Date of Award

Fall 1987

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Swearingen, James

Second Advisor

Rivero, Albert

Third Advisor

Block, Edwin


Dryden's poetry and criticism are informed by his deep concern over the role of tradition in the realms of literature, politics, and religion. Yet most students of Dryden have not seen fit to reflect upon the nature of his understanding of this phenomenon; they have simply noted his professed loyalty to tradition and closed down what is, in fact, an open and potentially rich field of inquiry. When this subject has been considered in more detail, it is generally in the context of broader discussions of Dryden's sense of the historical process. But even those critics who call attention to the way in which Dryden's critical and poetical works reflect a view of human forces evolving in history usually neglect the most important aspect of his historical attitude--his profound awareness of the fundamental continuity of past and present. This failure to pay sufficient heed to Dryden's affirmation of tradition is perhaps due to a deficiency in the modern historicist outlook which places so much emphasis upon knowing the past as it was that its living relation with the present is forgotten...



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