Sunday, October 28, 2007


A rhetoric aims at changing the attitudes and/or actions of the audience. During the Commonwealth period (1642-1660), the social stratus was torn apart. King Charles II reigned in England from 1661 until his death in 1685. As John Dryden was poet laureate for Charles the II, he took the risk of attempting to convince Charles to alter his behaviors. Dryden composes “Absalom and Achitophel” as a rhetoric poem to try to sway Charles into being a good king by taking care of his country before being a good father. He takes the perspective of a Tory and wishes a strong monarch/executive branch to excel. Though this poem succeeded in changing Charles’ views, it did not achieve its desired political goals.

[Wendy Tu]

1 comment:

P.J. said...

Let me ask - is A&A the only instance of rhetoric among the works we've studied, or can we see some other works fit this description... or at least employ rhetoric in places? Consider especially if satire serves a rhetorical function. If you can think of additional works, mention them and make the case for their inclusion. - PJE