The Absalom And Achitophel

Categories: LiteratureMusicPoetry

John Dryden was one of the greatest English poets and play writer of the eighteenth century. His work included tragedy, comedy, epic, satire and drama. He also translated the work of different writers from other languages to English. His career in poetry started with the Heroic stanzas he processed at Cromwell’s funeral. The next poems he wrote were Astraea Redux and To His Sacred Majesty on Charles II’s return. After his marriage, he appeared in his first play called The Wild Gallant which made his way towards Restoration comedy and he wrote his best work called Marriage á la Mode and All for Love.

He also wrote a historical poem call Annus Mirabilis, describing the English Defeat of the Dutch naval fleet and the Great Fire of London in 1666.

His critics towards Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra, made the writer upset that he was attacked my few people at his house. He also contributed to politics by writing The Spanish Friar, The Dike of Guise, Albion and Albanius, Absalom and Achitophel, The Medal and many other made him dearest to politicians and made some of them hate him to make him vulnerable to attack.

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He also wrote some religious poems that included The Hind and the Panther, Pindaric ode, An Ode, on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell, Alexander’s Feast and one of the famous Ode he wrote was A song for Saint Cecilia’s Day.

A Song for Saint Cecilia’s Day, Saint Cecilia was a music patroness who had a great significance at that time.

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Saint Cecilia’s day is celebrated to honor the Goddess of music. It’s a holiday full of celebration, joy and music. This poem describes the power of music on human nature and how it can control the universe. This poem is written as an Ode to the Goddess of music who was known to bring angles to earth with her beautiful voice. In first stanza, Dryden talks about the creation of the world through music. This stanza, represent the melodic perspective of music how it has joined the universe together in harmony. Dryden repeats word harmony six times in this stanza, which represents the world as a heavenly peace held together with harmony.

Dryden mentioned nature as a musical scale that holds different being at different levels. Human is referred to be one of the best product of the universe created on the final day of the creation. In second stanza, Poet talks about the control of music over humans and human nature. He describes how different kind of music can bring out different kind of emotions in human being. Music has power to control and bring out best and worst out of people. Music can make a person angry or happy, to raise and quarrel, to defeat and conquer the opponents, and also take away all the stress and make the person sweetest of all and it all depends on the type of music.

In third stanza, Dryden talks about the sound of trumpet is referred to bring out encouragement and motivation in people to achieve and conquer the opponents. Sound of trumpet so loud and high brings out the anger in people. And if the same trumpet is beaten twice that represents the attack of the foes and alarm the opponents to rise and conquer the attack. Fourth Stanza, talks about the sound of flute which melts hearts of people and signifies the love of lovers for each other. It signifies the emotions of two people towards each other. Fifth stanza, talks about the violins, their music is referred to as the jealousy of people towards each other. It is referred to the depth of pain and depression people have in their lives. Sixth stanza, talks about the power of music that it can make people worship it and follow the path shown by the music.

It talks about how music represents the love of worshipper towards their God. Seventh stanza, is referred to the central figure St. Cecilia. Dryden talks about St. Cecelia is referred to the Goddess of music who had the ability to attract angels form heaven with her voice. She had the power to attract the angles who mistook earth as heaven because St. Cecilia has such a harmony in her voice. Dryden explains the ability of St. Cecilia to play with emotions of angels and ability of music to control the human kind and the angle of the outer world.

A Song for Saint Cecilia’s day, is an Ode to the Goddess of music. This Ode refers to the power of music over human mind and nature. It talks about the ability of St. Cecilia to attract the angles who mistook earth as heaven by hearing her voice. Music has the ability to bring out best and worst in humans. It talks about how music hold the whole universe in harmony as different music scale.

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The Absalom And Achitophel. (2022, Apr 16). Retrieved from

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