Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

The father and son motif in Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Absent the father-son motif, there would be little of the allegorical power which permeates Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel. To be sure, the father-son motive is consistently interwoven throughout the text as an essential unifying pattern. One cannot understand the meaning of the poem without pausing to consider the figurative meaning accorded to specific relationships, and the consequences of those figurative meanings…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92% of users find it useful
The father and son motif in Drydens Absalom and Achitophel
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The father and son motif in Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel"

Download file to see previous pages Ironically, the way in which this motif permeates the poem gives rise to nearly all of the stages of the story. This essay will argue that the father-son motif in Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel demonstrates the implicit vulnerability of all patriarchal relationships; more particularly, this essay will explain how Dryden employs the father-son motif in order to highlight the danger of a patriarch loving uncritically, the danger of a patriarch offering mercy and restraint to enemies, and the painful burdens that patriarchal figures must endure if they are to survive in such a role.
The poem begins almost as an apology; it is apologetic because patriarchs and fathers are forgiven in advance for the miseries to be encountered in the current age. This reference to simpler times is introduced in the first few lines, when Dryden offers that, "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, Promiscuous use of concubine and bride;" (1-6). The implication is that there was a time when fatherhood implied no predominant obligation; indeed, this reference to pious times views the father-son relationship without the imposition of certain conditions or risks. Having a generalized duty to many people, being promiscuous and without the curse of being confined, the father may pursue his life freely. The patriarch, in short, may interact with others when nature prompts, he may choose and discard his relationships arbitrarily, and he will not be judged a legitimate or illegitimate father by others. The pious times, in effect, were without negative consequences. These pious times, on the other hand, are at an end. The father-son motif, particularly with the birth of Absalom, demonstrates the most immediate vulnerability of patriarchy.
Patriarchal consequences arise and vest most forebodingly with the birth of Absalom. The indifference notable in pious times is notably absent; quite the contrary, King David, was borne a son described as "So beautiful, so brave,Whether inspired by some diviner lust, His father got him with a greater gust; Or that his conscious destiny made way, By manly beauty, to imperial sway" (18-22). The "imperial sway" language is particularly significant; it is significant because King David is creating a special place in his heart and in his monarchy for Absalom. There is no longer any indifference; more interesting, the son has been elevated to a position higher than that enjoyed by either King David's other children or by King David's subjects. It is easy to ascribe the villainy to come to Achitophel, and yet the first sign of a faction is created by the father himself. To be more precise, rather than maintaining a strictly patriarchal relation to all men, King David instead elevated the son whom would later become his enemy and the cause of much sadness. Thus, if Achitophel might be blamed for taking advantage of this father-son relationship, then King David must accept responsibility for having given so much favor to Absalom in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The father and son motif in Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(The Father and Son Motif in Dryden'S Absalom and Achitophel Essay)
“The Father and Son Motif in Dryden'S Absalom and Achitophel Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The father and son motif in Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel

The Conflicts and Complexities of Father/Son Relationships

... The Conflicts and Complexities of Father/Son Relationship Among the wide range of famous of the XX century, the names of Arthur Miller and Jhumpa Lahiri take a special significant place. Being the authors of two different masterpieces of modern literature, Miller and Lahiri highlight and emphasize the sharpest problems of social life and general American lifestyle. In addition, Death of Salesman and The Namesake differ greatly in literary form and the way they were written. While the first work is a play with a specific way of text organization in the form of dialogues, The Namesake is a novel with appropriate narrative covering and numerous additional descriptions. The list of heroes, covered by both compositions, is approximately...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Discussing the relationship between son and father

...? Discussing the Relationship between Son and Father The text “Night” is a form of memoir that arousesfeelings of sorrow and pity. Reading through the lines, one could easily tell that the persona was going through a hard time in his life. This was the time when he needed his family but unfortunately they are separated and he is only left with his father. The persona, a Jewish teenager known by the name, Eliezer, is only left with his father under the unbearable conditions. This happens during the time when the Jewish were all taken away by the French policemen who were after reducing the number of Jewish people in Paris. The persona is helpless and this only explains the fact that the war in the World War II most affected the powerless...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Father and Son Relationships

