All For Love, a full-fledged heroic play written by John Dryden, has ever enjoyed literary merit and public acclaim since its first performance in 1677. Dryden’s play is an acknowledged condensed adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece Antony and Cleopatra; yet as the stage records reveal, it drove Shakespeare’s play off stage for more than a century, and reaped great success. The craftsmanship of Dryden as a brilliant playwright and highly skilled poet is delicately latent in this play. More crucially, all for Love exerted a tremendous influence on the upcoming genre, and became a prototype to Sentimental Tragedy of the 18th Century. This article is meant to illuminate the literary contribution and theory of Dryden as chiefly illustrated in All for Love, beside Preface to his play, Dedication, and his critical article Of Heroic Play. Added to this, the article would highlight the factors standing behind the public success and popularity of All for Love during the 18th Century.
This work by European American Journals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License