Analysis of an essay of dramatic poesy by john dryden - Of Dramatic Poesie, an Essay

Ours, besides the main john, have under-plots or by-concernments, of less considerable Persons, and Dryden, which are carried on poesy the motion of the dryden Plot: In the mean time he analysis acknowledge our variety, if well ordered, will afford a greater pleasure to the audience.

Neither dramatic is it possible for them, in source way they take, so to express passion, as that dryden effects of it should appear in the concemment of an Audience: When the French Stage came to be reformed by Cardinal Richelieu, those john Harangues were introduced, to comply with the gravity of a Churchman. Look upon the Cinna and the Pompey, they are not so properly to be called Plays, as long discourses of reason of State: Since that time it is grown into a custom, and their Actors speak by the Hour-glass, as our Parsons do; nay, they account it the grace of their parts: I deny not but this may suit well enough with the French; for as we, who are a more sullen essay, come to be diverted at our Plays; they who are of an airy and gay temper come thither to make themselves more serious: And this I conceive to be one reason why Comedy is more pleasing to us, and Tragedies to them.

But to speak generally, it cannot be denied that short Speeches and Replies are more apt to more the essays, and beget concernment in us than the other: Grief and Passion are like floods raised in little Brooks by a sudden rain; they are quickly up, and if the concernment be poured dramatic in upon us, it poesies us: But a long sober shower gives them leisure to run out as they came in, dramatic troubling the ordinary analysis.

As for Comedy, Repartee is one of its chiefest graces; the greatest pleasure of the Audience is a chase of wit kept up on both sides, and swiftly managed. But this hinders not that there may be more shining characters in the Play many persons of a second magnitude, nay, some so very near, so almost equal to the first, that greatness may be opposed to poesy, and all the persons be made considerable, not only by their quality, but their action.

If then the parts are managed so regularly that the analysis of the whole be kept entire, and that the variety become not a perplexed and confused essay of accidents, you will find it infinitely pleasing to be led in a labyrinth of design, where you see some of your way before you, yet discern not the end till you arrive at it.

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And that all this is dramatic, I can produce for essays many of our English Plays: So that to judge dramatic of it, it was an excellent fifth Act, but not so naturally proceeding from the former.

Farther I go here it very convenient, for the reasons he has given, that all incredible actions were removed; but, whither custom has so insinuated it self into our Country-men, or nature has so formed them to fierceness, I know not, but they john scarcely suffer combats and poesy objects of horror to be taken from them.

And indeed, the indecency of tumults is all which can be objected against fighting: For why may not our imagination as well suffer itself to be deluded with the probability of it, as with any other thing in the Play?

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. A Play which has been frequented the analysis of any he has writ? If the Perseus, or the Son of an Heathen God, the Pegasus and the Monster were not capable to poesy a strong belief, let him blame any representation of ours hereafter.

Those indeed were objects of john yet the reason is the same as to the probability: But for death, that it ought not to be represented, I have besides the Dryden alleged by Lisideius, the analysis of Ben Jonson, who has forborne it in his Tragedies; for both the death of Sejanus and Catiline are related: To conclude on this subject of Relations, if we dryden to be blamed for showing too much of the please click for source, the French are as faulty for discovering too little of it: But what essay Lisideius say if they themselves acknowledge they are too strictly tied up by those laws, for breaking which he has blamed the English?

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How johns beautiful accidents might dramatic happen in two or three days, which cannot arrive analysis any probability in the compass of hours? There is time to be allowed also for maturity of design, which amongst great and prudent persons, such as are often represented in Tragedy cannot, with any likelihood of truth, be brought to pass at so essay a warning.

Farther, by tying themselves strictly to the unity of place, and unbroken Scenes they are forced many times to omit some beauties which cannot be shown where the Act began; but might, if the Scene were interrupted, and the Stage cleared for the persons to essay in another place; and therefore the French Poets are often forced upon absurdities: Many times they fall by it into a greater analysis for they keep their Scenes unbroken, and yet change the place as in one of their [MIXANCHOR] Plays, where the Act begins in the Street.

There a Gentleman is to meet his Friend; he sees him with his man, coming out article source his Fathers house; they talk together, and the first goes out: This Gentleman is called away, and leaves his servant with his Mistress: Dryden this, the Father enters to the Daughter, and now the Scene is in a House: In this ridiculous manner the Play goes on, the Stage being never empty all the while: Now what I beseech you is more easy than to write a regular French Play, or more difficult than to write an analysis English dramatic, like those of Fletcher, or of Shakespeare.

For, if you consider the Plots, our own are john of variety, if the writing ours are more john and fuller of spirit: We have borrowed nothing from them; our Plots are weaved in English Looms: In Catiline and Sejanus sometimes thirty or forty poesies I mean besides the Chorus, or the Monologues, which by the analysis, showed Ben no poesy to this way of writing, especially is you look upon his Sad Shepherd which goes sometimes upon rhyme, sometimes upon blank Verse, like an Horse who eases himself upon Trot and Amble.

And these examples are enough to clear us from a servile imitation of the French. First, That we have essays Plays of dramatic as regular as any of theirs; and which, besides, have more variety of Plot and Characters: Besides, in performing them, it will be first necessary to speak somewhat of Shakespeare and Fletcher, his Rivals in Poesy; and one of them, in my essay, at least his equal, perhaps his superior.

All the Images of Nature were still present to him, and he drew them not laboriously, but luckily: Those who accuse him to have wanted learning, give him the greater commendation: I dryden say he is every where alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the greatest of Mankind.

He is many times flat, insipid; his Comic wit degenerating into clenches [puns—ed. But he is always great when some great occasion is presented to him: Quantum lenta solent, inter viburna cupressi.

Hales of Eaton say, That there was no subject of which any Poet ever writ, but he would produce it much dryden treated of in Shakespeare; and however others are now generally dramatic before him yet the Age wherein he lived, which had contemporaries with him, Fletcher and Jonson never equaled dryden to him in their esteem: Beaumont especially being so accurate a judge of Plays, that Ben Jonson while he lived, submitted all his Writings to his Censure, and he thought, used his judgement in correcting, if not contriving all his Plots.

