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Mac Flecknoe

You can learn more about this topic in the related articles below. This article was most recently revised and updated by Kathleen Kuiper , Senior Editor. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.


  • Mac Flecknoe by John Dryden.
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  • Mac Flecknoe by John Dryden: Summary.
  • Mac Flecknoe.
  • Mac Flecknoe: a Study Guide?

Another of his finest inventions, Mac Flecknoe written mids, published , explores, through agile mock-heroic fantasy, the possibility of a world in which the profession of humane letters has been thoroughly debased through the unworthiness of its practitioners. The s also saw the publication of two major religious poems: Religio… …. Mac Flecknoe is the first substantial mock-heroic poem and Thomas Shadwell is the hero of this epic.

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. The poem opens with Richard Flecknoe's decision to abdicate the throne and to find a worthy successor. Flecknoe's name has already become a synonym for a fool. The name of his kingdom is Nonsense. Flecknoe's choice falls upon Shadwell.

Mac Flecknoe by John Dryden: Summary

Among his sons, Shadwell is the fittest for he resembles him most in dullness. He never deviates into sense. Flecknoe, with parental pride, dwells on his son's achievements.

Mac Flecknoe Summary in Hindi -- A poem by John Dryden

Shadwell has a 'goodly fabric that fills the eye' He is the master of repetition; he is a faithful follower of bad poets like Heywood and Shirley. Even Flecknoe, 'a dunce of more renown than they' is inferior to his son. He, therefore, concludes that his son, Shadwell is the worst possible poet and thus deserves the crown of dullness. Flecknoe continues his eulogy of Shadwell's merits by referring to his pretensions as a musician.

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


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  • Macflecknoe or a satyr upon the trew blue-protestant poet!
  • Mac Flecknoe and Other Poems.

Even Flecknoe, 'a dunce of more renown than they' is inferior to his son. He, therefore, concludes that his son, Shadwell is the worst possible poet and thus deserves the crown of dullness. Flecknoe continues his eulogy of Shadwell's merits by referring to his pretensions as a musician. All arguments, Flecknoe points out, lead to the conclusion that for "anointed dullness" Shadwell is made.

Mac Flecknoe

Dryden then describes the place chosen by Flecknoe for Shadwell's throne. Quite appropriately Flecknoe selects "Nursery": an actual London theatre for boys and girls to study drama for this purpose. Great poets like Fletcher and Jonson cannot enter there. Here Dekker had once prophesied that a mighty prince who would declare an eternal war against wit and sense should rule, producing dull classics like Psyche, The Miser and The Humorists.

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Once Flecknoe has chosen Shadwell as his successor, the news gets a wide publicity. Instead of carpets, there are the remains of neglected poets; bad poets like Ogleby come out from their dusty shops. Flecknoe sits on a throne with Shadwell, and "lambent dullness plyed around his Shadwell's face.

At the time of consecration twelve owls fly over the spot.