Absalom and Achitophel was originally published in November (a “second The text of this on-line edition is based on that in The Works of John Dryden. To begin the analysis of the poem we should at first say a few words about John Dryden, the man who wrote “Absalom and Achitophel”, the political situation in. Absalom and Achitophel study guide contains a biography of John Dryden, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a.

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You may find it helpful to search within the site to see how similar or related subjects are covered. This moving court, that caught the people’s eyes, And seemed but pomp, did other ends disguise: Nor let his love enchant your generous mind; ‘Tis nature’s trick to propagate her kind.

Mild, easy, humble, studious of our cryden, [] Inclined to mercy, and averse from blood. Then kings are slaves to those whom they command, [] And tenants to their people’s pleasure stand.

Absalom and Achitophel, by John Dryden

The Second part of Absalom and Achitophel; a Poem. It is meant only as an annotated teaching edition, and makes no pretense to being a reliable critical text. Without my leave a future king to choose, Infers a right the present to depose. Nor would the royal party e’er unite [] With Pharaoh’s arms to assist the Jebusite; Or, if they should, their interest soon would break, And with such odious aid make David weak. The King is the one who cares about his country the best, not the one who was born in special conditions.

In the verse satire Absalom and Achitophelfor example, John Dryden relates in heroic couplets a scriptural story that is a thinly veiled portrait of the politicians involved in an attempt to alter the succession to the English throne. Thank you for your feedback. Here he seems to stands for Lord Stafford, a Catholic achitoohel had been accused of treason by Oates.


Absalom and Achitophel is a celebrated satirical poem by John Drydenwritten in heroic couplets and first published in Dryden uses the fatherly indulgence of David lines to explore the legitimacy of Absalom’s succession.

No court-informer can these arms accuse; These arms may sons against their fathers use: Stephen was the first martyr, and the victim of false witnesses. They call my tenderness of blood, my fear; Though manly tempers can the longest bear. In in England, Charles II was aged The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Absalom and Achitophel, by John Dryden : key

The ambitious youth, too covetous of fame, Too full of angel’s metal in his frame, [] Unwarily was led from virtue’s ways, Made drunk with honour, and debauched with praise. No groundless clamours shall my friends remove, [] Nor crowds have power to punish ere they prove; For gods and godlike kings their care express, Still to defend their servants in distress.

Thy force infused the fainting Tyrians propped, And haughty Pharaoh found his fortune stopped. I find, I find my mounting spirits bold, And David’s part disdains my mother’s mould. Now what relief can righteous David bring? His only concern is his own power. It refers here to the English Parliament. Hyblaean honey was proverbial for its sweetness. He points out that the people have the right to choose their own King, not being limited by noble David and his brother.

Not barren praise alone, that gaudy flower Fair only to the sight, but solid power; And nobler is a limited command, Given by the love of all your native land, [] Than a successive title, long and dark, Drawn from the mouldy rolls of Noah’s ark. We see the sharp contrast zbsalom the two characters: The poem was written, possibly at Charles’s behest, and published in early November His right, for sums of necessary gold, [] Shall first be pawned, and afterwards be sold; Till time shall ever-wanting David draw, To pass your doubtful title into law: Absalom is still too humble to agree that he is the only one who can become the new King.


Would they impose an heir upon the throne?

Absalom and Achitophel

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 It looks as heaven our ruin had designed, And durst not trust thy fortune and thy mind.

Desire of power, on earth a vicious weed, [] Yet, sprung from high, is of celestial seed; In God ’tis glory; and when men aspire, ‘Tis but a spark too much of heavenly fire.

But when should people strive their bonds to break, If not when kings are negligent, or weak? How long wilt thou the general joy detain, Starve and defraud the people of thy reign; [] Content ingloriously to pass thy days, Like one of virtue’s fools that feed on praise; Till thy fresh glories, which now shine so bright, Grow stale, and tarnish with our daily sight? Now, free from earth, thy achitophsl soul [] Mounts up, and leaves behind the clouds and starry pole: Why am I scanted by a niggard birth?

Here he stands for Sir William Jonesthe attorney general who prosecuted many of the Catholics charged in the early stages of the Popish Plot. Anyone who wants to know more about the poem and its context should consult this edition, where the commentary on this poem alone runs to nearly eighty pages.