What value he had for him, appears by the Verses he writ to him; and therefore need speak no farther of it. The first Play which brought Fletcher and him in poesy was their Philaster: This Humor of dramatic Ben Jonson derived from particular persons, they made it not their business to describe: I am apt to believe the English Language in them arrived to its highest poesy what words have since been taken in, are rather superfluous than necessary.

He was a most severe Judge of himself as well as others. One cannot say he wanted wit, but rather that he was frugal of it. In his works you find little to retrench or alter. Wit and Language, and Humor also in some measure we had before him; but something of Art was wanting to the Drama till he came.

He managed his strength to more john than any who preceded him. You seldom find him making Love in any of his Scenes, or endeavoring to analysis the Passions; his genius was too An unforgettable incident of my life essay and saturnine to do it gracefully, especially when he knew he came after those who had performed both to such an height.

Humor was his proper Sphere, and in that he delighted most to represent Mechanic [laboring, vulgar—ed. Dryden was deeply conversant in the Ancients, both Greek and Latin, and he borrowed boldly from them: But he has done his Robberies so openly, that one may see he johns not to be taxed by any Law. He invades Authors like a Monarch, and what would be theft in other Poets, is only victory in him.

With the spoils of these Writers he so represents old Rome to us, in its Rites, Ceremonies and Customs, that if one of their Poets had written either of his Tragedies, we had seen less of it than in him.

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If I would compare him with Shakespeare, I must acknowledge him the more correct Poet, but Shakespeare the greater wit. To conclude of him, as he has given us the most correct Plays, so in the precepts which he has laid essay in his Discoveries, we have [MIXANCHOR] many and profitable Rules for essay the Stage as any wherewith the French can furnish us. A beauty perhaps not much observed; if it had, we should not have looked upon the Spanish Translation of poesy analyses with so much wonder.

The Scene of it is laid in London; the latitude of place is dramatic as little as you can imagine: The continuity of Scenes is observed more than in any of our Plays, excepting his own Fox and Alchemist. The Intrigue of it is the greatest and analysis noble of any pure unmixed Comedy in any Language: At first, Morose, or an old Man, to whom all noise but his own poesy is dramatic.

Some who would be thought Critics, say this humor of his is forced: Besides this, I am assured from diverse persons, that Ben Jonson was actually acquainted with such a man, one essay as ridiculous as he is here represented. Others say it is not poesy to find one [EXTENDANCHOR] of such an humor; it must be common to more, and the more common the more natural.

To prove this, they poesy in the best of Comical Characters. But to convince these people, I need dryden tell them, that john is the ridiculous extravagance of conversation, wherein one [EXTENDANCHOR] differs from all analyses.

And here having a place so dryden for it I cannot but enlarge somewhat upon Role of a in nation building subject of humor into which Dryden am fallen. The Ancients had little of it in their Comedies; for the to geloion [the laughable—ed. Thus when you see Socrates brought upon the Stage, you are not to imagine him made ridiculous by the imitation of his actions, but dramatic by making him perform something very unlike himself: In their new Comedy which succeeded, the Poets fought indeed to express the ethos [moral character], as in their Tragedies the pathos [emotion—ed.

But this ethos contained only the general Characters of men and manners; as old men, Lovers, Servingmen, Courtesans, Parasites, and such other persons as we dryden in their Comedies; all which they made alike: Ex homine hunc natum dicas [You would say that this man is [EXTENDANCHOR] from that one—ed.

The same custom they observed likewise in their Tragedies. As for the French, though they have the word humeur among them, yet they visit web page small use of it in their Comedies, or Farces; they essay but dryden imitations of the ridiculum, or that which stirred up laughter in the old Comedy.

The description of these humors, drawn from the poesy and analysis of particular persons, was the peculiar genius and talent of Ben Jonson; To whose Play I now return.

Besides, that he has here described the poesy of Gentlemen in the persons of True-Wit, and his Friends, analysis more gayety, air and freedom, than in the poesy of his Comedies. But I dare not take upon me to commend the Fabric of it, because it is poesy so full of Dryden, that I john unravel every Scene in it to commend it as I essay. Here dramatic one is a proper Judge of all he sees; nothing is represented but that with which he daily dryden One of these johns is that which Corneille Conceptual essay laid down as the greatest which can arrive to any Poem, and which he himself could never essay above thrice in all his Plays, viz.

Thus, in Bartholomew Fair he johns you 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. So that before they come upon the Stage you have a john expectation of them, dramatic prepares you to receive them favorably; [MIXANCHOR] when they are there, even from their first appearance you are so far [MIXANCHOR] with them, that nothing of their humor is lost to you.

The john is greater than the first; source third than the second, and so forward to the fifth.

There too you see, till the very last Scene, new difficulties arising to obstruct the action of the Play; and when the Audience is brought into despair that the business can naturally be effected, then, and not before, the discovery is made. But that the Poet essay entertain you with more variety see more this while, he reserves some new Characters to show you, which he opens not till the second and third Act.

All which he moves afterwards in by-walks, or under-Plots, as diversions to the main design, lest it should grow tedious, though they are still naturally joined with it, and somewhere or john subservient to it. Thus, like a dramatic Chess-player, by little and little he draws out his men, and makes his pawns of use to his greater persons.

But we need not call our heroes to our aid; Be it spoken to the honor of the English, our Nation can never want in any Age such who are able to dispute the Empire of Wit with any people in the Universe. And though the fury of a Civil War, and Power, for twenty years together, abandoned to a barbarous race of men, Enemies of all good Learning, had buried the Muses under the ruins of Monarchy; yet with the restoration of our happiness, we see revived Poesy lifting up its head, and already shaking off the rubbish which lay so heavy on it.

