Absalom and Achitophel


John Dryden

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The Pharaoh Character Analysis

The leader of Egypt and David’s ally. Like many of the Jews, however, the Pharaoh only pretends to be friendly with David but is really just looking for ways to exploit him and the Jews. In Dryden’s poem, the Pharaoh represents Louis XIV of France. Louis XIV was Catholic, as was most of France, and the Protestants of England saw Charles II’s relationship with Louis XIV as more proof that Charles was really a Catholic like his brother James and was going to force to the Protestants to conform to the Catholic religion.
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The Pharaoh Character Timeline in Absalom and Achitophel

The timeline below shows where the character The Pharaoh appears in Absalom and Achitophel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Absalom and Achitophel
Politics, Allegory, and Satire Theme Icon
God, Religion, and the Divine Right of Kings Theme Icon
...was, Achitophel maintains, and the Jews deserve better. David has few friends, except for Egypt’s Pharaoh, and the assistance of a foreign power will only make David less popular among the... (full context)
Politics, Allegory, and Satire Theme Icon
...have to turn to his friends for help, and his friends are all Jebusites and “Pharaoh’s pensioners.” (full context)