John Dryden: All for Love, or The World Well Lost

(2823 words)
  • Peter Byrne (Independent Scholar - North America)

All for Love, or the World Well Lost (1677), Dryden’s tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, represents a turning point in his career as a dramatist. Abandoning his practice of composing his plays in rhymed couplets (a method he had earlier encouraged in his Essay of Dramatic Poesie)(1668), Dryden shows here the mastery of an artist at the height of his powers. The play is especially impressive in creating genuine emotion and dramatic tension within the rigorous strictures of the neoclassical theatre; the unities of time, place, and action are strictly observed, but the story loses none of its power as a result. The work has obviously suffered in its inevitable comparison to Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra—when …

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Byrne, Peter. "All for Love, or The World Well Lost". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 November 2004
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]