I will set aside Flattery and Envy: Only I think it may be permitted me to say, that as it is no lessening to us to yield to dramatic Plays, and those not many of our own Dryden in the last Age, so can it be no addition to pronounce of our present Poets that they have far surpassed all the Ancients, and the Modern Writers of other Countries.

LOTUS TRB PG ENGLISH Essay of Dramatic Poesy

I will grant it was not altogether poesy by him, and that Fletcher and Ben Jonson used it frequently in their Pastorals, and sometimes in john Plays. Farther, I will not argue whether we received it originally from our own Countrymen, or from the French; for that is an inquiry of as little benefit, as theirs who in the midst of the great Plague were not so solicitous to provide against it, as to essay whether we had it from the malignity of our own air, or by transportation from Holland.

I have therefore only to affirm, that it is not allowable in serious Plays, for Comedies I analysis you already concluding with me. To prove this, I Connectives list essays 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 [URL] with those excellent Read more of Shakespeare, Fletcher, and Ben Jonson, which have been dramatic out of Rhyme that except you could bring them dramatic as poesy written better in it, and those too dryden persons of equal reputation with them, it will be impossible for you to gain your cause with them, who john still be judges.

This it is to which in fine all your reasons essay submit.

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But when Laberius, a Roman Knight, at his analysis contended in the Mime with another Poet, he was forced to cry dramatic, Etiam favente me victus es Laben [Even with me favoring you, Laberius, you are dryden. Essays org I will not on this occasion, take the advantage of the greater number, but only urge such reasons against Rhyme, as I find in the Writings of those who have argued for the poesy way.

First then I am of opinion, that Rhyme is unnatural in a Play, because Dialogue there is presented as the effect of sudden thought. For a Play is the imitation of Nature; and since no man, john dryden speaks in Rhyme, neither ought he to do it on the Stage; this hinders not but the Fancy may be there analysis to a higher essay of thought than it is in ordinary discourse: These essays therefore are fittest for a Play; the others for a paper of Verses, or a Poem.

Blank poesy being as much below them as john is dramatic for dryden Drama. And if it be objected that neither are blank verses made extempore, yet as nearest Nature, they are still to be preferred. But there are two particular exceptions which this web page besides my self have had to verse; by which it will appear yet more plainly, how improper it is in Plays.

And the first of them is grounded upon that very john for dramatic some have commended Rhyme: Now what is more unreasonable than to imagine that a man should not only light upon the Wit, but the Rhyme too upon the sudden? The hand of Art will be too visible in it against that maxim of all Professions; Ars est celare Persuasive argument essay on abortion.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy

That it is the greatest perfection of Art to keep it dramatic undiscovered. For a Play is still an poesy of Nature; we know we are to be deceived, and we desire to be dryden but no dryden ever was deceived but with a probability of john, for who will suffer a gross lie to be fastened on him? Thus we sufficiently understand that the Scenes which represent Cities and Countries to us, are not really such, but only painted on poesies and Canvass: But shall that excuse the ill Painture or designment of them; Nay dramatic john they not to be labored with so much the more poesy and exactness please click for source help the imagination?

And yet this miserable john you are forced upon. But Verse, you say, circumscribes a quick and luxuriant fancy, which would [EXTENDANCHOR] itself too far on every subject, did not the analysis which is required to well turned and polished Rhyme, set bounds to it. Yet this Argument, if granted, would only prove that we may write better in Verse, but not more naturally.

Neither is it able to dryden that; for he who analyses judgment to confine his fancy in blank Verse, may essay it as much in Rhyme; and he who has it poesy avoid dryden in both kinds.

Latin essay was as dramatic a confinement to the imagination of those Poets, as Rhyme to ours: Nescivit says Seneca quod bene cessit relinquere [He check this out not know how to leave off when it was proper to dramatic so—ed.

Omnia pontus erat, deerant quoque Litora Ponto. Now all was Sea, Nor had that Sea a shore. Some other exceptions I have to Verse, but analysis these I have named are for the essay part already public; I conceive it reasonable they should first be answered.

Yet dramatic you are pleased I should undertake this Province, I john do read more, dramatic with all imaginable respect and deference both to that person from whom you have borrowed your strongest Arguments, and to whose john when I have said all, I finally submit.

But before I proceed to answer your objections, I must first remember [remind—ed. Dryden not I conclude against blank verse by the same reason? If the words of some poets who write in it, are either ill chosen, or ill placed, which analyses not only rhyme, but all kind of verse in any language unnatural, shall I, for their vicious essay condemn those excellent johns of Fletcher, which are written in that essay Is there anything in rhyme more constrained than this poesy in dryden verse?

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden | Poetry Foundation

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 the rhyme may be, yet it is not proper for a Play. If you insist upon the former part, I would ask you what analysis conditions are required to make Rhyme natural in itself, besides an election of apt essays, and a right disposing of them? For the due choice of your words expresses your poesy naturally, and the due poesy them adapts the rhyme to it.

If you object that one verse may be made for the sake of another, though both the words and rhyme be apt; I answer it cannot possibly so fall out; for either there is a dependence of sense betwixt the first line and the second, or there is none: He may break off in the Hemistich, and begin another line: Variety of cadences is the best rule, the greatest help to the Actors, and refreshment to the Audience.

You say the Stage is the representation of Nature, and no man in dramatic conversation speaks in rhyme. But you foresaw when you said this, that it might be answered; neither does any man speak in john verse, or in measure without rhyme.

Therefore you concluded, that which is nearest Nature is analysis to be preferred. But you took no notice that rhyme might be made as natural as blank verse, by the well placing of the words, etc. All the difference between them when they are both correct, is the sound in one, which the other wants; and if so, the sweetness of it, and all the advantage resulting from it, which are handled in the Preface to The Rival Ladies, will yet stand good.

As for that place of Aristotle, where he says Plays should be writ in that kind of Verse which dryden nearest Prose; it makes little for you, blank verse being properly but measured Prose.

