Dryden was a famous English poet, best known for his satirical poetry. His Absalom and Achitophel characters is considered as one of his best political satire. His Absalom and Achitophel is the greatest political satire in our literature, and the rest of his satires are very highly esteemed. Dryden has. Having said this, John Dryden wrote Absalom and Achitophel as a satire to instigate political reform. The era was that during which a faction in England was .

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Wikisource has original text related to this article: You are commenting using your WordPress. But all the while Dryden takes care to see that the political satire in not lost in the achitohpel of a too intricate Biblical parallelism.

The James Scott was caught preparing to rebel and this lead to his execution by the orders of James II in Lines through are just on example of the satire Dryden weaved into his poem. Yale University Press The king himself did not think unfavourably of his love affairs. Dryden uses an old story, The Prodigal Son, to create a clear picture of how self-indulgent love creates unfair conflict. When David’s renowned advisor, Achitophel Achitophel in the Vulgate joins Absalom’s rebellion, another advisor, Hushai, plots with David to pretend to defect and give Absalom advice that plays into David’s hands.

Its success led others to encourage Dryden to continue the story, to keep up with current events of the time. Dryden is unequalled at debating in rhyme and Absalom and Achitophel displays his power of arguing in verse. June 25, at 3: Satire is different from scolding and sheer abuse, though it is prompted by indignation.


Sexual licence was the order of the age and as such, it did not deserve condemnation. Absalom is killed against David’s explicit commands after getting caught by his hair in the thick branches of a great oak tree: He also suggests that in Absalom and Achitophel he did not let the satire be too sharp to those who were least corrupt: One cannot, for instance, ignore the obvious epic or heroic touches in it.

The poem tells the Biblical tale of the rebellion of Absalom against King Davidbut this tale is an allegory used to represent a story contemporary to Dryden, a story of King Charles II and the Exclusion Crisis Through this poem, Dryden lampooned the Wighs and Earl of Shaftesbury.

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Absalom and Achitophel – Wikipedia

This page was last achitopjel on 6 Julyat During these several years, there was no monarchy in England. The poem was written, possibly at Charles’s behest, and published in early November Absalom and Achitophel is a celebrated satirical poem by John Drydenwritten in heroic couplets and first published in Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

The Second part of Absalom and Achitophel; a Poem. Dryden dreads the fickleness of the mob and he is not sure to what extremes a crowd can go. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

Absalom and Achitophel as a Political Satire

The King, though fond of his illegitimate son, did not support his succession because that would have been against law. He is urbance witty devastating and vigorous, but very seldom petty.


Monmouth was caught preparing to rebel and seek the throne, and Shaftesbury was suspected of fostering this rebellion. Dryden chose the well known Biblical story of Absalom revolting against his father David, at the wicked instigation of Achitophel, in order to satirise the contemporary political situation.

Absalom and Achitophel as a Politival Satire

May 12, at 8: The Earl of Shaftesbury was arrested on a charge of high treason and lost popular support.

The nicest and most delicate touches of satire consist in fine raillery … How easy it is to call rogue and villain, and that wittily?

He had had a number of mistresses and produced a number of illegitimate children. The Monmouth Rebellion was put down, and in the Duke was executed. At this time, the question of succession to King Charles had assumed great importance. Later, after the death of his father, the Duke of Monmouth—unwilling to see his uncle James become King—executed his plans and went into full revolt.

The father’s forgiveness contrasts with the response of David towards Achitophel, but still the story works well for a theme that deals with problems of ascension, and Dryden uses similarities and differences in the two stories to express the poem’s themes.