by John Dryden
The mantle fell to the young poet’s part
With double portion of his father’s art.
Reference:- The above stanza has been taken from “Mac Flecknoe” written in mid 1670s by John Dryden and published anonymously without Dryden’s authority in 1682. These are the concluding lines of the last stanza of the poem having dramatic importance with immense.
Context:- “Mac Flecknoe” by John Dryden is one of the most popular work of English literature. It is a satiric poem, which becomes the cornerstone of Dryden’s success in his poetic career. This poem is an envision of Thomas Shadwell (the true- blue protestant poet). Dryden describes Thomas Shadwell as the heir to Richard Flecknoe’s poetic dullness.
Explanation:- In the given lines, the poet’s last words of Flecknoe are scarcely heard as he suddenly falls in the trap- door which opens below his feet. But a Flecknoe falls, his woolen garment is carried upwards by a sudden gust of wind. This is the ‘mantle’ that falls on Shadwell, and he inherits from his father a stupidity which is two times more than that of Flecknoe.
The stupidity of Flecknoe has only been doubled in the absurdity of Mac Flecknoe, and the lampoon, it has reached its culminating point.
Critical comment:- Mac Flecknoe is not a complete imitation of an epic as the action of the heroic or epic poem includes a battle also. Mac Flecknoe is concerned with the selection of Shadwell as the monarch of non- sense and his coronation.
Pop’s ‘The Rape of The Lock’ which is a mock- heroic poem that presents a battle with fans and snuff- box, nevertheless, Mac Flecknoe remains essentially a mock- heroic poem in the contrast of its grand form and the trivial subject matter.
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