Absalom and Achitophel

Absalom and Achitophel Study Guide

Absalom and Achitophel” is a heroic satire written by John Dryden in 1681-1682. John Dryden is an English poet, playwright, translator, essayist, and literary theorist. Along with Shakespeare and Milton, he is considered as one of the most influential and greatest representatives of English Literature of the 17th century.

"Absalom and Achitophel" includes more than 1,000 poems. For all that, the poem is not finished: the second part was written by Nahum Tate, with Dryden himself writing no more than a few poems. These poems allegorically depict the political struggle in England at that time. For example, the biblical legend of the rebellious son of King David serves as an allegory for the history of the struggle of the Whigs, led by Lord Sheftsberri against the so-called "Catholic conspiracy."