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Poetry and the Realm of PoliticsShakespeare to Dryden$
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Howard Erskine-Hill

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198117315

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117315.001.0001

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Poetry and the Realm of Politics

Howard Erskine-Hill

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   poetry, kingship, Milton, Elizabeth I, Shakespeare

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