AN ESSAY OF DRAMATICK POESIE

A great wifs great work is to refuse, as my worthy friend, Sir John Berkenhead “, has ingeniously expressed it: As for what he urges, that a play will still be sup- 5 posed to be a composition of several persons speaking ex tempore ; and that good verses are the hardest things which can be imagined to be so spoken ; I must crave leave to dissent from his opinion, as to the former part of it: Thus, in Bartholomew- Fair ‘ n he gives you 20 the pictures of Numps and Cokes, and in this those of Daw, Lafoole, Morose, and the Collegiate Ladies ; all which you hear described before you see them. Therefore you concluded, that which is nearest nature is still to be preferred. That is, those actions which by reason of their cruelty 15 will cause aversion in us, or by reason of their im possibility, unbelief, ought either wholly to be avoided by a poet, or only delivered by narration.

Ker in his Essays of John Dryden 2 vols. The description of these humours, drawn from the knowledge and observation of par ticular persons, was the peculiar genius and talent of Ben Johnson; to whose play I now return. For one rhyming play which errs by excess of ornament, there are ten plays in blank verse which err by being flat and dull. For I confess my chief 1 5 endeavours are to delight the age in which I live. I shall not waste time in commending the writing of this play ; but I 30 will give you my opinion, that there is more wit and acuteness of fancy in it than in any of Ben Johnson’s. For Horace himself was cautious to obtrude a new word on his readers, and makes custom and com mon use the best measure of receiving it into our writings: There seems good reason to think that the French masterpieces of the seventeenth century would not, if they were not rhymed, hold their ground on the modern stage.

For my own part, I frankly confess that I think it was the only course that it was possible to take. What reason can be found for this difference of impression, except that rhyme, and often exquisitely managed rhyme, is present throughout Mr. But, that you 5 may know how much you are indebted to those your masters, and be ashamed to have so ill requited them, An essay of dramatick poesie must remember you nthat jtll the rules by which we practise the drama at this day, either such as relate to the justness and symmetry of the plot, or 10 the episodical ornaments, such as descriptions, nar rations, and other beauties, which are not essential to the play 1were delivered to us from the observa tions which Aristotle made, of those poets, who either lived before him, or were his contemporaries: But the Muses, who ever follow peace, went to plant in another country: Yet he has another reason for this disgust of Poesie ; for he says imme- 15 diately after, that the manner of plays which are now in most esteem, is beyond his power to perform: Four cultivated gentlemen, Eugenius, Lisideius, Crites, and Neander, have taken a an essay of dramatick poesie down the River Thames to observe the combat and, as guns sound in the background, they comment on the sorry state of modern literature; this naval encounter will inspire hundreds of bad verses commending the victors or consoling the vanquished.

Aristotle indeed divides the in tegral parts of a play into four. In his Adelphi, or Brothers, Syrus and Demea enter after the scene an essay of dramatick poesie broken by the departure of Sostrata, Geta, and Canthara ; and indeed you can scarce look into any of his comedies, where you will not presently discover the same in- 20 terruption.

Five critical questions are handled in the Essay, viz. For Horace himself was cautious to obtrude a new word on his readers, and makes custom and com mon use the best measure of an essay of dramatick poesie it into our writings: I could multiply other instances, but these are sufficient to prove that 15 there is no errour in choosing a subject which re quires this sonfc of narrations ; in an essay of dramatick poesie ill management 2 of them, there may.

A continued gravity keeps the spirit too much bent ; we must refresh it sometimes, as we bait in a journey, 10 that we may go on with greater ease.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden: An Overview

Look upon an essay of dramatick poesie Cinna and an essay of dramatick poesie Pompey; they are not 10 so properly to be called plays, as long discourses of reason of state ; and Polyeucte in matters of religion is as solemn as the long stops upon our organs”.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. But I am forced to fight, and therefore it 20 will be no shame to be overcome. And the first of them is grounded on that very reason for which some have commended rhyme ; they say, 15 the quickness of repartees in argumentative scenes receives an ornament from verse.

an essay of dramatick poesie Grief and passion are like floods raised in little brooks by a sudden rain ; they are quickly up ; and 5 if the concernment be poured unexpectedly in upon us, it overflows us: Dryden’s defence of rime as an appropriate and desirable part of English tragic form has been definitively rejected in theory as well as abandoned in practice. I shall return therefore to that quotation of Seneca, and answer, not to what he writes, but to what he means.

As Crites begins his defense of the classical drama, he mentions one point that is accepted by all the others: For the contrivance of the plot, ’tis extreme ‘ elaborate, and yet withal easy ; for 5 the AiW 2or untying of it, ’tis so admirable, that when it is done, no one of the audience would think the poet could have missed it ; and an essay of dramatick poesie it was concealed so much before the last scene, that any other way would sooner have entered into your thoughts.

Of Dramatic Poesie Summary

Humour, which 2 An essay of dramatick poesie Johnson derived from particular persons, they made it not their business to describe: But he has taken his last farewell of the Muses, and he has done it civilly, by honouring them with the name of his long acquaintances] which fe a complement 1 they have scarce deserved from him.

Nay, rather ought 15 they not to be laboured with so much the more dili gence and exactness, to help the imagination?

This day was that 5 designed by Dauphine for the settling of his uncle’s estate upon him ; which to compass, he contrives to marry him. An essay of dramatick poesie is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

I will not dispute how ancient it hath been among us to write this way ; per haps our ancestors knew no better till Shakspeare’s time.

An Essay of Dramatick Poesie – John Dryden – Google Books

I will set aside an essay of dramatick poesie and envy: Limberham; or, the Kind Keeper Oedipus Amphitryon They discuss the necessity of abiding by the 3 dramatic unities prescribed by Aristotle if necessary, but also trying new There seems good reason to think that the French masterpieces of the seventeenth century would not, if they were not rhymed, hold an essay of dramatick poesie ground on the modern stage.

The same custom they observed likewise in their tragedies. However, he condemns not the satis faction of others ; but rather their unnecessary under- 20 standing, who, like Sancho Panda’s doctor, prescribe too strictly to our appetites ; for, says he, in the difference of Tragedy and Comedy, and of Farce itself, there can be no determination but by the taste, nor in the manner of their composure.

Sometimes I stand desperately to 1 desigucs, A. For my part, I can with an essay of dramatick poesie great ease persuade myself that the i blows 1 arc given in good earnest, as I can, that they who strike them are kings or princes, or those persons which they represent.

These four critical positions deal with five issues. But to leave this, and pass to the latter part of Lisideius his discourse, which concerns relations: