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date: 11 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses English political prose from 1500–1640. It considers the impact of the two great movements of this period — the Renaissance and the Reformation — on perceptions of tyrants and definitions of tyranny in English prose. The first section sketches the influence of the Roman historian Tacitus on representations of kings, courts, and tyrants from the second decade of the sixteenth century to the third decade of the seventeenth. The second section explores the rise of, and reaction to, theories of resistance and tyrannicide that emerged from mid-sixteenth-century religious conflict but were nonetheless indebted to classical thought.

Keywords: English prose, prose writing, political prose, Renaissance, Reformation, tyranny, Tacitus

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