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 . Mac Flecknoe is the finest short satirical poem in which Dryden has treated Thomas Sahdwell with humorous contempt. Mac Flecknoe is both a personal and . 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 .

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Thomas DekkerEnglish playwright and prose pamphleteer. After his father died, Ascanius inherited his father’s kingdom. The elderly king, Flecknoe.

Mac Flecknoe

He even suggests that Shadwell need not work very hard in this attempt; rather, let dullness come naturally to him. Character in The Humorists. John HeywoodEnglish author of interludes, which were humorous, witty, or moralistic dialogues recited on a stage before or after a play or during an intermission.

Shadwell has a ‘goodly fabric that fills the eye’ He sum,ary the master of repetition; he is a faithful follower of bad poets like Heywood and Shirley.


Jacob Tonson published an edited and authorized copy of the poem in London in as part of a Dryden collection entitled Miscellany Poems. 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. Nearby is a nursery for children who will be trained as actors. Dryden and Shadwell had once treated each other amicably but became enemies because of their differing views on the following: See Backgroundabove.


Book dealers unable to sell the works of Shadwell.

Mac Flecknoe by John Dryden: Summary

The tone of the poem is mischievous and mocking. While on a sea voyage, he learned that sailors on the ship planned to rob and kill him. The poem illustrates the qualities of Dryden’s satire- the fund of truth at the bottom, the skillful adjustment of the satire so as to make faults of the merits which are allowed, the magnificent force and variety of the verse, and the constant maintenance of a kind of superior contempt never degenerating into mere railing or losing its superiority in petty spite.

Court musician and singer. A phrase that appears in a Shadwell play entitled The Virtuoso.

James Shirleya minor English playwright. Angry that she has disobeyed his instructions, he leaves her.

Shadwell fathered wrote Psyche. Lack of brilliance; stupidity.

Mac Flecknoe – Wikipedia

High boots worn by actors in ancient Greek and Roman tragedies. On his head is a wreath of poppies the source of opium, an addictive drug which Shadwell used. Dryden also included occasional internal rhyme in the poem, as in the following lines.

When a king of England was crowned, he received an orb along with a scepter as a symbol of his power. Or perhaps he should write songs and sing them to the accompaniment of a lute. Woolen or partly woolen fabric used to make clothing. Flecknoe assumed the throne as King of Nonsense when he was young.

Dryden then describes the place chosen by Flecknoe for Shadwell’s throne. Cupid, invisible to human eyes, enters her chamber while she is sleeping. The poem opens with Richard Flecknoe’s decision to abdicate the throne and to find a worthy successor.


He tells her she must never light a candle, for he does not wish to reveal his identity right away. There, Jupiter gives her the food of the gods, making her immortal, and pronounces Cupid and her eternally tied by the bonds of marriage.

Heywood was a pioneer in turning the abstractions of morality plays into real characters, as in The Mery Play betwene Johan Johan the Husbande, Tyb the Wyfe, and Syr Johan the Preestprinted in Opera libretto written by Shadwell. From dusty shops neglected authors come, He decided to avenge himself on Shadwell and Dryden fully revenged himself by the publication of Mac Flecknoe in In this respect, he was not unlike Augustus Caesar, who summry emperor of Rome when he, too, was a young.

Defensive wall on Aldersgate Street in London. Instead, he need only trust his natural instincts, and dullness will pour forth. The king of the gods then persuades her to stop her scheming against Psyche.

After lighting the lamp, she sees Cupid for the first time and accidentally scratches fecknoe with one of his arrows. Shadwell accedes to the crown as Mac Flecknoe. So Shadwell inherits the throne as Mac Flecknoe son of Flecknoe. Character in Shadwell’s The Virtuoso Perhaps, he says, Shadwell should quit writing plays and devote himself to acrostics.