An Essay of Dramatic Poesy

Essay by noone March 2005

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John Dryden, a great English poet, dramatist, translator and critic. He was born on August 19, 1631, in Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire, England. He was graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1657 he moved to London to begin his career as a professional writer, unfortunately his first play The Wild Gallant (1663), was a failure. He has a lot of successful works like: All for love, heroic stanzas as well as a major critical study (An Essay on Dramatic Poesy) and a number of translations. John Dryden died in London on May 12, 1700.

Such a great critical work was the reason behind Dryden's title Father of English criticism. He wrote this essay two years after the Restoration and the reopening of the theaters in England (1688). This essay was an inspiration for other writers to such a critical works, as so it was considered one of the main models for the modern prose; moreover it creates the school of English criticism.

Although the essay was spirited, graceful, & confident, it was a little bit tricky & pedantic since there is a group of view being express. Dryden wrote this essay to develop the English theater and drama, by discussing the classical works and whether art should imitate nature or artists should imitate other artists, he also mentioned The Three Unities (time, place, and action) besides that he argues that the dramatic work should follow the rules of the Decorum, and be polite, wit, and clear.

Dryden wrote this essay as a dramatic dialogue between poet and critics who have different viewpoints about the strengths and weaknesses of, and influences on, British poesy. The dialogue was made by four characters representing four critical positions. These four critical positions deal with five issues. Those speakers are: Crites, Eugenius, Lisideius, and Neander. The...