Absalom and Achitophel, verse satire by English poet John Dryden published in The poem, which is written in heroic couplets, is about the Exclusion crisis . Complete summary of John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Absalom and Achitophel. This poem is a mock epic. A mock epic mirrors aspects of a traditional epic but is intended to promote humor through its witty portrayal of characters. A mock epic.

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Some of their chiefs were princes of the land: He loyally defended his father against Shaftesbury’s accusations, but died in Whate’er he did, was done with so much ease, In him alone ’twas natural to please; His motions all accompanied with grace, And paradise was opened in his face.

He bitterly rejects his mother — a terrible sin to the Biblical and modern moral standards — just for being born of low origin. For laws are only made to punish those [] Who serve the king, and to protect his foes. It refers here to the Popish Plot see the note on avsalom 83 above. Within the renaissance philosophers and writers were interested in the idea of superiority of bastards.

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: Here Saul stands for Oliver Cromwell, who ruled England as Lord Protector after Charles’s execution, and Ishbosheth for his son Richard, who followed him for a brief while.

Behold him setting in his western skies, The shadows lengthening as the vapours rise. The beautiful Absalom is distinguished by his extraordinarily abundant hair, which is thought to symbolise his pride absallom Sam. This moving absalok, that caught the people’s eyes, And seemed but pomp, did other ends disguise: The most important false plot in Dryden’s mind would be the Popish Plot, which was still ongoing when Dryden wrote the poem.


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Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden

It was designed to be a defense against French expansion. After defending them for a while, Oates accused both Charles’s brother, James, and his wife, Queen Catherine, of being involved in the Popish Plot. The tampering world is subject to this curse, To physic their disease into a worse. So, the avhitophel poem was directed to the changing the monarchy, no less. 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.

Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden: Research Paper Examples – A Research Guide for Students

Did ever men forsake their present ease, [] In midst of health imagine a disease, Take pains contingent mischiefs to foresee, Make heirs for monarchs, and for God decree? And Moses’ laws he held in more account, For forty days of fasting in the mount.

No court-informer can these arms accuse; These arms may sons against their fathers use: Anti-Catholicism was widespread, and eventually around thirty-five Catholics were executed.

Cambridge University Press, A daring pilot in extremity, Pleased with the danger, when the waves went high, [] He sought the storms; but, for a calm unfit, Would steer too nigh the sands, to boast his wit. In Titus Oates declared that Jesuits were plotting to kill Charles II; when he made a public declaration to Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, and Godfrey was achirophel dead shortly thereafter, a public panic ensued.

Absalom and Achitophel – Wikipedia

Dryden’s poem tells the story of the first foment by making Monmouth into Absalomthe beloved boy, Charles into David who also had some philanderingand Shaftesbury into Achitophel. What shall we think? Youth, beauty, graceful action seldom fail; But common interest always will prevail; And pity never ceases to be shown [] To him who makes the people’s wrongs his own.

Absalom is still too humble to agree that he is the only one who can become the new King. A second allegory in the poem, beginning on lineis the Parable of the Prodigal Sonwhich can be found in the New Testament in the Gospel of Lukechapter 15, verse But these were random bolts; no formed design, Nor interest made the factious crowd to join: Beware the fury of a patient man.


Dryden based his work on a biblical incident recorded in 2 Samuel 13— Great wits are sure to madness near allied, And thin partitions do their bounds divide; Else, why should he, with wealth and honour blest, [] Refuse his age the needful hours of rest? 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.

It was sacrilegious to disturb it.

Just mere seconds later, Absalom is horrified by his own words and his weakness, but it is too late: Yet some there were, even in the worst of days; [] Some let me name, and naming is to praise. For whatsoe’er their sufferings were before, That change they covet makes them suffer more. Can people give away, Both for themselves and sons, their native sway? Plots, true or false: The death of his son, Absalom, causes David enormous personal grief.

Absalom and Achitophel has inspired a great deal of discussion regarding satire: We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. From thence thy kindred legions may’st thou bring, To aid the guardian angel of thy king. The most may err as grossly as the few; And faultless kings run down by common cry, For vice, oppression, and for tyranny.

Achitophel still wants a chief, and none [] Was found so fit as warlike Absalon. He had had abaslom number of mistresses and produced a drydej of illegitimate children. Now rasher charioteers the seat ascend, Whose loose careers his steady skill commend:

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