Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




One of the most puzzling facts surrounding the criticism of Dryden's work has been the consistent and virtual neglect of The Hind and~ Panther. The case becomes even more surprising when we consider that not only is it the last mature politico-religious poem to come from Dryden's pen, but also his most extended and exhaustive contribution to the religious and political controversies of the seventeenth century. 1 Taken from a religious standpoint, The~ and the Panther has been placed in a clear perspective by Philip Harth's comprehensive study of Catholic apologetics in seventeenth-century England. One of the striking features about the work is the monumental task Dryden faced in two areas: wading through the various and often distorted debates circulating throughout England for and against the Catholic minority (a frequent occurrence was the Roman clergy's disagreement among themselves); and, as spokesman for this minority, his own thoughts had to be persuasive and lucid.