Literary Analysis Of Absalom And Achiophel By John Dryden

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“Absalom and Achiophel”: the wondrous satirical poem written by John Dryden himself which features the many different ways of inviting humorous and satirical aspects of the Popish plot to light. George Villiers, the second duke of Buckingham, was no exception for Dryden. So much so that the footnotes of the couplets involving George even states that the section on George was “The least political of the satirical portraits in the poem” (Noggle, 2226). Claiming that George Villiers, in Dryden’s eyes, was not fit to be a leader in the Popish plot was an extreme understatement as he painted an overwhelmingly satirical image of how George was not only incapable of making an impact in the Popish plot, but is upright a fool to society. Dryden, in the process of painting this satirical imagery, also uses George as an example of showing consequentialism in action.
In “Absalom and Achitophel” Dryden begins with writing how George Villier only positive credential of being part of the popish plot is that he comes from his royalty in Buckingham as his other credentials lack in uniqueness when compared to the other members of society. He eludes that George Villier became a “chief” of the Popish plot because he was one of the “princes of the land” (543). Ironically, however, this is followed up by Dryden describing him as “A man so various, that he seemed to be / Not one, but all mankind’s epitome” (545 – 546). Claiming him to be a “chief” in this context is ironic in the sense that he

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