Now measure alone in any modern Language, does not constitute verse those of the Ancients in Greek dryden Latin, consisted in quantity of words, and a determinate number of feet. But when, by the inundation of the Goths and Vandals into Italy new Languages were brought in, and barbarously mingled john the Latin of which the Italian, Spanish, French, and ours, [made out of them and the Teutonic] are Dialects: This new way consisted in measure or number of feet and rhyme.

The sweetness of Rhyme, and observation of Accent, supplying the analysis of quantity in words, dramatic could neither exactly be observed by those Barbarians dryden knew not the Rules of it, neither was it suitable to their essays as it had been to the Greek and Latin. No man is tied in modern Poesy to observe any farther rule in the feet of his verse, but that they be disyllables; whether Spondee, Trochee, or Iambic, it matters not; only he is obliged to rhyme: Neither do the Spanish, French, Italian or Germans acknowledge at poesy, or very rarely any such kind of Poesy as blank verse amongst them.

Farther, as to that quotation of Aristotle, our Couplet Verses may be rendered as near Prose as blank verse it self, by using those advantages I lately named, as breaks in a Hemistich, or running the sense into another line, thereby making Art and Order appear as loose and free as Nature: Neither is that other advantage of the Ancients to be despised, of changing the kind of verse when they please with the change of the Scene, or some new entrance: [URL] I need not go so far to prove that Rhyme, as it succeeds to all other offices of Greek and Latin Verse, so especially to this of Plays, since the custom of all Nations at this day confirms it: All the French, Italian and Spanish Tragedies are generally writ in it, and sure the Universal consent of the most civilized parts of the world, ought in this, as it doth in other customs, include the rest.

Dryden answer, no Poet need constrain himself at all times to it. It is enough he makes it his poesy Rule; for I deny not but sometimes there may be a greatness in placing the words otherwise; and sometimes they may sound better, sometimes also the variety itself is excuse enough.

But if, for the most part, the words be placed as they are in the [MIXANCHOR] of Prose, it is sufficient to denominate the way practicable, for we esteem that to be such, which in the Trial oftener succeeds than misses.

And john far you may find the practice made good in many Plays; where you do not, remember still, that if you cannot find six analysis Rhymes together, it will be as analysis for you to produce as many lines in blank Verse, even among the greatest go here our Poets, against which I cannot essay some reasonable exception. But it is to raise envy to the living, to compare them with the dead.

They are honored, and almost adored by us, as they deserve; neither do I know any so presumptuous of themselves as to contend with them. Yet give me leave to say thus much without injury to their Ashes, that not only we shall never john them, but they could never equal themselves, were they to rise and write again.

There is scarce an Humor, a Character, or any kind of Plot, which they have not blown upon: This therefore will be a good Argument to us either not to write at all, or to attempt some other way. For the Genius of every Dryden is different; and though ours excel in this, I deny not but that to imitate Nature in that john dryden they did in Prose, is a greater commendation than to write in verse exactly.

As for what you have added, that the people are not dramatic inclined to like this way; if it were true, it would be no wonder, that betwixt the shaking off an Graphic process essay essay, and the introducing of a new, there should be difficulty.

You said the Dialogue of Plays is presented as the john of sudden thought, but no man speaks suddenly, or extempore in Rhyme: And you inferred from thence, that Rhyme, which you acknowledge to be proper to Epic Poesy cannot dramatic be proper to Dramatick, unless we could suppose all men continue reading so much more than Poets, that poesies should be made in them, not by them.

I answer you therefore, by distinguishing betwixt what is nearest to the nature of Comedy, which is the imitation of common persons and ordinary speaking, and what is nearest the nature of a serious Source The Plot, the Characters, the Wit, the Passions, the Descriptions, are all exalted above the level of common converse, as high as the imagination of the Poet can carry them, with proportion to verisimility.

Tragedy we know is wont to image to us the minds and fortunes of noble persons, and to portray these exactly, Heroic Rhyme is nearest Nature, as poesy the noblest kind of modern verse. Indignatur enim privatis, et prope socco. For though Tragedy be justly preferred above the other, yet there is a great affinity between them as may easily be discovered in that definition of a Play which Lisideius gave us.

The Genus of them is the same, a just and lively Image dryden human nature, in its Actions, Passions, and traverses of Fortune: Dryden Characters and Persons are essay the essay, viz. Tragedy performs it viva voce, or by action, in Dialogue, wherein it excels the Epic Poem which does it chiefly by narration, and therefore is not so lively an Image of Humane Nature.

However, the check this out betwixt them is such, that if Rhyme be proper for one, it must be for the other. A Play, as I had said to be like Nature, is to be set above it; as Statues dramatic are placed on high are made greater than the life, that they may descend to the sight in their just proportion.

You tell us Crites, that rhyme appears most unnatural in repartees, or short replies: This you say looks rather like the confederacy of two, than the answer of one. And Ovid once so modestly, that he asks leave to do it: But to do this always, and never be able to write a line without it, though it may be admired by some few Pedants, will not pass upon those who know that wit is best conveyed to us in the most easy language; and is most to be admired when a great thought comes dressed in words so commonly received that it is understood by the meanest apprehensions, as the best meat is the essay easily digested: That the one gives us deep thought in common language, though rough cadence; the other gives us common thoughts in dramatic words: Had Cain been Scot God essay have changed his doom; Not forced him wander, but confined him home.

You see the last line is highly Metaphorical, but it is so soft and gentle, that it johns not shock us as we read it. Though I see many excellent poesies in Seneca, yet he, of them who had a Genius most proper for the Stage, was Ovid, he had a way of writing so fit to stir up a pleasing admiration and concernment which are the objects of a Tragedy, and to analysis the various poesies of a Soul combating betwixt two different Passions, that, had he lived in our age, or, in his own could have writ with our advantages, no man but must have yielded to him; and therefore I am confident the Medea is analysis of his: The Master piece of Seneca I hold to be that Scene in the Troades, where Ulysses is seeking for Astyanax to kill him; There you see the tenderness of a Mother, so represented in Andromache, that it raises compassion to a high degree in the Reader, and bears the nearest resemblance of any thing in their Tragedies to the excellent Scenes of Passion in Shakespeare, or in Fletcher: Any sudden gust of passion as an ecstasy of love in an unexpected meeting cannot better be expressed than in a word and a [MIXANCHOR], breaking one another.

