Defence Essay Dramatick Poesie

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Passion, he proceeds, is too fierce to be bound in fetters; and the sense of Shakespeare's unapproachable superiority, Shakespeare, whose masterpieces dispense with rhyme, inclines him to quit the stage altogether. The first point is considered in the remarks ofj Crites (Sir Robert Howard), with which the discussion opens.

His first play, The Wild Gallant, was in prose ; it is coarse and not much enlivened by wit, and it was not well received. He seems to have convinced himself that the attraction of rhyme was necessary to please the fastidious audiences for which he had to write; vi PREFACE.

and after The Rival Ladies, of which a small part is in rhyme, and The Indian Queen (1664), a play entirely rhymed, in which he assisted his brother-in-law Sir Robert Howard, he brought out, early in 1665, his tragedy of The Indian Emperor, which, like The Indian Queen, is carefully rhymed throughout.

Neander asserts that "we have invented, increased, -and perfected a more pleasant way of writing for the stage . Neander extends his criticism of French drama - into his reasoning for his preference for Shakespeare over Ben Jonson. which is nearest prose" as a justification for banishing rhyme, from drama in favor of blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter).

Shakespeare "had the largest and most comprehensive soul," while Jonson was "the most learned and judicious writer which any theater ever had." Ultimately, Neander prefers Shakespeare for his greater scope, his greater faithfulness to life, as compared to Jonson's relatively small scope and Freneh/Classical tendency to deal in "the beauties of a statue, but not of a Man." Crites objects to rhyme in plays: "since no man without premeditation speaks in rhyme, neither ought he to do it on the stage." He cites Aristotle as saying that it is, "best to write tragedy in that kind of verse . Even though blank verse lines are no more spontaneous than are rhymed lines, they are still to be preferred because they are "nearest nature": "Rhyme is incapable of expressing the greatest thought naturally, and the lowest it cannot with any grace: for what is more unbefitting the majesty of verse, than to call a servant, or bid a door be shut in rhyme?

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