Judgment is indeed the Master-workman in a Play: 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 Play: Eugenius, Crites, Lisideius and Neander. He complains that the Ancients were either tragedians or comedians, and that it is easier to attain perfection in this way, writing only the kind of thing one does best. Lisideius defends the French playwrights and attacks the English tendency to mix genres. You said the Dialogue of Plays is presented as the effect of sudden thought, but no man speaks suddenly, or extempore in Rhyme: But Verse, you say, circumscribes a quick and luxuriant fancy, which would extend itself too far on every subject, did not the labor which is required to well turned and polished Rhyme, set bounds to it.
Crites opposes rhyme in plays and argues that through the moderns excel in science; the ancient age was the true age of poetry. He affects plainness, to cover his want of imagination: Corneille himself, their Arch-Poet, what has he produced except The Liar , and you 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. As he did not want imagination, so none ever said he had much to spare. Dryden thus argues against the neo-classical critics. I will produce Father Ben to you, dressed in all the ornaments and colors of the Ancients, you will need no other guide to our Party if you follow him; and whether you consider the bad Plays of our Age, or regard the good ones of the last, both the best and worst of the Modern Poets will equally instruct you to esteem the Ancients.
In the very beginning, he acknowledges that the Moderns have learnt much from the Ancients. The result is, their play becomes monotonous and tiresome.
As for what you have added, that the people are not generally inclined to like this way; if it were true, it would be no wonder, that betwixt the shaking off an old habit, and the introducing of a new, there should be difficulty.
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.
French drama led by Pierre Corneille strictly followed unities of time, posy and action. And it can do so much more swiftly.
A Dictionary, Nashville, Tennessee: So that you see the Grecians cannot be said to have consummated this Art; writing rather by Entrances than by Acts, and having rather a general indigested notion of a Play, than knowing how and where to bestow the particular graces of it. And as Dryden believes, we may find writers like Shakespeare who did not follow the rules but are nevertheless obviously superior to any “regular” writer.
Eugenius takes the side of the modern English dramatists by criticizing the faults of the classical playwrights who did not themselves observe the unity of place.
Ovid whom you accuse for luxuriancy in Verse, had perhaps been farther guilty of it had he writ in Prose.
Reserate clusos Regii postes Laris [Set wide the palace gates. However, he is not a rule bound critic, tied down to the classical unities or to notions of what draamtic a “proper” character for the stage. If they had tragic-comedies, perhaps Aristotle viesw have revised his rules.
They have mixed their serious Plays with mirth, like our Tragicomedies since the death of Cardinal Richelieu, which Lisideius and many others not observing, have commended that in them for a virtue which they themselves no longer practice.
IV Up to Which play Dryden had used rhyme? It believes the truth that literature is not static but a dynamic is an imitation which is true to nature in a broad sense. Shakespeare disconcerts Dryden; he recognises his superiority but within himself he would feel closer affiliations with Ben Jonson. There is scarce one of them without a veil, and a trusty Diego, who drolls much after the rate of The Adventures.
After the glorious revolution however, his viwws declined. From hence likewise it arises that the one half of our Actors are not known to the other. Our language is noble, full and significant; and I know not why he who is Master of it may not clothe ordinary things dramaitc it as decently as the Latin; if he use the same diligence in his choice of words.
But Verse, you say, circumscribes a quick and luxuriant fancy, which would extend itself too far on every subject, did not the essayy which is required to well turned and polished Rhyme, set bounds to it.
Those who accuse him to have wanted learning, give him the greater commendation: Thus, like poesu skilful Chess-player, by little and little he draws out his men, and makes his pawns of use to his greater persons.
They do not adhere to rules as well. In Catiline you may see the Parliament of Women; the little envies of them to one another; and all that passes betwixt Curio and Fulvia: He managed his strength to more advantage than any who preceded him.
He is many times flat, insipid; his Comic wit degenerating into clenches [puns—ed. A limited time offer! Besides, that he has here gived the conversation of Gentlemen in the persons of True-Wit, and his Friends, with more gayety, air and freedom, than in the rest of his Comedies.
Neoclassicists believed that writers should strive to achieve excellence by imitating those great writers of dryxens past rather than by trying to be original and innovative. But he adds that by their own labour the Moderns have added to what they have gained from them, with the result that they now excel them in many ways. Get custom essay sample written according to your requirements Urgent 3h delivery guaranteed Order Now. 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.
The major imperfection of English plays is the representation of Death on the stage.