Mac Flecknoe is a verse mock-heroic satire written by John Dryden. It is a direct attack on Thomas Shadwell, another prominent poet of the time. It opens with the . Mac Flecknoe is the finest short satirical poem in which Dryden has treated Thomas Sahdwell with humorous contempt. Mac Flecknoe is both a personal and . Summary, annotated text, historical background, analysis, and more. Mac Flecknoe Or a Satire Upon the True-Blue-Protestant Poet T. S.. A Poem by John .

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He decided to avenge himself on Shadwell and Dryden fully revenged himself by the publication of Mac Flecknoe in Mac Fleckboe is the first substantial mock-heroic poem and Thomas Shadwell is the hero of this epic.

Mac Flecknoe

The poem illustrates the qualities of Dryden’s satire- the fund of truth at the bottom, the skillful adjustment of the satire so as to make faults of the merits which are allowed, the magnificent force and variety of the verse, and the constant maintenance of a kind of fleconoe contempt never degenerating into mere railing or losing its superiority in petty spite.

The poem opens with Richard Flecknoe’s flecknor to abdicate the throne and to find a worthy successor.

Flecknoe’s name has already become a synonym for a fool. The name of his kingdom is Nonsense. Flecknoe’s choice falls upon Shadwell. Among his sons, Shadwell is the fittest for he resembles him most in dullness. He never deviates into sense.


Flecknoe, with parental pride, dwells on his son’s achievements. Shadwell has a ‘goodly fabric that fills the eye’ He is the master of repetition; he is a faithful follower of bad poets like Heywood and Shirley.

Even Flecknoe, ‘a dunce of more renown than they’ is inferior to his son. He, therefore, concludes that his son, Shadwell is the worst possible poet and thus deserves the crown of dullness. Flecknoe continues his eulogy of Shadwell’s merits by referring to his pretensions as a musician.

All arguments, Flecknoe points out, lead to the conclusion that for “anointed dullness” Shadwell is made. Dryden then describes the place chosen by Flecknoe for Shadwell’s throne.

Mac Flecknoe – Wikipedia

Quite appropriately Flecknoe selects “Nursery”: Great poets like Fletcher and Jonson cannot ,ac there. Here Dekker had once prophesied that a mighty prince who would declare an eternal war against wit and sense should rule, producing dull classics like Psyche, The Miser summarh The Humorists.

Once Flecknoe has chosen Shadwell as his successor, the news gets a wide publicity. Instead of carpets, there are the remains of neglected poets; bad poets like Ogleby come out from their dusty shops. Flecknoe sits on a usmmary with Shadwell, and “lambent dullness plyed around his Shadwell’s face. At the time of consecration twelve owls fly over the spot.


Shadwell, then vows to uphold the dullness so successfully maintained by his father. Flecknoe crowns Shadwell and bursts into prophecy. He praises his son and successor who would rule from Ireland to Barbadoes. He advises him to advance ignorance and to promote dullness. He even suggests that Shadwell need not work very hard in this attempt; rather, let dullness come naturally to fleckone. He counsels him not to imitate Ben Jonson, but to emulate his father and Ogleby.

He prophesies that Shadwell would write weak verse, bad plays and ineffective satires. Let Shadwell set his own songs to music and sing them. Before Flecknoe’s speech ends, he is sent crashing through a trap door, while his mantle falls on Shadwell. Mac Flecknoe as a Mock-heroic Poem. Mac Flecknoe by John Dryden: Summary Mac Flecknoe is the finest short satirical poem in which Dryden has treated Thomas Sahdwell with humorous contempt.

Mac Flecknoe is both a personal and literary satire. Dryden presents Shadwell as a dull poetaster, a corpulent man and a plagiarist. Summary Absalom and Achitophel: Introduction Biography of John Dryden bachelorandmaster.