Please have a note on Dryden as a satirist.PLEASE MENTION ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL

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kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Absalom and Achitophel came out in 1681. You can now read it in The Works of John Dryden 1882. Dryden's work utilizes biblical and historical allusions, and contains allusions to political movements in a satirical manner. Dryden's satire refers directly to political topics, for example, like the priesthood and the government being in concert with the church.

In pious times, ere priestcraft did begin,
Before polygamy was made a sin;
When man on many multiplied his kind,
Ere one to one was cursedly confined;
When nature prompted, and no law denied, [5]
Promiscuous use of concubine and bride;

Here Dryden is not referring to a true morality but  a false morality based upon socially sanctioned behaviors and legal institutions that are not as objective as they proclaim to be.

His satire is so different than, say, Twain's satire who used the simple dialog of the characters like Huck to highlight the absurd behavior of the characters that represented mainstream society.