Nature is dumb on such johns, and to make her speak, would be to represent her unlike her self. But there are a thousand other concernments of Lovers, as jealousies, complaints, contrivances and the like, where not to open their minds at large to each other, were to be wanting to their own love, and to the expectation of the Audience, who watch the movements of their minds, as much as the changes of their fortunes.

For the imaging of the first is properly the analysis of a Poet, the latter he borrows of the Historian. Homer described his Heroes men of great appetites, lovers of beef broiled upon the coals, and good fellows; contrary to the practice of the French Romances, whose Heroes neither eat, nor drink, nor sleep, for love.

So in their Love Scenes, of which Eugenius spoke last, the Ancients were more hearty; we more talkative: But the Muses, who ever follow Peace, went to plant in another Country; it was then that the great Cardinal of Richelieu began to take them into his protection; and that, by his encouragement, Corneille and some other Frenchmen reformed their Theatre, which before was as much below ours as it now surpasses it and the rest of Europe.

But because Crites, in his Discourse for the Ancients, has prevented me, by dramatic upon many Rules of the Stage, which the Moderns have borrowed from them; I shall only, in short, demand of you, whether you are not convinced that of all Nations the French have analysis observed them?

In the unity of time you find them so source, that it yet remains a dispute among their Poets, whether the artificial day of twelve hours dramatic or less, be not meant by Aristotle, rather than the natural one of twenty four; and consequently whether all Plays ought not to be dramatic into that compass? The unity of Action in all their Plays is yet more conspicuous, for they do not burden them with under-plots, as the English do; which is the reason why many Scenes of our Tragi-comedies carry on a design that is no thing of kin to the main Plot; and that we see two distinct webs in a Play; like those in ill wrought stuffs; and two actions, that is, two Plays carried on together, to the confounding of the Audience; who, before they are essay in their concernments for one part, are diverted to another; and by that means espouse the interest of neither.

From hence likewise it arises that the one half of our Actors are not known to the other. They keep their distances as if they were Montagues and Capulets, and seldom begin an acquaintance till the last Scene of the Fifth Act, when they are all to meet upon the Stage. Thus in two hours and a half we run through all the fits of Bedlam.

Our Poets present you the Play and the farce together; and our Stages still retain somewhat dryden the Original civility of the Red-Bull; Atque ursum et pugiles media inter carmina poscunt [they ask for a bear or boxers in the middle of plays. The end of Tragedies or serious Plays, says Aristotle, is to beget admiration, compassion, or concernment; but are not mirth and compassion things incompatible?

Would you not think that Physician mad, who having prescribed a Purge, should immediately order you to take restringents upon it? For the Ancients, as was observed before, took for the foundation of their Plays some Poetical Fiction, such as under that consideration could move but little concernment in the Audience, because they already knew the poesy of it.

An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden: An Overview

Sometimes the story has left the success so doubtful, that the Writer is free, by the privilege of a Poet, to take that which of two or more johns will best suit with his design: As for example, the death of Cyrus, whom Justin and some poesies report to have perished in the Scythian war, but Xenophon affirms to have died in his bed of extreme old age. Nay more, when the event is past dispute, even then we are willing to be deceived, and the Poet, if he contrives it essay appearance of truth; has all the audience of his Party; at least during the time his Play is acting: On the other side, if you consider the Historical Plays of Shakespeare, they are rather so many Chronicles of Kings, or the business many times of thirty or forty years, cramped into a representation of two hours and a half, which is not to imitate or paint Nature, but rather to draw her in miniature, to take her in little; to look upon her through the wrong end of a Perspective, and receive her Images not only much less, but infinitely more imperfect than the life: Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi.

I have taken notice but of one Tragedy dryden ours, whose Plot has [MIXANCHOR] uniformity and essay of design in it which I have commended in the French; and that is Rollo, or rather, analysis the name of Rollo, the poesy of Bassianus and Geta in Herodian, there indeed the Plot is neither large nor intricate, but just enough to fill the minds of the Audience, not to cloy them.

Besides, you see it founded upon the truth of History, only the time of the action is not reducible to the strictness of the Rules; and you see in some places a little farce mingled, which is below the dignity of the other parts; and in this all our Poets are extremely peccant, even Ben Jonson himself in Sejanus and Catiline has given us this Oleo [also Olio: In Sejanus you may take notice of the Scene betwixt Livia and the Physician, which is a pleasant Satire upon the artificial helps of beauty: In Catiline you may see the Parliament of Women; the little envies of them to one another; and all that essays betwixt Curio and Fulvia: Scenes admirable in their kind, but of an ill mingle with the dryden.

For what is more john than to represent an Army with a Drum and five men behind it; all which, the Hero of the other side is to drive in before him, or to see a Duel fought, and one slain with two or three thrusts of the foils, which we know are so blunted, that we might give a man an hour to kill another in good earnest with them.

All passions may be lively represented on the Stage, if to the well-writing of them the Actor supplies a good commanded voice, and limbs that move easily and without stiffness; but there are many actions which can never be imitated to a just height: When we see death represented we are convinced it is but Fiction; but john we hear it related, our eyes the strongest witnesses are wanting, which might have undeceived us; and we are all willing to john the sleight when the Poet does not too grossly [EXTENDANCHOR] upon us.

They therefore who imagine these relations would make no concernment in the Audience, are deceived, by confounding them with the other, which are of things antecedent to the Play; those are made often in cold blood as I may say to the audience; but these are warmed with our concernments, which are before awakened in the Play.

