8

The passage you bolded is not a list of vices! It is a list of unhappy conditions. The first clause is the trickiest of the three: to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the prospect of good Here Johnson is using “evil” in the sense “misfortune, calamity” (sense 4 in his own dictionary), so “driven by the fear of evil” means something ...


3

From Samuel Johnson's General Observations on the plays of Shakespeare (I couldn't find a full text of this publication online, but it's quoted in several places including the paper Arthur Sherbo, "Dr. Johnson on Macbeth: 1745 and 1765", The Review of English Studies 2(5) (1951), pp. 40-47, which claims this quote to be at pp. 161-162): The ...


2

This is a paraphrase of the Johnson's text quoted in the question. It is clear that Johnson sees differences between the two poets, thinking the one is capable of better work, but not consistently so, whereas the other more-or-less always produces equally good work. Paragraph 1: Dryden was better educated, smarter, had deeper thoughts than Pope did. ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible