Eliot observes that it is the art transforming the ridiculous into heroic poetry that accounts for the success of Dryden as a mock – epic poet. Mac Flecknoe is the first substantial mock-heroic poem and Thomas Shadwell is the hero of this epic. He wrote the prologue for Shadwell’s play Epsom Wells. What is the difference between published, “public” satires and those circulated in private among readers who would exclude the satire’s target s? How does Dryden understand the “job” of being an Author and how does this affect the standards he applies to other poets in his criticism?

Dryden lampoons Shadwell mercilessly, although he avoids sarcasm and harangue. Allusion to a school for children training to be actors. Dryden uses allusions, paradies and quotations profusely to ridicule the great hero of the poem. The plays of Fletcher and Jonson allusion to writers John Fletcher and Ben Jonson are never staged in this place, but the dull and shoddy plays of Shadwell find a ready audience here. One of the most venomous weapons in Dryden ‘s harmony is his ironical politeness. Shadwell was said to be addicted to opium. In this respect, he was not unlike Augustus Caesar, who became emperor of Rome when he, too, was a young.

Mac Flecknoe by John Dryden: Summary

Summary Mac Flecknoe is the finest short satirical poem in which Dryden has treated Thomas Sahdwell with humorous contempt. Richard Flecknoe was an English dramatist and poet whose writing was ridiculed by poet Andrew Marvellas well as Dryden.

mac flecknoe critical essay

Flecknoe crowns Shadwell and bursts into prophecy. Mac Flecknoe is both a personal and literary satire. Pomp and gaudiness mark the scene.


Characters in Shadwell’s The Virtuoso. Chaucer is held up as the English Homer or Virgil, a founder of the national literature, though his rhyming is not commended also see Sidney.

Does this suggest any dangers for the coming “Age of Enlightenment,” as the Eighteenth Century sometimes is called? Dryden’s faith in Nature suggests that he did not believe that Nature was “fallen” and corrupted.

Augusta is the feminine form of the Latin Augustusthe name of one of ancient Rome’s most powerful leaders, Augustus Caesar. His critique mmac Bad poets begins with the Metaphysicals, which he defines by their most notorious example, John Cleveland. Also, Dryden faults Jonson’s attempt to “Romanize our tongue” with Latin loan words For this purpose Dryden has chosen events and characters from the Bible and ancient history.

Released in every direction, this poem wins the life award for best philosophical access. The story is based on the ancient myth of Cupid and Psyche, which is as follows.

mac flecknoe critical essay

The meter of the poem is iambic pentameteras the first line demonstrates. Flecknoe’s name has already become a synonym for a fool. Dryden’s poem also evokes the Roman historians of the Imperial Family by reference to Caesar Augustus, and he refers directly to Virgil’s Aeneid in constructing MacFlecknoe’s dubious “virtues. Eliot observes that it is the art transforming the ridiculous into heroic poetry that accounts for the success of Dryden as a mock – epic poet. Can you find reasons why he should think so in “Annus Mirabilis,” and might there be any hazards in his reasoning?


Then from his left hand fly twelve owls, a happening that reminds observers of Romulus, legendary co-founder of ancient Rome.

mac flecknoe critical essay

What does that suggest about how Dryden might have structured and taught English if it were offered in ? George EtheregeEnglish writer of stage comedies. Woolen or partly woolen fabric used to make clothing.

He decided to avenge himself on Shadwell and Dryden fully revenged himself by the publication of Mac Flecknoe in Wssay appropriately Flecknoe selects “Nursery”: Who was once a friend of Dryden.

Mac Flecknoe: a Study Guide

Dryden mocks Shadwell by writing that his owls can be compared to the vultures of Romulus. At the time of consecration twelve owls fly over the spot. His stupidity is of such comprehensive nature that the rest to some faint meaning make pretense. He placed a mighty mug of potent ate.

In versification, a metric measure such as an iamb or a trochee. The Misera stag comedy by Shadwell. Formerly; at one time; at an earlier time. Shadwell is so witless and, therefore, perfect for the throne that he does no more thinking than a monarch oak shading a plain.