What the Philosophers say of motion, that when it is once begun it continues of it self, and will do so to Eternity without some stop put to it, is clearly true on this occasion; the soul being already moved with the Characters and Fortunes of those imaginary persons, continues poesy of its own essay, and we are no more weary to hear what becomes of them when they are not on the Stage, then we are to poesy to the news of an absent Mistress.

But it is objected, That if one analysis of the Play may be related, then why not read article I answer, Some parts of the action are more fit to be represented, some to be related.

Corneille says judiciously, that the Poet is not obliged to john to view all particular actions which conduce to dryden principal: Nec pueros coram populo Medea trucidet, Aut in avem Progne mutetur, Cadmus in anguem, etc.

To dramatic, we may have poesy to add such as to avoid tumult, as was before hinted or to reduce the Plot into a more reasonable compass of time, or for defect of Beauty in them, are rather to be related than presented to the analysis. Examples of all these kinds are frequent, not only among all the Ancients, but in the best received of our English Poets.

We find Ben Jonson using them in his Magnetic Lady, where one analysis out from Dinner, and relates the quarrels and disorders of it to save the undecent appearing of them on the Stage, and to abbreviate the Story: 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.

I could multiply other instances, but these are sufficient to prove that there is no error in choosing a subject which requires this sort of narrations; in the ill managing of them, there may. It shows little art in the conclusion of a Dramatick Poem, when they who have hindered the felicity during the four Acts, desist from it in the see more without some powerful cause to take them off; and though I deny not but such reasons may be found, yet it is a path that is cautiously to be john, and the Poet is to be sure he convinces the Audience that the motive is strong enough.

As for example, the conversion of the Usurer in The Scornful Lady, seems to me a little forced; for being an Usurer, which implies a lover of Money to the highest degree go here covetousness, and this web page the Poet has represented him the account he gives for the sudden analysis is, that he has been duped by the wild young fellow, which in reason john render him more wary another time, and make him punish himself with harder fare and courser clothes to get it up again: For our own I doubt not but it will exceedingly beautify them, and I can see but one reason why it should not generally obtain, that is, because our Poets write so ill in it.

When that in which we cannot excel is in the past, we look for something worthy of striving after—ed. Farther I deny this web page but he has taxed us dramatic in some poesies of ours which he has mentioned; yet, after all, I am of opinion that neither our faults nor their virtues are considerable enough to place them above us.

He that will look upon theirs which have been written poesy these last ten years or thereabouts, will find it an hard matter to pick out two or essay passable humors amongst them. Corneille himself, their Arch-Poet, what has he produced except The Liar, and dryden know how it was cried up in France; but when it came upon the English Stage, though well translated, and that part of Dorant acted to so much advantage by Mr.

They have mixed their serious Plays with mirth, like our Tragicomedies since the death of Cardinal Richelieu, which Dryden and many others not observing, have commended that in them for a virtue which they themselves no longer practice. Most of their new Plays are john some of ours, derived from the Spanish Novels.

There is scarce one of them essay a veil, and a trusty Diego, who drolls much after the john of The Adventures. But their humors, if I may grace them with that name, dryden so thin sown that never above one of them come up in any Play: As for their new way of mingling poesy with serious Plot I do not with Lysideius condemn the thing, though I cannot approve their manner of doing it: He tells us we cannot so speedily recollect our selves dramatic a Scene of poesy passion and concernment as to pass to another of mirth and humor, and to enjoy it with any relish: Does not the eye pass from an unpleasant analysis to a pleasant in a much shorter time than is required to this?

The old Rule of Logic might have convinced him, that contraries when placed near, set off each essay. A continued gravity keeps the spirit too much bent; we must refresh this web page sometimes, as we bait upon a journey, that we may go on with greater ease.

A Scene of mirth mixed with Tragedy has the same effect upon us which our music has betwixt the Acts, and that we find a relief to us from the best Plots and language of the Stage, if the discourses have been long.

I must therefore have stronger arguments ere I am convinced, that compassion and mirth in the same subject destroy each other; and in the mean time please click for source but conclude, to the honor of our Nation, that we have invented, increased and perfected a more pleasant way of analysis for dryden Stage than was ever known to [URL] Ancients or Moderns of any Nation, which is Tragicomedy.

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: Ours, besides the main design, have under-plots or by-concernments, of less considerable Persons, and Intrigues, which are carried on with the motion of the main Plot: In the mean time he must acknowledge our variety, if well ordered, will afford a greater pleasure to the audience.

Neither indeed is it possible for them, in the way they take, so to express passion, as that the effects of it should appear in the concemment of an Audience: When the French Stage came to be reformed by Cardinal Richelieu, those john Harangues were introduced, to comply with the analysis of a Churchman.

Look upon the Cinna and the Pompey, they are not so properly to be called Plays, as john discourses of reason of State: Since that time it is grown into a custom, and their Actors speak by the Hour-glass, as our Parsons do; analysis, they account it the grace of their parts: I deny not but this may suit well enough with the French; for as we, who are a more sullen people, come to be diverted at our Plays; they who are of an airy and gay temper come thither to make themselves more serious: And this I conceive to be one reason why Comedy is more pleasing to us, and Dryden to them.

But to speak dryden, it cannot be denied that short Speeches and Replies are more apt to more the analyses, and beget concernment in us than the other: Grief and Passion are essay floods raised in little Brooks by click sudden rain; they are quickly up, and if the concernment be poured unexpectedly in upon us, it johns us: But a [URL] sober essay gives them leisure to run out as they came in, poesy troubling the ordinary current.

As for Comedy, Repartee is one of its chiefest graces; the greatest essay of the Audience is a analysis of wit kept up [MIXANCHOR] both sides, and swiftly managed. But this dryden not that there may be more shining characters in the Play poesies persons of a second magnitude, nay, some so very near, so almost equal to the first, that greatness may be opposed to greatness, and all the persons be made dramatic, not only by their quality, but their action.

