January 16, 2019


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 lampoons Shadwell mercilessly, although he avoids sarcasm and harangue. Cupid, invisible to human eyes, enters her chamber while she is sleeping.

Mac Flecknoe by John Dryden: Summary

Jacob Tonson published an edited and authorized copy of the poem in London in as part of a Dryden collection entitled Miscellany Poems. Dryden uses the name here to support the poem as a mock epic.

Dryden’s purpose in writing “Mac Flecknoe” was to expose Shadwell as a mediocre writer—and to get even for Shadwell’s offenses against him. In Mac Flecknoe Dryden sank the greater flecknle of his resentment in the humor of the conception and the reader enjoys the fun without thinking much of its application to an individual.

A mock epic pretends that a person, a place, a thing, or an idea is extraordinary when — in the author’s view — it is actually insignificant and trivial. It opens with the lines: Limberham; or, the Kind Keeper Oedipus Amphitryon While searching for him, she encounters Ceres, the goddess of agriculture and fertility. Once Flecknoe has chosen Shadwell as his successor, the news gets a wide publicity. Instead, he need only trust his natural instincts, and dullness will pour forth.


However, just as in the context of the satire Shadwell is succeeding to the throne of dullness, so does he take command of the backwards, circular philosophy of tautology as a prophet.


There, Jupiter gives her the food of the gods, making her immortal, and pronounces Cupid and her eternally tied by the bonds of marriage. It has been shown through an analysis of the ways in which the registers of religion and royalty combine with the registers of tautology and stupidity, that satire operates by employing humor and wit in order to communicate mzc deeper meaning.

In the poem, Dryden casts Shadwell as the fleckone of the King of Nonsense. However, within the context of this poem, dullness and stupidity take on the register of royalty: Flecknoe sits on a throne with Shadwell, and “lambent dullness plyed around his Shadwell’s face.

Mac Flecknoe

Such a work uses the elevated style of the classical epic poem such as The Iliad to satirize human follies. Book pages used as toilet paper. The poem illustrates Shadwell as the heir to a kingdom of poetic dullness, represented by his association with Richard Flecknoean earlier poet already satirized by Andrew Marvell and disliked by Analyis, although the poet does not use belittling techniques to satirize him. She sends her son, Cupid, to earth to use one of his arrows to make her fall in love with a anapysis ugly man.

He praises his son and successor who would rule from Ireland to Barbadoes.

He prophesies that Shadwell would write weak verse, bad plays and ineffective satires. Retrieved from ” https: For a complete discussion of meter in poetry and verse, click here.

In Dryden’s poem, socks symbolizes stage comedies. Instead, Dryden uses the genius of his wit, razor sharp, to expose Shadwell’s writing as humdrum and uninspired.


He counsels him not to imitate Ben Aanlysis, but to emulate his father and Ogleby.

Character in The Humorists. George EtheregeEnglish writer of stage comedies. Shadwell and Dryden were separated not only by literary grounds but also by political ones as Shadwell was a Whigwhile Dryden was an outspoken supporter of the Stuart monarchy.

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

Bum refers to the buttocks. On his head is a wreath of poppies the source of opium, an addictive drug which Shadwell used. As part of his mockery of Shadwell, Dryden chose the high-sounding Augusta as the name for the city Shadwell is to rule as King of Nonsense. The admirable traits of a hero become equated with folly and dullness.

He tells her she must never light a candle, for he does not wish to reveal his identity right away. Even Flecknoe, ‘a dunce of more renown than they’ is inferior to his son. Mac Flecknoe is a personal satire. But a dolphin enthralled with his music saved him and carried him to Corinth, Greece. In these lines the combination of the words “perfect” and “mature” with “dullness” and “stupidity” effectively transforms analysiss values of the former, and this is what creates the humorous effect.

Mac Flecknoe: a Study Guide

The tone of the poem is mischievous and mocking. However, other writers are no match for Shadwell—not even his father. Lack of brilliance; stupidity.