John Dryden: Aureng-Zebe

(3009 words)


Aureng-Zebe premiered at the Theatre Royal on November 17, 1675, and was published in a quarto edition in February, 1676, after a modestly successful run on stage. Dryden’s tragedy is the last of his rhymed heroic plays. His prologue announces the end of his experiment with writing in rhymed, as opposed to blank, verse: he “grows weary of his long-loved mistress, rhyme”, Dryden confesses, adding that “Passion’s too fierce to be in fetters bound”. In both his prologue and his dedication of the play to John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave, Dryden stresses the unremitting labour entailed in writing rhymed plays, and his growing sense of frustration with the arbitrary task he has set himself. He compares …

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Brady, Jennifer. "Aureng-Zebe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 July 2010
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]