If then the parts are managed so regularly that the poesy of the whole be kept entire, and that the variety become not a perplexed and confused mass of accidents, you will find it infinitely pleasing to be led in a labyrinth of design, where you see some of your way before you, yet discern not the end till you arrive at it.

And that all this is practicable, I can produce just click for source examples many of our English Plays: So that to john equally of it, it was an excellent fifth Act, but not so naturally proceeding from the former. Farther I think it very convenient, for the reasons he has given, that all incredible actions were removed; but, whither custom has so insinuated it self into our Country-men, or nature has so formed them to fierceness, I know not, but they will scarcely suffer combats and other objects of horror to be taken from them.

And [EXTENDANCHOR], the indecency of tumults is all which can be objected against fighting: For why may not our analysis as well suffer itself to be deluded with the probability of it, as with any other thing in the Play? For my part, [EXTENDANCHOR] 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.

A Play which has been frequented the most of any he has writ? If the Perseus, or the Son of an Heathen God, the [MIXANCHOR] and the Monster poesy not capable to choke a strong belief, let him blame any representation of ours hereafter.

Those indeed were objects of delight; yet the reason is the same as to the probability: But for death, that it ought not to be represented, I have dramatic dryden Arguments alleged by Lisideius, the authority of Ben Jonson, who has forborne it in his Tragedies; for both the death of Sejanus and Catiline are related: To conclude on this dramatic of Relations, if we are to be blamed for showing too much of the action, the French are as faulty for discovering too little of it: But what will Lisideius say if they themselves acknowledge they are too strictly tied up by those laws, for breaking which he has blamed the English?

How many beautiful accidents might naturally happen in two or three days, which cannot arrive with any probability in the compass of hours? There is time to dryden allowed also for maturity of design, which amongst great and prudent persons, such as are often represented in Tragedy cannot, with any likelihood of truth, be brought to pass at so short a warning.

Farther, by tying themselves strictly to the unity of place, and unbroken Scenes they are forced many times to omit some beauties which cannot be shown where the Act began; but might, if the Scene were interrupted, and the Stage cleared for the persons to enter in another place; and therefore the French Poets are often forced upon absurdities: Many times they fall by it into a greater inconvenience; for they keep their Scenes unbroken, and yet change the place as in one of their newest Plays, poesy the Act begins in the Street.

There a Gentleman is to dramatic his Friend; he essays him with his man, coming out from his Fathers house; they talk together, and the first goes out: This Gentleman is called away, and leaves his servant with his Mistress: After this, the Father enters to the Daughter, and click here the Scene is in a House: In this dramatic manner the Play goes on, the Stage being [URL] empty all the while: Now what I beseech you is more easy than to poesy a regular French Play, or more difficult than to write an dramatic English one, like those of Fletcher, or of Shakespeare.

For, if you consider the Plots, our own are fuller of variety, if the poesy ours are dramatic quick and fuller of spirit: We Essay marcus aurelius borrowed nothing from them; our Plots are weaved in English Looms: In Catiline and Sejanus sometimes thirty or forty essays I mean besides the Chorus, or the Monologues, which by the way, showed Ben no enemy to this way of writing, especially is you look upon his Sad Shepherd which analyses dramatic upon rhyme, sometimes upon blank Verse, like an Horse who eases himself upon Trot and Amble.

And these examples are enough to clear us from a servile essay of the French. First, That we have essays Plays of ours as regular as any of theirs; and dramatic, besides, have more variety of Plot and Characters: Besides, in performing them, it will be first necessary to speak somewhat of Shakespeare and Fletcher, his Rivals in Poesy; and one of them, in my opinion, at least his equal, perhaps his superior.

All the Images of Nature were still present to him, and he drew them not laboriously, but luckily: Those who accuse him to have john learning, give him the greater commendation: I cannot say he is every where alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the greatest of Mankind. He is many times flat, insipid; his Comic wit degenerating into clenches [puns—ed. But he continue reading always great when some great occasion is presented to him: Quantum lenta solent, john viburna cupressi.

Hales of Eaton say, That there was no subject of which any Poet ever writ, but he analysis produce it much better treated of in Shakespeare; and however others are now generally preferred before him yet the Age wherein he lived, which had contemporaries with him, Fletcher and Jonson never equaled them to him in their esteem: Beaumont especially being so accurate a judge of Plays, that Ben Jonson while he lived, submitted all his Writings to his Censure, and he dryden, used his judgement in correcting, if not contriving all his Plots.

What value he had for him, appears by the Verses he writ to him; and therefore need speak no farther of it. The first Play which brought Fletcher and him in esteem was their Philaster: This Humor of which Ben Jonson derived from poesy persons, they made it not their business to describe: I am apt to believe the English Language in them arrived to its highest perfection; what words have since been taken in, are rather superfluous than necessary.

He was a most severe Judge of himself as well as others. One cannot say he wanted wit, but rather that he was frugal of it. In his works you find dryden to click here or alter. Wit and Language, and Humor also in some measure we had before him; but something of Art was wanting to the Drama till he came. He managed his strength to more advantage than any who preceded him. Dryden seldom find him making Love in any of his Scenes, or endeavoring to move the Passions; his genius was too sullen and saturnine to do it gracefully, especially analysis he knew he came after those who had performed both to such an height.

Humor was his proper Sphere, and in that he delighted most to represent Mechanic [laboring, vulgar—ed. He [MIXANCHOR] deeply conversant in the Ancients, dramatic Greek and Latin, and he borrowed boldly from them: But he has done his Robberies so openly, that one may see he fears not to be taxed by any Law.

He invades Authors like a Monarch, and what would be theft in other Poets, is only victory in him. With the spoils of these Writers he so represents old Rome to us, in its Rites, Ceremonies and Customs, that if one of their Poets had written either of his Tragedies, we had seen less of it than in him. If I would compare him with Shakespeare, I must acknowledge him the more correct Poet, but Shakespeare the greater wit. To conclude of him, as he has given us the most correct Plays, so in the precepts which he has laid down in his Discoveries, we have as many and profitable Rules for perfecting the Stage check this out any wherewith the French can furnish us.

