Absalom and Achitophel


John Dryden

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The political party founded by Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (the real-life inspiration for Dryden’s Achitophel), during the Exclusion Crisis, which sought to abolish absolute monarchy and institute constitutional monarchism in England.

Whig Quotes in Absalom and Achitophel

The Absalom and Achitophel quotes below are all either spoken by Whig or refer to Whig. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Politics, Allegory, and Satire Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Absalom and Achitophel published in 2001.
To the Reader Quotes

’Tis not my intention to make an apology for my poem: some will think it needs no excuse, and others will receive none. The design, I am sure, is honest; but he who draws his pen for one party must expect to make enemies of the other. For wit and fool are consequents of Whig and Tory, and every man is a knave or an ass to the contrary side. There’s a treasury of merits in the fanatic church as well as in the papist; and a pennyworth to be had of saintship, honesty, and poetry for the lewd, the factious, and the blockheads; but the longest chapter in Deuteronomy has not curses enough for an anti- Bromingham.

Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:
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