Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Biography or Paragraph on “John Dryden great author complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Essay, Biography or Paragraph on “John Dryden great author complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

John Dryden

(1631 – 1700)

John Dryden was an influential British poet and playwright. Dryden was the most important poet between Milton and Pope. He was born at a village rectory near Oundle in Northamptonshire and educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a professional writer throughout his life. His early plays, often heroic-tragedy, met with highly variable success but served to promote his name and his Royalist sentiments. Arriving in London during the Protectorate, he attempted to capitalise on the Parliamentarian sympathies of his family, but failed to make much impact until the Restoration of King Charles II. His poem, Astrea Ralux , in honour of this event, made him a name. Dryden turned to the stage for a living, and soon became the most successful dramatist of the decade following the Restoration. He also wrote some of the most successful plays of the Restoration era, including the heroic tragedy The Conquest of Granada (1670). He was rewarded for his Royalist sympathies with the Poet Laureateship, but lost the post at the accession of William and Mary in 1689. Dryden was a contentious personality, and frequently entered upon literary wars with other prominent writers. He savagely attacked playwright Thomas Shadwell in the poem MacFlecicpoe, and at-tacked both Shadwell and Elkanah Settle in part two of Absalom and Achitophel.

By 1663, the year he was made a fellow of the Royal Society, he was prominent enough to be accepted as a suitable husband for Lady Elizabeth Howard, but his reputation was not really made until Annus Mirabilis, a celebration of the events of 1666. In 1668, he was appointed to succeed William Davenant as Poet Laureate, a post that he lost when King James II was deposed twenty years later. He continued to lead the way in Restoration comedy, his best-known work being All for Love (1678). From the 1680s Dryden concentrated on poetry where his use of the rhymed couplet is considered brilliant, although he continued to write plays and composed several librettoes. In 1686 he converted to Catholicism. He also made some popular translations of Virgil’s Aeneid and works by Horace, Ovid and Homer. Dryden was also author of important literary criticism, including An Essay of Dramatic Poesy, and translator of Virgil’s Aeneid; he is also credited with translating Plutarch’s Lives (though in fact he only supervised the translation). He was named a fellow of the Royal Society in 1663. His own life was written by Samuel Johnson. His eldest son, Charles Dryden, became chamberlain to Pope Innocent XII.

He is buried in Westminster Abbey.



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