Thursday, June 16, 2011

Marriage a-la-Mode – John Dryden (1631-1700)

Firstly, I am not really interested with the title of this poem, but the first line of this poem “Why should a foolish marriage vow…” makes me really enthusiastic to read it. The power of Marriage a-la-Mode is the theme. The author can share with us about his unordinary way of thinking. The poem is about marriage, but I don’t know whether it can be classified into love poem or not. In my opinion the poem can be classified into love poem because explicitly it contains of meaning from the word love and marriage itself. Marriage and love are related, but maybe in some condition they have not relation each other. John Dryden as the unconventional poets tried to against the conventional values of society which still exist. His subject-matter was often factual, and he aimed at expressing his thoughts in the most precise and concentrated way possible. He expresses a deeper understanding of love and marriage in his mind when people just wonder what the meaning of this two words. Marriage is not always being the representative of love. Although, this two words are closely related each other, they have their own meaning. As what he said in his poet that the love comes from the heart, but marriage as a concept which comes from many aspect of life such as family, social class, religion, moral values, ideology, culture, etc. The marriage is for stability of family life which becomes the important value of our society. By the religious perspective marriage can be seen as a pure agreement between human and their God.

From data that I get, Marriage a-la-Mode is a Restoration comedy by John Dryden which is a combination of prose, blank verse and heroic couplets. Dryden was the dominant literary figure and influence of his age. He established the heroic couplet as a standard form of English poetry by writing successful satires, religious pieces, fables, epigrams, compliments, prologues, and plays with it. I think the interesting part of this poetry is a group of two lines riming perfectly. Also the writer’s dictions are suitable to create the atmosphere of comedy in this poem. So, the reader easily could get the essence of comedy of this poet through the writer’s diction. But in understanding the deeper meaning of this poetry, I find a satire. I get an expression of cynicism which relate with the social condition of life and the displacement of moral values in seeing the theme of this poetry. It is about what people think of the word ‘marriage’ itself. Also it has a strong relation with the essence of marriage under the existence of religion values.

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