MAC FLECKNOE BY JOHN DRYDEN PDF

The rest to some faint meaning make pretence, But Shadwell never deviates into sense. Heywood and Shirley were but types of thee, Thou last great prophet of tautology: Even I, a dunce of more renown than they, Was sent before but to prepare thy way; And coarsely clad in Norwich drugget came To teach the nations in thy greater name. Methinks I see the new Arion sail, The lute still trembling underneath thy nail. About thy boat the little fishes throng, As at the morning toast, that floats along.

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They were both quite successful and well respected. One thing led to another, however, and they soon found themselves embroiled in some serious beef. One day, the writer by the name of John Dryden decided to up the ante. Dryden completely skewers Shadwell, exposing him for what he was: a bad writer with bad taste, who would do anything for the cheap laugh. He was pretty well-known in his day, an important, albeit minor, figure in the English Restoration literary scene.

How does Dryden achieve this razor-sharp, devastating effect, you might wonder? Dryden mocks his victim, Shadwell, by depicting him as the lamest epic hero of all time: the terminally dull, hopelessly witless poet-king of the "realms of Non-sense" 6. Throughout the poem, Dryden shows no mercy to his victim, finding new and clever ways to use wit and irony, while pretty much inventing his own genre in the process. Today, "Mac Flecknoe" is hilarious as ever; we can still feel that year-old burn just as sharply.

South Park. Stephen Colbert. The Onion. That something is satire. Satire is a tried and true tool for making people laugh and think at the same time. So where does "Mac Flecknoe" fit into the mix? Well, in short, John Dryden basically invented the modern satire as we know it. When we think about the origins of modern satire, names like Jonathan Swift , Alexander Pope , and Voltaire come to mind.

These later writers, however, draw directly from the tremendous wit, hysterical hyperbole, and epic irony of "Mac Flecknoe. Fans of the Colbert Report will notice a similar technique. Still, "Mac Flecknoe" is no cakewalk.

It is really long, really complicated, and contains more random references than an episode of Family Guy. Much of this cultural context is difficult to decipher even if you have your PhD in late seventeenth-century English Restoration Literature. But, like any truly great satire, it stands the test of time, remaining relevant even after many of the specific references lose their relevance. Also, thanks to "Mac Flecknoe," we have ridiculous stuff like this. Thank you, John Dryden—from the bottom of our satire-loving hearts.

Mac Flecknoe Resources.

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Mac Flecknoe

They were both quite successful and well respected. One thing led to another, however, and they soon found themselves embroiled in some serious beef. One day, the writer by the name of John Dryden decided to up the ante. Dryden completely skewers Shadwell, exposing him for what he was: a bad writer with bad taste, who would do anything for the cheap laugh. He was pretty well-known in his day, an important, albeit minor, figure in the English Restoration literary scene. How does Dryden achieve this razor-sharp, devastating effect, you might wonder? Dryden mocks his victim, Shadwell, by depicting him as the lamest epic hero of all time: the terminally dull, hopelessly witless poet-king of the "realms of Non-sense" 6.

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Mac Flecknoe by John Dryden: Summary

Mac Flecknoe is both a personal and literary satire. Dryden presents Shadwell as a dull poetaster, a corpulent man and a plagiarist. He decided to avenge himself on Shadwell and Dryden fully revenged himself by the publication of Mac Flecknoe in Mac Flecknoe is the first substantial mock-heroic poem and Thomas Shadwell is the hero of this epic. The name of his kingdom is Nonsense.

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