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Title: Servant to His Majesty : John Dryden and the Augustan reception of Virgil
Author: Calvert, Ian Charles
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 4358
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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This dissertation is divided into three parts. The first part, 'Copious Dryden', considers the various inter-connected factors which inform the noticeably expansive status of Dryden's translations of Virgil. It argues that the underlying principle behind these factors is Dryden's desire to demonstrate how his own approach to Virgil has been shaped by various key poets who acted as intermediaries for the original texts. These poets stretch across a broad chronological range, from Virgil's near-contemporaries (Horace, Ovid) to Dryden's (Denham, Cowley, Milton) and a range of figures in between (Lucan, Statius, Spenser), including Dryden's own younger self. It subsequently identifies three distinct strands of Virgil's reception - the Prosodic, Laureate, and Lacrimose Virgil - before discussing their origins and their influence on Dryden's Virgil. The second part, 'Footfalls', discusses how Dryden's first translations from the Aeneid in the 1680s are noticeably self-reflexive: they use a number of characters from the poem to explore the nature of his own inheritance from Virgil, both as a poet and as a translator, a relationship which incorporates erotic, fraternal and filial aspects. The third part, 'Original Copies', explores how Dryden concentrated on a number of father-son pairings in Virgil as a means of meditating on questions of political and poetical succession, and the frequent points of contact between these spheres. It argues this ultimately allowed Dryden not only to proclaim his political loyalties to the displaced Jacobite branch of the House of Stuart, but also to allot himself a central, if fluid, role within a poetical dynasty, thanks to his conviction that poetical tradition is bestowed as well as inherited. This dissertation concludes with a brief consideration of Dryden's own poetic successors, Congreve and Pope, and the manner in which they claimed their place within this poetic dynasty.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available