John Dryden was born on August 9, 1631 in the Vicarage of Ald winkle All Saints in Northamptonshire, England (DISCovering Authors 1).
He was a cute, young boy who was described as “short, stout, and red-faced” (Britannica 8).
His father was a countryman, and both his parents were very fond of Parliament siding with the Parliament Party against the King (Britannica 1).
He was eleven years old when the war broke out between the royalist forces and the revolutionary forces, and that is when his life began to change.
It was the start of a period of time when England became a republic ruled by Parliament. His parents were well known around the town, and had a lot of connections with wealthy people. Because of those connections, they were able to find a scholarship so that he could attend Westminster School at a very young age (DISCovering Authors 1).
His Professor, Richard Busby, provided him with an education (DISCovering Authors 1).
It was here that he published his first poem, Upon the Death of the Lord Hastings (DISCovering Authors 1).
This poem had special meaning for him because it was about one of his good friends who died of small pox. At the age of 19, he was elected to attend Trinity College in Cambridge. Dryden graduated in 1654 while earning a Bachelor of Arts degree (Britannica 1).
A few months after his graduation, he received some very bad news- his father had died suddenly. He then became in charge of his family and the small estate where he grew up (DISCovering Authors 1).
During the 16th and 17th centuries, many European nations grew into the mold of absolutism. Starting with the role of James I, England underwent absolutist reforms as Parliament was often suppressed by the ruling monarch until the Glorious Revolution, when the supremacy of Parliament was established. James I was an absolutist ruler who emphasized the divine right of kings and sought to restrain ...
In 1658, his career was revived and he began to write once again. His first work was an elegy called Hero ique Stanzas, which was about the death of Cromwell, and detailed how he was such a brave English statesman (DISCovering Authors 1).
He began writing poetry in 1660 in the form of Neoclassical (Wasserman 40).
That same year, he was granted a couple of patents from Charles II for a theatre.
However, the plays were not too successful. Two years later, the theater was closed by the Puritans (Britannica 1).
Dryden published Astraea Red dux in 1660 which was the most successful and prominent of all his poems. Along with others, they wrote a poem to welcome Charles II as he was being restored to the throne. It contained more than three hundred lines in rhymed couplet (Britannica 1).
In 1662, he read and enjoyed John Milton’s Paradise Lost, but he had a hard time understanding the book.
So he decided that he would alter his writing into rhymed drama. He took all of his thoughts and made it the exact opposite of Milton’s (Cyclopedia 535).
The next year, on December 1, he married the youngest daughter of Thomas Howard, Lady Elizabeth Howard, who was one of his friend’s sisters (DISCovering Authors 2).
Around the same time, he was starting to be viewed as a dramatist. In 1663, he wrote his first play, The Wild Gallant. It was performed at the Royal Theater and was one of his first comedies with a humorous dialogue (DISCovering Authors 2).
The play unfortunately did not have a long run. That same year, he was made a member of the Royal Society which he was very happy to accept (DISCovering Authors 2).
He and his wife then decided to start their family and had three sons, Charles, John, and Erasmus, all exactly one year apart (Britannica 1).
The theaters that he worked for were all closed down by June of that year due to the bubonic plague (Wasserman 21).
He moved his family to Charlton, Wiltshire, in the summer of 1665, mainly because they were trying to avoid the plague that was being spread everywhere (Wasserman 55).
Dryden also decided to change his form of writing into a more proper form of drama.
He produced The Indian Queen. Since it was so successful and popular, he wrote the sequel a year later, called The Indian Emperor (DISCovering Authors 2).
As I sit here, I wonder what I will become; all I see is pure success like no one has ever seen. My life is full of great and achievable goals that can fulfil my life with happiness. I see myself see myself thirty years from now becoming the most successful person the world has seen. I will have graduated high school and college with 4.0 GPA, majoring in aeronautical engineering while being in the ...
After all these changes, he wrote his longest poem ever in 1667. It is called An nus Mirabilis which dealt in part with the victory that the English fleet had over the Dutch.
It also concerned the experiences of those who survived the Great Fire of 1666 (Britannica 1).
The next year, he became very interested with Sir William Davenant, the inventor of the heroic play. He then published his greatest piece of criticism called Of Dramatic Poesie (DISCovering Authors 2).
John Dryden dedicated this piece of work to his brother-in-law, Sir Robert Howard (Wasserman 34).
Davenant was the Poet Lauterate, and after his death, Dryden was named to succeed him (DISCovering Authors 2).
He was also named the Royal Histo grapher in 1672.
Over the next few years, he started to experience financial problems, so he began to write more (Wasserman 4).
Around this time, a very great opportunity presented itself for Dryden. He agreed to write solely for the Thomas Killigrew Company. Since he then became a shareholder, he was entitled to one-tenth of the company’s profits, but he was required to produce at least three plays a year (Britannica 2).
In 1678, he became very disturbed with what some of his fellow shareholders were doing in the Killigrew Company, so he donated his tragedy, Oedipus, to another theater (Britannica 3).
Thereafter, he withdrew from being a Killigrew shareholder.
During this period of the writer’s life, there were many changes in English politics which had a tremendous influence upon him. In the beginning of 1685, the death of Charles II greatly changed his life, and affected the works that he was publishing (Wasserman 32).
Because of the death of Charles II and the ascension of James II, he decided to convert to Catholicism (DISCovering Authors 3).
Initially, he was raised to believe in Puritanism, then Anglicism, and now Catholicism (Wasserman 114).
Because of this decision to convert, many people found it necessary to gossip, which assailed his reputation as a man of conviction. Dryden’s worldly prosperity was brought to a closure because of the Revolution of 1688 (Cyclopedia 534).
He also was removed as the Poet Lauterate, which he was very upset about. At this point in time, he became interested in reading the works of his fellow writers, and translating became his chief occupation (Wasserman 35).
The RomanticsBy: Aleem YousafThe period of Romantic poets in the history of English literature is full of beauty of human thought. William Wordsworth belongs to this era and is ascribed to as the pioneer of the Romantic Movement in poetry. His poetry is full of exquisite word-pictures of nature and presents it beautifully. Wordsworth felt the being of nature as no one ever has felt it and his ...
He enjoyed this very much, spending the majority of his time translating different works into English (DISCovering Authors 3).
John Dryden died of erysipelas in London on May 1, 1700 (Britannica 6) (Wasserman 35).
He was buried in the Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey (Britannica 6).
Even after he passed away, his positive reputation remained, and Dr. Samuel Johnson honored Dryden by calling him “the father of English criticism” (Britannica 6).
Many people refer to Dryden as the greatest English poet of the late seventieth century (Britannica 6).
In the last century, there was a significant increase of interest in his works. Students from all over the world began to research Dryden, seeking to learn more about this creative writer (Britannica 7).
Even today, many of his lines are still quoted and his most famous quote is “none but the brave deserves the fair” (Britannica 7).