S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.10 (1983) (인문논총)
Dryden의 종교관과 문학관
Dryden's Attitude to Faith and Literature
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학
- 인문논총, Vol.10, pp. 39-48
- Dryden is probably one of the major English poets most unloved both for his poetry and his way of life. His poetry is held to be mere versification of prose, and his inconsistency in religion and politics is looked down on as a consequence of his worldly ambition. This short paper intends to suggest that Dryden's attitude to religio-political ideas is closely related to the neoclassical concept of poetry. From the modern point of view the most obvious fault of Dryden's poetry is its lack of suggestiveness. His poetry is "the poetry of statement" and states no more than what it says expressly, while the idea of the modern reader is that meaning of a poem is not explicitly stated but indirectly suggested by its form and style. The meaning and style, or the content and form is one, and cannot be separated; the same thing cannot be expressed in different forms. But the neoclassical period recognized the division between the content and the style and held that any subject could be made magnificent by embellishment of words. Moreover, of this divisible two aspects of poetry, a poet's duty had more to do with the style than the content, more with how than what to say. What a poet said was not his invention; it was mostly traditional and official. As the artist of language, the poet devoted himself to the refinement of style, and he was exempted from having to be original in the content, or the ideas on politics, faith, or morality. Such a concept of a poet's role was naturally conducive to the flexibility and a lack of seriousness in his political and religious views. This seems to account for many of spurious Christian images employed as metaphors in Dryden's poems at the risk of commtting blasphemy.