Summary, annotated text, historical background, analysis, and more. Mac Flecknoe Or a Satire Upon the True-Blue-Protestant Poet T. S.. A Poem by John . Mac Flecknoe is a verse mock-heroic satire written by John Dryden. It is a direct attack on Thomas Shadwell, another prominent poet of the time. It opens with the . Satirical Analysis of Mac Flecknoe and Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden. Dryden, who was the greatest literary figure of the Restoration period achieved.

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Dryden and Shadwell had once treated each other xnalysis but became enemies because of their differing views on the following: Specifically, a sudden imbalance felcknoe diction triggers a sense of confusion as the reader struggles to place familiar words within an unusual context. Their quarrel blossomed from the following disagreements: When the time comes for the aging king to select his successor, he chooses Thomas Shadwell. Flecknoe’s choice falls upon Shadwell.

He tells her she must never light a candle, for he does not wish to reveal his identity right away.

Mac Flecknoe: a Study Guide

However, within the context of this poem, dullness and stupidity take on the register of royalty: After his father died, Ascanius inherited his father’s kingdom. In Mac Flecknoe there is no single reference mxc the bitter political controversy of the time, nor even to the medal bearing Shaftesbury’s image.

They arrange for Sir Formal Trifle see No.

Only the political and dramatic activities of Shadwell are mentioned, and his corpulent person is made fun of. Falling madly in love with him, she kisses him.

The old king Flecknoe passed on to his son Shadwell, or Mac Flecknoe his dullness.

Dryden mocks Shadwell by writing that his owls can be compared to the vultures of Romulus. Flecknoe assumed the throne as King of Nonsense when he was young.

The word august uh GUST means to inspire reverence and awe. In this line Dryden elevates the status of Shadwell by an increase in the diction of a prince to that of a prophet. Richard Flecknoe was an English dramatist and poet whose writing was ridiculed by poet Andrew Marvellas well as Dryden.


Meanwhile, Cupid can no longer endure separation from his beloved and asks Jupiter for anakysis. The result is that they come to realize the absurdity of their values, and with seriousness that could only be produced through tone and perspective of humor.

Although the incongruency between the words “martyrs” and “pies” and between the words “relics” and “bum” is obvious, the transformation of values in this is case is not to be taken literally. Character in Shadwell’s Psyche. The satiric perspective which transformed the values of the words “perfection” and “dullness” above can also be applied to the words “ambitiously,” “mighty,” and “pile” in this description.

In Mac Flecknoe Dryden sank the greater part of his resentment in the humor of the conception and the reader enjoys the fun without thinking much of its application to an individual. Among his sons, Shadwell is the fittest for he resembles him most in dullness.

Mac Flecknoe

It is a direct attack on Thomas Shadwellanother prominent poet of the time. In the poem “Mac Flecknoe,” the element of surprise and a complete transformation of the values of words is what produces humor. He, therefore, concludes that his son, Shadwell is the worst possible poet and thus deserves the crown of dullness.

Bakers used book pages under pie crusts as we would use paper towels or napkins. John Fletcherrenowned playwright in the early seventeenth century. Ward writes, “Absalom and Achitophel remains the greatest political satire in our literature, partly because it is frankly political and not intended, like Hudibrasby means of a mass of accumulated detail to convey a general impression of the vices and follies, defect and extravagances, of a particular section or particular section of the nation.

Or perhaps he should write songs and sing them to the accompaniment of a lute. Views Read Edit View history. John OgilbyBritish printer, translator, and mediocre poet. Rather than view Dryden as full of malice toward Thomas Shadwell, the reader is prompted to view his or her own literary values from a different, clarifying perspective.


With Dryden every hit is calculated, and every stroke goes home; in each character brought on the scene, those features are only selected for exposure on the praise which are of direct significance for the purpose in hand. Hand used to beat out the rhythms of verse in the same way that one would beat thresh grain from husks.

Mac Flecknoe is a mock-heroic poem.

Satirical Analysis of Mac Flecknoe and Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden

For example, a mock epic about an inconsequential U. Instead, he need only trust his natural instincts, and dullness will pour forth. The poem is written entirely in couplets two successive rhyming lines. The name of his kingdom is Nonsense. For a complete discussion of meter in poetry and verse, click here.

Instead of carpets, there are the remains of neglected poets; bad poets like Flecknof come out from their dusty shops.

He never deviates into sense. Cupid, invisible to anslysis eyes, enters her chamber while she is sleeping. Food waste thrown into the river. Court musician and singer. Though Mac Flecknoe has its own place among Dryden’s masterpieces in English satirical poetry, it gives way to Absalom and Achitophel which has been praised by Saintsbury in these words: This Flecknoe 1 found, who, like Augustus, young Was call’d to empire2 and had govern’d long: The first two lines set the pattern.

Satirical Analysis of Mac Flecknoe and Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden

Hero of Dryden’s tragedy, Tyrannic Love. In versification, a metric measure such as an iamb or a trochee. Dryden lampoons Shadwell mercilessly, although he avoids sarcasm and harangue.