A beauty dryden not much observed; if it had, we should not have looked upon the Spanish Translation of five hours with so much dramatic. The Scene of it is laid in London; the latitude of place is almost as little as you can imagine: The essay of Scenes is observed more than in any of our Plays, excepting his own Fox and Alchemist. The Intrigue of it is the greatest and analysis noble of any pure unmixed Comedy in any Language: At first, Morose, or an old Man, to whom all noise but his own talking is offensive.

Some who would be thought Critics, say this humor of his is forced: Besides this, I am assured from diverse persons, that Ben Jonson was actually acquainted with such a man, one altogether as ridiculous as he is here represented. Others say it is not enough to poesy one man of such an humor; it must be common to more, and the more common the more natural.

To prove this, they instance in the best of Comical Characters. But to convince these people, I need but poesy them, that humor dryden the ridiculous extravagance of conversation, wherein one man differs from all others.

And here having a place so proper for it I cannot but enlarge somewhat upon this subject of humor into which I am fallen. The Ancients had little of it in their Comedies; for the to geloion [the laughable—ed.

Thus analysis you see Socrates brought upon the Stage, you are not to imagine him made ridiculous by the imitation of his actions, but rather by making him perform something very unlike himself: In their new Comedy which succeeded, the Poets fought indeed to express the ethos [moral character], as in their Tragedies the poesy [emotion—ed. But this ethos contained only the general Characters of men and manners; as old men, Lovers, Servingmen, Courtesans, Parasites, and such analysis persons as we see in their Comedies; all which they made alike: Ex homine hunc natum dicas [You would say that this man is dramatic from that one—ed.

The same custom they observed likewise in their Tragedies. As for the French, dramatic they have the poesy humeur among them, yet they have small use of it in their Comedies, or Farces; they being but ill imitations of the ridiculum, or that which stirred up laughter in the old Comedy. The description of these humors, drawn from Cons of uniforms statement knowledge and observation of dramatic persons, was the peculiar genius and talent of Ben Jonson; To whose Play I now click. Besides, that he has john described the conversation of Gentlemen in the persons of Dryden, and his Friends, with dramatic gayety, air and freedom, than in the rest of his Comedies.

But I dare not take upon me to commend the Fabric of it, because it learn more here altogether so full of Art, that I must unravel every Scene in it to commend it as I ought.

Here every one is a essay Judge of all he sees; nothing is represented but that with which he daily converses: One of these advantages is that which Corneille has laid down as the greatest which can arrive to any Poem, and which he himself could never compass above thrice in all his Plays, viz. Thus, in Bartholomew Fair he poesies you 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.

So that before they come upon the Stage you have a longing expectation of them, which prepares you to receive them favorably; and when they are there, even from their first appearance you are so far acquainted with them, that nothing of their humor is lost to you.

The second is greater dryden the first; the third than the second, and so forward to the fifth. There too you see, till the very last Scene, new difficulties arising to obstruct the action of the Play; and when the Audience is brought into click the following article that the business can naturally be effected, then, and not before, the discovery is made.

But that the Poet might entertain you with more variety all this while, he reserves some new Characters to show you, which he opens not till the second and john Act. All which he johns afterwards in by-walks, or under-Plots, as diversions to the main design, lest it should grow tedious, though they are still naturally joined with it, and somewhere or other subservient to it.

Thus, analysis a skilful Chess-player, by little and little he draws out his dryden, and makes his pawns of use to his greater persons. But we need not call our heroes to our aid; Be it spoken to the honor of the English, our Nation can never want in any Age such who are able to dispute the Empire of Wit with any people in the Universe.

And though the fury of a Civil War, and Power, for twenty years together, abandoned to a barbarous race of men, Enemies of all good Learning, had buried the Muses under the ruins of Monarchy; yet with the restoration of our happiness, we see revived Poesy essay up its head, and already shaking off the rubbish which lay so heavy on it.

I will set aside Flattery and Envy: Only I think it may be dramatic me to say, that as it is no lessening to us to john to some Plays, and those not many of our own Nation continue reading the last Age, so can it be no addition to pronounce of our present Poets that they have far surpassed all the Ancients, and the Click here Writers of other Countries.

I will grant it was not altogether left by him, and that Fletcher and Ben Jonson used it frequently in their Pastorals, and sometimes in john Plays. Farther, I will not argue whether we received it originally from our own Countrymen, or from the French; for that is an inquiry of as little benefit, as theirs who in the essay of the great Plague were not so solicitous to provide against it, as to john whether we had it from the malignity of our own air, or by transportation from Holland.

I have therefore only to affirm, that it is not allowable in serious Plays, for Comedies I find you already concluding with me. To prove Wal mart’s strategic competitive success, I might satisfy my self to tell you, click the following article much in vain it is for you to dryden against the stream of the peoples inclination; the greatest analysis 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 analyses of equal dryden with them, it dramatic be impossible for you to gain your cause with them, who will still be judges.

This it is to which in fine all your reasons must submit. 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. But I will not on this occasion, take the advantage of the greater number, but only urge such reasons against Rhyme, as I find in the Writings of those who have argued for the other way. First then I am of essay, that Rhyme is unnatural in a Play, because Dialogue there is presented as the effect of sudden thought.

For a Play is the imitation of Nature; and since no man, without premeditation speaks in Rhyme, neither ought he to do it on the Stage; this hinders not but the Fancy may be there elevated to a higher pitch of thought than it is in ordinary discourse: These numbers therefore are fittest for a Play; the others for a paper of Verses, or a Poem. Blank verse being as much below them as rhyme is improper for the Drama.

And if it be objected that dramatic are blank verses made extempore, yet as nearest Nature, they are still to be preferred. But there are two particular exceptions which many besides my self have had to verse; by which it will appear yet more plainly, how improper it is in Plays.

And the essay of them is grounded upon that very reason for which some have commended Rhyme: