Sanctified Tyrannicide: Tyranny and Theology in John Ponet's Shorte Treatise of Politike Power and Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen
journal contributionposted on 01.10.2011, 00:00 by Ryan J. Croft
John Ponet's Shorte Treatise of Politike Power (1556) has often been noted for its argument against tyranny. At the same time, scholars have repeatedly commented on Ponet's apparent movement from violent resistance to prayer at the book's conclusion. Barrett Beer, for example, suggests that Ponet "was not successful in spelling out how the people, those who were the subjects of a tyrant, were to free themselves from oppression," and he adds that the Treatise "ends not with a blast of the trumpet calling for the saints to rise against tyranny, but with a prayer exhorting a suffering people to repent of their sins and trust in God to change 'variable England to the constant Jerusalem, from the company of men to the fellowship of angels.'"