Rhymed verse alone, made natural or near to prose, is suitable for tragedy. But the English dramatists for example Shakespeare, do not modify and transform their stories for dramatic purpose. It is artificial and the art is too apparent, while true art consists in hiding art. He also finds subplots as an integral part to enrich a play. It is simply poetic prose and so fit only for comedies.
The same custom they observed likewise in their Tragedies. Elizabethan dramatist Ben Jonson borrowed from Classics and felt proud to call himself modern Horace. Lisideius defends the French playwrights and attacks the English tendency to mix genres. They wrote without any definite plan and when they could write a good play their success was more a matter of chance and good fortune than of ability. French base their tragedies on “some known history,” combining fiction with reality so that some truth can be revealed. Neander’s overall statement on the literary standards is that, the norms can be added to make the work ideal, but the norms will not improve a work which does not contain some degree of perfection. And this, in short, Eugenius, is the reason, why you have now so few good Poets; and so many severe Judges:
We find Ben Jonson using them in his Magnetic Ladywhere one comes 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: And on the other extreme, he who has a judgment so weak and crazed that no helps can correct or amend it, shall write scurvily out of Rhyme, and worse in it. Dryden wrote this essay as a johm dialogue with four characters EugeniusCritesLisideius and Neander representing four critical positions.
While French plays hew closer to classical notions of drama adhering to the unities of time, place and actionNeander steps in to sparknotrs English drama precisely because of its subplots, mixture of mirth and tragedy darmatic tragicomedyand spirited, multiple characters.
But when, by the inundation of the Goths and Vandals into Italy new Languages were brought in, and barbarously mingled with the Latin of which the Italian, Spanish, French, and ours, [made out of them and the Teutonic] are Dialects: An Essay on Dramatic Poesy: It is Unnatural to shift the action drwmatic one place to another, especially to distant places. Crites praises the Greeks and Romans suggesting that they cannot be surpassed.
Bharat Bhammar’s Assignment: Essay on Dramatic Poesy
While the audience may know that drydwn of them are real, why should they think scenes of deaths or battles any less “real” than the rest? They strictly adhere to the poetic justice i.
Coming to the dramatic unities of Time and Place, he says that their observance might adversely affect the total impact of a play. English are best at “the lively imitation of nature” human nature. The unities have a narrowing and crumpling effect on the French plays, which are often betrayed into absurdities from which the English plays are free.
An Essay of Dramatic Poesy Summary by John Dryden
Besides, in performing them, it will be first necessary to speak somewhat of Shakespeare ddamatic Fletcher, his Rivals in Poesy; and one of them, in my opinion, at least his equal, perhaps his superior. Eugenius restrains him from wasting time on finding demerits.
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Essay of Dramatick Poesie – Wikipedia
Secondly, The Epitasis, or working up of the Plot where uohn Play grows warmer: French poetry more beautiful than English. They follow the Ancients. If you insist upon the former part, I would ask you what other conditions are required to make Rhyme natural in itself, besides an election of apt words, and a right disposing of them?
So, at last, Neander makes a comment and it indicates that he favors Rhyme.
Of course, Moderns have written drama the way the Ancients were written. If they had tragic-comedies, perhaps Aristotle would have revised his rules. Thus when 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: Definition of a play: That praise or censure is certainly the most sincere which unbribed posterity shall give jhn.
Eugenius, Crites, Lisideius and Neander. The horror of such themes can be softened a little by the introduction of love scenes, but in the treatment of this passion they are much inferior to dramaric Moderns as Shakespeare and Fletcher. Defending the French Drama and Dramatist, Lisideius says that they far surpass the English and even the Greek dramatists.
In these, you say, the Majesty of Verse suffers. Our language is noble, full and significant; and I know not why he who is Master of it may not clothe ordinary things in it as decently as the Latin; if he use the onn diligence in his choice of words.
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 jogn any people in the Universe.
An Essay of Dramatic Poesy
IV Up to Which play Dryden had used rhyme? The Ancient versus Modern Playwrights. The group arrives at a definition of drama: He is at pains to avoid the dogmatism which bedeviled much previous 17th-century criticism.