In the poems composed before his first serious plays, Dryden rhetorically exploits the malleability of occult beliefs during this period. He uses the mixed attitudes toward astrology, alchemy, and, to a lesser extent, demonology and other folks beliefs, to broaden meaning and to address some of the problems associated with the subjects he chooses to discuss.
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Jack M. Armistead; Dryden’s Occult Rhetoric in the Early Poems, 1649 – 1663. Eighteenth-Century Life 1 January 2013; 37 (1): 1–20. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00982601-1895190
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