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Dryden’s works occasionally contain outbursts against the married state but also celebrations of the same.Thus, little is known of the intimate side of his marriage.
Rightly concluding, as the noise subsides, that the English have triumphed, they order the bargeman to row them back upriver as they begin a dialogue on the advances made by modern civilization.
They agree to measure progress by comparing ancient arts with modern, focusing specifically on the art of drama (or "dramatic poesy").
The four men debate a series of three topics: (1) the relative merit of classical drama (upheld by Crites) vs.
modern drama (championed by Eugenius); (2) whether French drama, as Lisideius maintains, is better than English drama (supported by Neander, who famously calls Shakespeare "the greatest soul, ancient or modern"); and (3) whether plays in rhyme are an improvement upon blank verse drama--a proposition that Neander, despite having defended the Elizabethans, now advances against the skeptical Crites (who also switches from his original position and defends the blank verse tradition of Elizabethan drama).
Dryden takes up the subject that Philip Sidney had set forth in his Defence of Poesie (1580) and attempts to justify drama as a legitimate form of "poetry" comparable to the epic, as well as defend English drama against that of the ancients and the French.
The treatise is a dialogue between four speakers: Eugenius, Crites, Lisideius, and Neander.
Joyce's novel traces the intellectual and religio-philosophical awakening of young Stephen Dedalus as he begins ...
This version of Emerson's Essays is an historic 1909 edition.
To Crites' argument that the plots of classical drama are more "just," Eugenius can retort that modern plots are more "lively" thanks to their variety.
Lisideius shows that the French plots carefully preserve Aristotle's unities of action, place, and time; Neander replies that English dramatists like Ben Jonson also kept the unities when they wanted to, but that they preferred to develop character and motive.