Approaches to Teaching the Works of John Dryden
Jayne Lewis and Others
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Which John Dryden should be brought into the twenty-first-century college classroom? The rehabilitator of the ancients? The first of the moderns? The ambivalent laureate? The sidelined convert to Rome? The literary theorist? The translator? The playwright? The poet? This volume in the MLA series Approaches to Teaching World Literature addresses the tensions, contradictions, and versatility of a writer who, in the words of Samuel Johnson, "found [English poetry] brick, and left it marble," who was, in the words of Walter Scott, "one of the greatest of our masters." Part 1, "Materials," offers a guide to the teaching editions of Dryden's work and a discussion of the background resources, from biographies and literary criticism to social, cultural, political, and art histories. In part 2, "Approaches," essays describe different pedagogical entries into Dryden and his time. These approaches cover subjects as various as genre, adaptation, literary rivalry, musical setting, and political and religious poetry in classroom situations that range from the traditional survey to learning through performance.