Absalom and Achitophel

by

John Dryden

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The biblical kingdom ruled by David in “Absalom and Achitophel,” which serves as an allegory for Dryden’s contemporary England.
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Israel Term Timeline in Absalom and Achitophel

The timeline below shows where the term Israel appears in Absalom and Achitophel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Absalom and Achitophel
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...begins, before religion determined polygamy sinful, one man was not limited to one woman. David, Israel’s king, spread his “Maker’s image” throughout his kingdom. He is married to Michal, and she... (full context)
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...willful and temperamental bunch and are easily corrupted. Despite already being free, the “Adam-wits” of Israel want more liberty, and they will go to great lengths to get it. After the... (full context)
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The Jebusites are native to Israel, but as the “chosen people” grow stronger, they begin to lose their rights. The Jebusites... (full context)
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...but represented worse.” The plot is started and espoused by radicals, yet the people of Israel swallow it, “unchewed and crude.” There is likely some measure of truth behind the plot,... (full context)
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...sense,” but it has “a deep and dangerous consequence.” The plot causes enough strife in Israel to make major waves in the government, and many people begin to oppose King David,... (full context)
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...pretends to be David’s friend but really despises him, and he vows to either “rule” Israel or “ruin” it. Before long, Achitophel has “Usurped a patriot’s all-atoning name.” (full context)
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Achitophel reminds Absalom that had David not responded to the call to be king of Israel, he would still be in exile in Gath, and “heaven’s anointing oil” would have been... (full context)
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...their cries with his “royal blood,” Achitophel believes, the Jews will surely choose him as Israel’s rightful king and not adhere to the line succession, which is very “long and dark,... (full context)
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...Some Jews believe that David has too much power, and while they pretend to have Israel’s best interest at heart, they are really only concerned with their own. Other Jews don’t... (full context)
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...While Shimei is in office treason is not a crime, and all the crooks in Israel have a great time. He loves wickedness and curses David whenever he can, and he... (full context)
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“O foolish Israel!” the poet cries. Absalom’s procession is a charade; in it, “a plot is made, /... (full context)
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...honorable and old. He was in exile with David and traveled back with him to Israel. Barzillai is very rich and very kind, and Barzillai’s eldest son—“snatched in manhood’s prime”—will forever... (full context)
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...Finally out of patience, the “godlike David” is “heav’n inspired” to address the people of Israel. (full context)
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...and when they are “breathless,” David will strike them down. As he speaks, thunder shakes Israel, and “godlike David” is again “restored, / And willing nations knew their lawful lord. (full context)