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Absalom and Achitophel

3.06  ·  Rating Details ·  267 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Not So The Rest; For Several Mothers Bore To Godlike David, Several Sons Before. But Since Like Slaves His Bed They Did Ascend, No True Succession Could Their Seed Attend. Of All This Numerous Progeny Was None So Beautifull, So Brave As Absalon.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1681)
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Jun 01, 2013 Randyn rated it really liked it
I am nowhere near sufficiently well read in poetry to use the term "neglected classic" here, but I am surprised at how low Dryden's stock seems to be valued on Goodreads and among critics in general. In fact it seems so out of proportion to the obvious quality of this work that I've come up with a theory here:

When Dryden was writing, poetry seems to have been used in a very different way than it is today, with satire and political commentary and witty epigrams being the emphasis, whereas modern
May 15, 2013 Lesliemae rated it it was ok
Let's give credit where credit is due on this one - sure it is a political allegory that suits Restoration "popish plots" and exclusion claims on the succession of the Royal Monarchy, but it's still pretty intriguing. Just using the word popish...i know sounds awful. Yet ask yourself this, would you be interested in an intriguing expose of Tony Blair trying to convince Kate Middleton, newly converted to Scientology, that she should usurp the throne and become the next queen if you saw it in ...more
Nidhi Mahajan
Definitely enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. The poem explores Restoration politics through Biblical allusions (knowledge of both is a precursor to put the poem in context). If you're planning to study Dryden (out of interest or for class), I recommend that you read Mac Flecknoe first. I found Mac Fleknoe to be more accessible than Absalom and Achitophel, though the latter seems to be more representative of Dryden as a poet and satirist.
Prerna Viajyeni
Sep 21, 2016 Prerna Viajyeni rated it liked it
Brilliant political allegory, witty satire laced with biblical imagery, some manipulated some authentic, but one surely has to read it twice to fully get it. Political upheaval of the time gave Dryden a chance to display his literary talent. After this stoke of genius nobody remembers him as a dramatist, but only as a man of verses!
Nov 18, 2013 Charles rated it really liked it
Admittedly. this is a hard read, and by hard I do mean somewhat tedious and confusing for the modern reader, especially without the necessary notes or historical background.

However, I was shocked by all these predominantly negative reviews. This is a classic for crying out loud, one of Dryden's masterpieces and one of the most relevant and controversial works of the poetry of eighteenth century poetry in England. The historical implications are astronomical, its biblical allusions merely a disgu
Andrea Hickman Walker
Jan 01, 2014 Andrea Hickman Walker rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I found this rather hard to follow. I think it would have been a bit easier if I'd read it (as opposed to listened to it). I think part of the problem was my not knowing that period of history very well - both the time of David and the time of Charles I. But a biography of the latter is waiting for me, so perhaps that will illumine this.
Feb 19, 2013 Emily rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Restoration politics retold through biblical allusions are not my thing in this life. Maybe next round.
Jul 13, 2011 Meaghan rated it liked it
An interested commentary on the monarchy of the time, seen through Biblical context. Not quite as entertaining as MacFlecknoe, but not as subjective, or satirical either.
May 06, 2016 Noah rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1-5, poetry, read-in-2016
Sometimes satirical, sometimes demeaning; altogether an example of horrid pacing and incomplete thought.
Feb 20, 2013 Ophelia rated it it was ok
I read it but still NOT sure what happened ! So there was a plot blah blah blah but NOTHING really happen .. Did someone die ? Have I missed something ?
Han rated it liked it
Oct 01, 2016
Ian Nazarehth
Ian Nazarehth rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2016
Lise rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2015
Gerald Creel
Gerald Creel rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2014
Mustafa Aqeli
Mustafa Aqeli rated it liked it
Mar 04, 2015
Rob Stockton
Rob Stockton rated it it was ok
Jul 07, 2014
Geremy Carnes
Geremy Carnes rated it liked it
Oct 30, 2012
Aug 22, 2014 Betsy rated it liked it
Surprisingly, quite a simple read for England's poet laureate.
Laura Wetsel
Laura Wetsel rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2009
Erin rated it really liked it
Apr 01, 2010
Paridhi Prasad
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Dec 17, 2015
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Dec 02, 2014
Chris Schaben
Mar 10, 2014 Chris Schaben rated it did not like it
Very, very dull poem. There's a reason his last name is Dry-den.
Patricia Giverin
Patricia Giverin rated it liked it
Jan 26, 2016
Arpan Naithani
Arpan Naithani rated it really liked it
Jun 20, 2013
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Aug 24, 2016
Shaheera rated it really liked it
Aug 01, 2008
Mark Noce
Mark Noce rated it did not like it
Oct 22, 2009
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

John Dryden (19 August [O.S. 9 August] 1631 – 12 May [O.S. 1 May] 1700) was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made Poet Laureate in 1668. He is seen as dominating the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came
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“Great wits are to madness near allied
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.”
“But far more numerous was the herd of such,
Who think too little, and who talk too much.”
More quotes…