This chapter presents some concluding thoughts. The poetic texts that have been discussed constitute a prolonged, pragmatic, and religious meditation on the nature and conditions of kingship. We have seen a politique fascination with republican polities; Milton and some like him committed themselves to a kingless commonwealth in reaction against the Stuart monarchy and the prospect of its restoration. But just as Marvell's ‘republican’ ‘Horatian Ode’ is dominated by two monarchical figures, so the concept of kingship was ever present even in the absence of a king. Whether seen as an opportunity, an ideal, or a warning, kingship is the one dominant landmark in the political terrain between the late 16th and the later 17th centuries.
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