Representative Works from Neoclassicism

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Of Dramatick Poesie: An Essay (1668) represented John Dryden's challenges to the trends of English theater in the seventeenth century and is considered one of his best prose works. The significance of the piece lies within the argument it presents concerning the development of the English theater and would prove to be a driving influence.

In Of Dramatick Poesie: An Essay, four speakers, namely Crites, Eugenius, Lisideius, and Neander, drift down the Thames River as the English and Dutch wage a naval battle. Dryden presents his views in dialogue form. The use of several characters allowed Dryden to present the various aspects of his argument from a multitude of perspectives without specifically endorsing a given opinion. The author offers clear positions on the issues discussed, i.e., on the merits of English theater versus that of the French and on other dramatic conventions, including...

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This section contains 1,200 words
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