John Dryden Essays

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When the young publisher Jacob Tonson approached him to contribute to a miscellany edition of Ovid translations, Dryden was at the height of his reputation, as Poet Laureate and critic.

marks at once the beginning of Dryden’s late and prolific career as a translator of the classics, and that of his collaboration with Jacob Tonson.

Since nobody speaks in rhyme in real life, he supports the use of blank verse in drama and says that the use of rhyme in serious plays is justifiable in place of the blank verse.

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The city ravaged by the violent outbreak was later devastated by fire. There was also a change in literary tastes during this time owing to the French influence.

Literature appealed more to the head than to the heart and Several acts were passed persecuting the Roman Catholics and the Non Conformists.

He issued orders to repeal the penal laws against his favoured faction.

He also tried to suspend the laws disapproving to him.

Dryden’s re-fashioning as a literary translator coincides with a renewal of classical translation in Augustan England.

The influence of Dryden’s first essay on translation was immediate, in particular his three-fold approach to translation, and his distinction between “metaphrase”, “paraphrase” and “imitation”.


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