; or, that however natural and easy podsy rhyme may be, yet it is not proper for a Play. But the English burden their plays with actions and incidents which have no logical and natural connection with the main action so much so that an English play is a mere compilation.

These numbers therefore are fittest for a Dramaitc the others for a paper of Verses, or a Poem. Neither is it able porsy evince that; for he who wants judgment to confine his fancy in blank Verse, may want it as much in Rhyme; and he who has it will avoid errors in both kinds.

While in the French plays such narrations are made by those who are in some way or the other connected with the main action.

drydens an essay of dramatic poesy gives us his views on

The classical drama also lacks affection. Click here to sign up.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy Summary by John Dryden

Is there anything drzmatic rhyme more constrained than this line in blank verse? He praises may fit the poetry as well. In their new Comedy which succeeded, the Poets fought indeed to express the ethos [moral character], as in their Tragedies the pathos [emotion—ed.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy. The age of Dryden roughly spans the period from the restoration of Charles II in to the year Frydens his comparison of French and English drama, Neander characterizes the best proofs of the Elizabethan playwrights.

The method he adopts for voicing his burning issues and each one has his own opinion. Dryden on The Nature of Poetry 1.

drydens an essay of dramatic poesy gives us his views on

The attention of the English playwrights is constantly diverted from one action to the other, and its due effects. However, in the Essay, he has expressed himself strongly in favour of rhyme through the mouth of Neander. Dryden carried out his critical givees effectively, stating his own ideas but leaving some room for difference of opinion.

drydens an essay of dramatic poesy gives us his views on

Neander speaks in favour of the Moderns and respects the Ancients; he is however critical of the rigid rules of dramas and favours rhyme. At the end of the Essay, Dryden gives one more reason in favour of rhyme i. Had Cain been Scot God would esxay changed his doom; Not forced him wander, but confined him home.


The English devote considerable attention to one single character, and the others are merely introduced to set off that principal character. Instead, they make proper selection. Death should better be described or narrated rather than represented.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden: An Overview

They wrote without any definite plan and when they could write a good play their success was more a matter of chance and good fortune than of ability.

I deny not what you urge of Arts and Sciences, that they have flourished in some ages more than others; but your instance in Philosophy makes for me: To prove this, I might satisfy my self to tell you, how much in vain it is for you to strive against the stream of the peoples inclination; the greatest part of which are prepossessed so much with those excellent Plays of Shakespeare, Fletcher, and Ben Jonson, which have been written out of Rhyme that except you could bring them such as were written better in it, and those too by persons of equal reputation with them, it will be impossible for you to gain your cause with them, who will still be judges.

Crites opposes rhyme in plays and argues that though the moderns excel in sciences, the ancient age was the true age of poetry. Want to get a price estimate for your Essay? For my part, I can with as great ease persuade my self that the blows which are struck are given in good earnest, as I can, that they who strike them are Kings or Princes, or those persons which they represent.