Santesso, Aaron
November 2003
Review of English Studies;Nov2003, Vol. 54 Issue 217, p615
Academic Journal
Literary Criticism
`Upon the Death of the Lord Hastings', Dryden's first published poem, contains a striking amount of metaphysical material. Critics have approached it in two ways, concentrating either on the elegy's metaphysical moments as a sign of Dryden's immature taste or on its more neoclassical passages to distinguish it from other explicitly metaphysical poems in Lachrymae Musaruin, the volume of elegies for Hastings in which it appeared. This article argues that Dryden's elegy neither stands apart from others in the volume nor supplies evidence of immaturity: he was in fact interested in metaphysical imagery and themes for much of his career, and his later work contains not only general metaphysical material, but some which is borrowed from `Upon the Death of the Lord Hastings', and from other elegies in Lachrymae Musarum.


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