Rukhaya M.K

A Literary Companion

Month: July 2018

Poetry Analysis: John Dryden’s “Mac Flecknoe”


John Dryden’s “Mac Flecknoe” or “A satyr upon the True-Blew-Protestant Poet, T.S” is a poem in the mock-heroic tradition.

Written in about 1678, “Mac Flecknoe” is the outcome of a series of disagreements between Thomas Shadwell and Dryden. Their quarrel blossomed from the following disagreements: “1) their different estimates of the genius of Ben Jonson, 2) the preference of Dryden for comedy of wit and repartee and of Shadwell, the chief disciple of Jonson, for humors comedy, 3) a sharp disagreement over the true purpose of comedy, 4) contention over the value of rhymed plays, and 5) plagiarism.”(Wikpedia)

Flecknoe comprehends that it is time for his departure as he has for long reigned over the realms of dullness beginning his tenure like Augustus at an early age. The first two lines are an ostentatious platitude on the transience of Life; how Fate eventually wins over the former. The only common aspect between Flecknoe and Augustus was that both of them began to rule young; the insignificance of Flecknoe is contrasted against the huge stature of Augustus, in keeping with the mock-heroic tradition. Flecknoe was indubitably the undisputed King of Dullness in the realms of prose and verse. He has produced a large number of dunces and now seriously contemplates over a successor.…

Poetry Analysis: Yeats’ “Easter, 1916”


Yeats‘ Easter, 1916  describes the poet’s sentiments concerning Easter Rising staged in Ireland against British rule on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916. The people who took part in Dublin in Easter 1916 were commonplace people whom he interacted with on a daily basis. He had quite often witnessed their sparkling faces, and traded greetings with them and shared humorous moments with them. The greeting comprised of “polite meaningless words.” As they continued to thrive in a world of bliss, such was the turn of events that it gave way to something appalling enough to comprehend. The sacrifices for the nation was commendable, but it was heart-rending that it did lead to their death.

Of a mocking tale or a gibe

To please a companion

Around the fire at the club

Being certain that they and I

But lived where motley is worn:

All changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.

They thrived in a world where everything was a joke, and they functioned as clowns in such a set up. They indulged in mockeries and jibes just to please the other. And, now everything changes as if there was no reverting back to good times. Though they held vivid faces distinct from one another they were united in the common identity, and united in their thirst for freedom.…

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