... The debate on “Nature versus nurture” will run without end in all aspects of life, basing on nurture which is the factorone can do something about compared to nature which is genetic. The role of a father, teachers and coaches is very vital in shaping up young boys, protects them from future social problems and help them maximize their future potential. Many young men are raised in homes where they are forced to believe false personas of what it means to be “a man” in today’s modern society from the media and pressure from their father’s expectations. Additional learning and training for coaches, educators and professional athletes needs to be developed in order to help defeat the amount of boys who grow up with out male role models...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Father-Son Relationship Theme in Barn Burning

...? Father-Son Relationship Theme in “Barn Burning” ‘Barn Burning’ is a short story written by William Faulkner which deals in its context deals with loyalty, honor and justice. The story starts at meat and cheese store during a court session After Sarty’s father is accused of burning down a barn belonging to his landlord. Sarty’s father is known as Mr. Abner Snopes. His son is requested by the court to have to testify against his father on his case with the property owner known as Mr. Sarty. While at the store, Sarty is tempted to consume the meat and cheese at the store. He (Sarty) is in a tight situation where he has to lie about his father’s actions. Sarty at this moment wants to under initiation into manhood. However, The Justice and Mr...
6 Pages(1500 words)Research Paper

Absalom Absalom by William Faulkner

...This narrative, Absalom Absalom by William Faulkner encloses indications towards the Civil War as well as the obliteration of the South during the warfare's after effects. Rosa informs Quentin that she believes that following his graduation from Harvard, he may practice law at someplace besides inside his homeland of Jefferson since the Northern citizens have previously guaranteed that there is not much left inside the South for a youthful man. Mr. Compson clarifies to Quentin that he ought to listen graciously to Rosa's tale because during earlier period the South produced its women into ladies, subsequently the war constructed the ladies into ghosts. Inside Absalom, Absalom!, W. Faulkner plainly criticizes the ethical as well...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Faulkner, Absalom Absalom

...Faulkner: Absalom, Absalom! William Faulkners epic novel Absalom, Absalom! is part of an impressive body of work that contributed to his winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949. In it, Faulkner recounts the tragic saga of Thomas Sutpen, a man hell bent on having sons, an obsession which eventually serves to destroy him. The novel explores the major themes of memory, race and history, among others. Faulkner employs the technique of using several narrators – relying on the interwoven memories of Rosa Coldfield, Quentin Compson, and Quentin’s father to structure the novel itself. Though this method allows the reader to see differing points of view, as well as examine the contribution of memory to the myth-making process as the story...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Father-son Relationship in Charles Bukowsky Ham on Rye

... Father-son Relationship in “Ham On Rye” Charles Bukowsky’ novel, “Ham on Rye” deals with the growth of its protagonist, Henry Chinaski, whose anti-heroic character, in the first place, develops as a response to his relationship with his father, Big Henry Chinasky. The author attempts to show that during the Great Depression a poor child’s psychophysical growth has further deteriorated because of his father’s superstitious as well as apparently malignant attitude towards his teenage boy’s wellbeing. Whereas the protagonist Henry should grow a harmonious and calculative view of the world through his relationship with friends, he is forced to pass his childhood and boyhood in sarcastic loneliness. In his house Henry’s father frequently beats...
2 Pages(500 words)Book Report/Review

Father-son Relationship in Ham on Rye

... Task Father-son Relationship in “Ham on Rye” The novel, “Ham on Rye”, is centered on a protagonist Henry Chinaski, whose anti-heroic character is developed as a response to the relationship with his father, Big Henry Chinasky. The reading is set during the Great Depression and the author attempts to show the deterioration in a child’s psychophysical growth, mainly due to the influence of the father’s superstitious nature, and the apparent disinterest in the boy’s wellbeing. As a normal child, Henry should show a harmonious and agreeable view of the world, however, his relationship with friends is hampered by the attitudes developed during childhood, and he ends up being a sad and lonely child. The character developed by Henry Chinaski...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

William Faulkners Burned Barn paper. Relationship between father and son

...Your full February 27, ‘Barn Burning’ by William Faulkner William Faulkner, in ‘Barn Burning’, has told the story of a father, Abner, and his ten year old son, Sarty, and the relationship between the two. Sarty initially wants to protect Abner from the law. It was not out of respect and love for his father, but out of fear of consequences that might arise if he did not obey his father. He is loyal to his father not because he admires him, but because his father warns him that he will lose the family ties if he does not stand by him. He does not like the fact that his father is not the type of role model every young boy wishes to have and follow. He no longer can bear the social humiliation he goes through because of his father. Yet, he...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Henry VII as the Fulfilment of The Son of Prophecy in Wales

Owen may have been horse master or steward in the household of Henry V, although other stories exist. He met, fell in love with and finally married Katherine of Valois. Owen’s full name was in fact Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudor. His children mingled then the blood of French sovereigns with that of Welshmen. They were, of course, half brothers to Henry VI, but as they had no English blood was never considered as possible contenders for the throne. Out of affection, Henry VI ennobled two of them, the third son becoming a priest. They became the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester. A search for suitable brides followed. Edmund married Margaret Beaufort but died in an epidemic some months before the birth of his son. The second brother...
13 Pages(3250 words)Term Paper

S&T Debt Factors

The agreement contains a credit default contracts that include credit default swaps, default index contracts, credit default options, and credit default basket options. One can use these as part of the mechanism that is collateralized by debt obligations. The goal should be to establish a price for a given risk and controlling credit based on risk. The credit can be allowed by minimization of risk. Credit controllers should develop versatile tools that transfer risk away from a lender’s balance sheet.
d) With reference to the proposed debt counseling business, illustrate and explain exactly how you would organize the debt counseling operation, taking particular care to explain how and when you would receive payment for...
6 Pages(1500 words)Case Study

How Did Radio in the 1960's Mark the Changing Social Order in the UK and US

...How did radio in the 1960s mark - and even actively promote - the changing social order in the UK and US? The 1960s saw perhaps the greatest social changes in history. For the first time young people and their parents were divided. They had different cultural ideas and little middle ground to understand each other. The music tastes, social conventions and political beliefs of the older generation had been violently rejected by a disaffected youth which sought to establish a new social order. These were times of change, times of disaffection and times in which a whole new social network was being established. This took the form of underground movements, independent press and pirate radio. This essay will focus on this final tool... did radio...
7 Pages(1750 words)Term Paper

The Market Position of M&S

...Analyse and account for the market position of M&S which has adapted to recent changes in the economic climate effectively. Table of Contents Introduction 3 Marks & Spencer: a Brief Overview 3 Literature review 4 Discussion 7 Effect of recession on M&S 7 Changes Introduced in Response to Recession by Marks & Spencer 8 Future Outlook of Marks & Spencer 11 Conclusion 11 Appendices 15 Introduction The economic cycle or business cycle is subjected to different phases that include slump, recession, recover and boom. Companies face different market circumstances in different phases and they react accordingly. In order to sustain in the market, they have to adopt different strategies so that they are able to generate enough revenue...
8 Pages(2000 words)Case Study

The Swing Movement of the 30's

...Full and number of The Swing Movement: Music of Yesterday, Influence of Today Young people today think aboutswing music, if they think about it at all, as the music of their grandparents. What one hears on the Grammies today hardly seems to resemble the sounds that emanate from grandfather’s old 78’s on the even older record player sitting in his living room. His contention that “those were the days” does not resonate to a new generation several times removed. And yet, when one analyzes the swing movement in the context of its time, the innovation and evolutionary movement it brought to American music can not be denied—an evolution still on going. Swing music, an extension of earlier blues and jazz movements, arrived on the scene...
8 Pages(2000 words)Case Study

Dombey and Son - the Use of Money and the Influence in Changing Women Dependent on Men

When Dombey’s marriage fails, the fiction reveals how Edith (his wife) runs away with a close ally to Dombey as driven by money. Another illustration is that of Dickens and David Copperfield, which show how money can be used to make women dependent on male figures. In the illustration, we find a ‘woman’ being manipulated in order to have her self-worth compromised for the sake of financial support by men. The above are just examples that the fiction novel contains among many that illustrate the dependence of women on male figures through the influence of money1.

