Dryden essay on dramatic poetry

A little about the essay
Satire is the use of humor, irony, sarcasm, or ridicule to criticize something or someone. Public figures, such as politicians, are often the subject of satire, but satirists can take aim at other targets as well—from societal conventions to government policies. Satire is an entertaining form of social commentary, and it occurs in many forms: there are satirical novels, poems, and essays, as well as satirical films, shows, and cartoons. There are many novels, plays, and other works of literature that fall into the genre of satire. These works are all characterized by their consistent and sustained satirical attacks on their various targets. For instance, Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn satirizes the hypocrisies of pre-Civil-War society in the American South, especially its traditions of racism and slavery.
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Literary Criticism of John Dryden – Literary Theory and Criticism

The term 'the Augustan Age' comes from the self-conscious imitation of the original Augustan writers, Virgil and Horace, by many of the writers of the period. Dryden forms the link between Restoration and Augustan literature; although he wrote ribald comedies in the Restoration vein, his verse satires were highly admired by the generation of poets who followed him, and his writings on literature were very much in a neoclassical spirit. But more than any other it is the name of Alexander Pope which is associated with the epoch known as the Augustan Age, despite the fact that other writers such as Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe had a more lasting influence. This is partly a result of the politics of naming inherent in literary history: many of the early forms of prose narrative common at this time did not fit into a literary era which defined itself as neoclassic. The literature of this period which conformed to Pope's aesthetic principles and could thus qualify as being 'Augustan' is distinguished by its striving for harmony and precision, its urbanity, and its imitation of classical models such as Homer, Cicero, Virgil, and Horace, for example in the work of the minor poet Matthew Prior. In verse, the tight heroic couplet was common, and in prose essay and satire were the predominant forms. Any facile definition of this period would be misleading, however; as important as it was, the neoclassicist impulse was only one strain in the literature of the first half of the eighteenth century.
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An Essay of Dramatic Poesy by John Dryden: An Overview

The most flamboyant and notorious of the major English Romantic poets, George Gordon, Lord Byron, was likewise the most fashionable poet of the early s. He created an immensely popular Romantic hero—defiant, melancholy, haunted by secret guilt—for which, to many, he seemed the model. His faceted personality found expression in satire, verse narrative, ode, lyric, speculative drama, historical tragedy, confessional poetry, dramatic monologue, seriocomic epic, and voluminous correspondence, written in Spenserian stanzas , heroic couplets , blank verse , terza rima , ottava rima , and vigorous prose.
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Poetry derived from the Greek poiesis , "making" is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic [1] [2] [3] qualities of language —such as phonaesthetics , sound symbolism , and metre —to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Poetry has a long history — dating back to prehistoric times with hunting poetry in Africa , and to panegyric and elegiac court poetry of the empires of the Nile , Niger , and Volta River valleys. Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing ; or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas , the Zoroastrian Gathas , and the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle 's Poetics , focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric , drama , song , and comedy. Later attempts concentrated on features such as repetition , verse form , and rhyme , and emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively-informative prosaic writing.

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