Abstract

This article identifies a biblical allusion in John Dryden’s Annus Mirabilis not previously noted. It argues that Dryden describes the looting undertaken by Sir Robert Holmes’s sailors in their raid on the Vlie estuary in terms that associate them with Hophni and Phinehas, the sacrilegious sons of the high priest Eli, called “sons of Belial” in 1 Samuel. This allusion subverts the propagandist function of the poem by calling into question the morality of England’s economic and imperial expansion and lends credence to Dutch writers’ suggestion that the Great Fire of London represents divine retribution for Holmes’s Bonfire.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 531-553
Launched on MUSE
2014-08-18
Open Access
No
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