Shadwell, Thomas

Shadwell, Thomas,

1642?–1692, English dramatist and poet. His plays, written in the tradition of JonsonJonson, Ben,
1572–1637, English dramatist and poet, b. Westminster, London. The high-spirited buoyancy of Jonson's plays and the brilliance of his language have earned him a reputation as one of the great playwrights in English literature.
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's comedy of humours, are distinguished for their realistic pictures of London life and for their frank and witty dialogue. They include The Sullen Lovers (1668), Epsom Wells (1672), and The Squire of Alsatia (1688). His devotion to Jonson instigated his feud with DrydenDryden, John,
1631–1700, English poet, dramatist, and critic, b. Northamptonshire, grad. Cambridge, 1654. He went to London about 1657 and first came to public notice with his Heroic Stanzas (1659), commemorating the death of Oliver Cromwell.
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, whom he succeeded as poet laureate in 1689. Shadwell attacked Dryden in The Medal of John Bayes (1682) and was himself lampooned in Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel and Mac Flecknoe.

Bibliography

See his works (ed. by M. Summers, 5 vol., 1927).

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