John Dryden | Mac Flecknoe as Mock-heroic Poem


John Dryden | Mac Flecknoe as Mock-heroic Poem

John Dryden  Mac Flecknoe as Mock-heroic Poem

Mac Flecknoe as Mock-heroic Poem

John Dryden | Mac Flecknoe as Mock-heroic Poem

John Dryden’s “Mac Flecknoe” stands out as a prominent illustration of a mock-heroic poem, a satirical genre adept at lampooning the established conventions of epic or heroic forms. It adeptly mocks and satirizes grand themes, utilizing them to subvert and deride a specific target, in this instance, Dryden’s contemporary rival poet, Thomas Shadwell. Through its cutting wit and parody of heroic poetry, “Mac Flecknoe” presents a sharp critique of Shadwell’s literary and personal character.

The attributes of a mock-heroic poem involve an imitation of the structure and style of an epic or heroic poem, strategically used to ridicule or parody the subject matter. Often, it takes seemingly trivial or mundane subjects and treats them with the same gravity and grandeur as a traditional heroic poem. The language, structure, and devices employed in a mock-heroic poem replicate those of epic poetry but function to undercut the grandiosity and significance traditionally associated with heroic forms.

“Mac Flecknoe” incorporates elements of a heroic poem by employing elevated and grandiloquent language characteristic of heroic poetry. Dryden utilizes lofty phrases to describe apparently insignificant subjects, such as the “dullness” and inadequacy of Shadwell, elevating mundane characteristics to epic proportions.

While the poem ridicules Shadwell, it adheres to the structure of a heroic journey. Shadwell’s ascension to the throne of dullness after his father’s (Richard Flecknoe) departure is portrayed as an epic succession, satirizing the concept of a heroic ascent.

The extensive use of allusions to classical mythology and epic conventions is a notable feature in “Mac Flecknoe.” Dryden employs these references to undercut Shadwell’s character, employing parody by imitating grand epics but applying them to a ridiculous and trivial subject.

The poem’s culmination, where Shadwell is anointed as the rightful heir to “the realm of nonsense absolute,” serves as a mock epic climax. This satirical inversion of the grand ceremonies often found in true heroic poetry transforms a ludicrous moment into an epic event.

Throughout the poem, Dryden consistently deploys heroic conventions to ridicule Shadwell. The elevation of Shadwell to a throne of dullness, the use of grandiose descriptions for trivial qualities, and the imitation of heroic form collectively serve to mock and diminish Shadwell’s stature.

In essence, “Mac Flecknoe” epitomizes the mock-heroic genre by cleverly utilizing the trappings of epic poetry to satirize and ridicule Thomas Shadwell. It employs grandeur to underscore the mundane and trivial aspects, effectively undermining traditional heroic conventions to lampoon its subject. 0 0 0.

John Dryden Mac Flecknoe as Mock-heroic Poem

You May Like:

  1. H Derozio | To the Pupils of Hindu College | Critical Study
  2. Toru Dutt’s Poetry-Chief Characteristics
  3. Robert Southey | The Scholar | Analytical Study
  4. Henry Derozio | Song of the Hindustanee Minstrel | Critical Study
  5. Henry Derozio | Chorus of Brahmins | Critical Study
Previous articleH Derozio | To the Pupils of Hindu College | Critical Study
Next articleKamala Das | A Losing Battle | Analytical Study