Dombey, the rich man is portrayed as the main figure in the narration from whom the other characters almost entirely take reference from. Dom...
9 Pages(2250 words)Case Study

An Ojibway Father Teaches His Son

...For Joshua: An Ojibway Father Teaches His Son ‘For Joshua’ published in 2003, is a story that culminates as a letter of care and concern that Richard Wagamese- the author, writes for his child Joshua, as a result of his social undoing’s that he fears may ruin his role as a paternal parent. His main hope is that through this approach he will teach his son important life lessons by also telling a story of his childhood to adulthood transition (Obijway man). One would wonder, what was Richard Wagamese’s particular intent for this particular book to his target audience? What was the most appropriate message he was trying to identifying with or cut across to his intended audience? Well the answer to a larger extent lies with the avid reader...
8 Pages(2000 words)Book Report/Review

The Theme of the Evil of Society in Shirley Jacksons The Lottery and Bharati Mukherjees A Father

... The Evil of Society Modern society has its evil side. This evil side has consumed the people living in the societyas well as the communities in it. This evil is seen in the illegal and immoral activities that are happening around us. Most importantly, however, such an evil is seen in the unconscious obedience of man to the traditions that actually harm him, his families and his children. In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Bharati Mukherjee’s “A Father” shows that the evil rules and traditions of society have turned the characters into the worst that they can possibly be. First of all, society is evil as long as man continues to worship it. The evil that one experiences in society actually reflects the fact that man worships this evil...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Teacher`s Personality Qualities

A teacher is a psychologist who must find a separate approach to every single individual he meets on the way. Thus, teaching is a complex and multifaceted task that requires knowledge, communication skills, and special personality traits. However, being a good teacher is not having an inborn talent, it means being able to improve constantly. In this paper, I want to argue that constant self-development is one of the crucial components that make a great teacher as every quality required from a great teacher is a matter of practice and experience.
There exist certain prerequisites, certain “musts” for being a good teacher. A subject matter knowledge is considered a core of the teacher`s profession. The teacher is s...
8 Pages(2000 words)Case Study

The Difference Between Religiousness and Faith in Flannery O`Connor`s Revelation

... The Difference Between Religiousness and Faith in Flannery O`Connor`s “Revelation” The short story “Revelation” by O`Connorexamines one of the most delicate aspects of faith in God – its deep essence and verity. It seems that for most religions adherence to certain rituals and literal following the Scriptures can be enough for considering oneself a true believer but everything is not as simple as it seems. But even interpretation of the Holy texts requires knowledge and ability to grasp the deep meaning behind metaphors. Religion is just the coverage of faith while what real faith means is the major question for all those who believe in God. The principle character of O`Connor`s “Revelation” Mrs. Turpin seems to be perfect Catholic woman...
7 Pages(1750 words)Book Report/Review

Analysis of Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Kafka`s The Metamorphosis

... of great interest to women and men in the town. It is possible to say that Faulkner makes us understand that there will be no real events in the story- the main things will happen inside human souls. He also makes a reader understand that death and a house will be the principle topics of the text apart from inner life of Emily which we will be able to understand only from her relationship with people and things. So Mrs. Emily turns out to be rather eccentric woman- having been raised by a strict father who thought that no men would be good enough for his daughter – she grew up self-sufficient and weird. She was beautiful and many men wanted to marry her, she also had an influential father. When Emily`s father dies she refused to accept...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The father and son motif in Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel for FREE!

Contact Us